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Missing Paperwork


You have loaded a shipment onto a truck, but the required paperwork cannot be located and/or produced.


  1. Do not let the truck leave without a correctly completed and signed Bill of Lading. If stopped for inspection, the truck may have to produce the Bill of Lading before it will be allowed to proceed.
  2. Call us to tell us that you have to hold the truck until the paperwork is ready.
    NOTE: The Bill of Lading (or its fully completed proxy, such as a Packing Slip) is the key document to provide to the driver. Among other things, the Bill of Lading describes the freight that is actually on the truck. Once signed, the Bill of Lading becomes a legal contract, signed by both the shipper and the carrier, that identifies what was handed over to the carrier for shipping, and its conditions at the time it was handed over.
  3. We tell you that the truck cannot leave without a proper Bill of Lading, and that any significant delay in producing a Bill of Lading will likely trigger a waiting time fee. If a Bill of Lading cannot be produced using your normal procedures, even a hand-written Bill of Lading will suffice.
  4. If the missing paperwork is Customs documentation for border crossing, the truck can leave without it, provided that it can be prepared and sent to the carrier (via Copper Run) at least 2 hours before the truck arrives at the border. If this timeline is not met, waiting time charges will be triggered.
  5. We will call the carrier, and will tell them what has happened, and how it is being resolved.


Missing document cases most often occur when the amount of freight being shipped either changes from initial plans, or cannot be accurately predicted prior to loading. Perhaps the only documentation has been prepared for the original shipment, and or perhaps the person who normally prepares the documentation has left the building before the shipment loading was completed.


Missing paperwork usually produces loading and delivery delays. The objective in this type of situation is to minimize delay by producing a Bill of Lading as quickly as possible by whatever means possible, and border-crossing documents (if necessary) well before the truck approaches the border.

Normally, either a work-around Bill of Lading is produced, or someone is called back to the office to prepare a Bill of Lading in the normal manner.

The preparation of missing Customs documents can often left until first thing the next morning, unless the driver will reach the border before then.