The road waybill (road consignment note) or rail waybill (rail consignment note) serves as a receipt for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, but it is not a document of title to the goods. The consignee can obtain the goods from the carrier at the destination point without presentation of the road waybill or the rail waybill, as the case may be.
The road waybill or rail waybill must be signed or authenticated and/or bear a reception stamp or other indication of receipt by the carrier or the named agent for or on behalf of the carrier. The signature, authentication, reception stamp, or other indication of receipt by the carrier must be identified on the face of waybill as that of the carrier, and in the case of agent signing or authenticating, the name and capacity of the carrier on whose behalf such agent signs or authenticates must be indicated.
The original road waybill or rail waybill may or may not be marked as "original", as such the waybill(s) presented to the bank are accepted as the original.
If the road waybill or rail waybill does not indicate on its face the number issued or unless otherwise stipulated in the letter of credit (L/C), the number of waybills required for presentation to the negotiating bank would depend on the number issued by the carrier as forming a full set.
Unlike in an ocean (marine) bill of lading or air waybill, a road waybill or rail waybill usually is not distinguished as either clean or foul, because the road carrier or the rail carrier normally will not accept cargo that is damaged, shows signs of irregularities, or is short shipped.
The Date of Shipment in Land (Road and Rail) Freight
If the road waybill or rail waybill contains a reception stamp, the date of the reception stamp is considered to be the date of shipment. Otherwise, the date of issuance of the waybill is considered to be the date of shipment.
Transhipment Indicated in Road or Rail Waybills
If the road waybill or rail waybill indicates that transhipment will or may take place, then the transhipment is allowed even if the letter of credit (L/C) prohibits transhipment, provided the entire carriage is covered by one and the same waybill and within the same mode of transportation