Protecting Shipper's Interests: What Does Said to Contain (STC) Mean and Why Is it Important?

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Protecting Shipper's Interests: What Does Said to Contain (STC) Mean and Why Is it Important?

What Does STC Mean?

STC (said to contain) is a notation that is commonly used on bills of lading by drivers in the LTL industry.

When a truck driver uses the STC notation on a BOL, it means that he/she is not able to verify the number of pieces/boxes on a pallet and is merely “taking the shippers word” for the piece count on a particular shipment.

Why Is the STC Notation Important?

The STC notation is significant because, from a legal standpoint, the carrier is only assuming responsibility, and potential liability, for a specific number of shipping units/pallets and NOT a certain number of pieces.

bill of lading example

As seen in the bill of lading example above, if a driver picks up a shipment of 26 cartons on 1 pallet and the driver signs the BOL with the notation 1 pallet STC 26, the carrier will only be legally responsible for delivering the 1 pallet; and NOT the 26 cartons.

Therefore, in the example above, if the carrier delivers 1 pallet with 16 cartons and the consignee signs for receiving 1 pallet, the carrier will most likely decline the claim for the missing 10 cartons.

Remember, at the time of pick up, the driver could not verify the number of pieces and did not take responsibility for 26 cartons, only the 1 pallet.

Bottom Line

In summary, it is imperative that your firm operates with sound shipping practices and DOES NOT allow LTL drivers to use the STC notation on the BOL when they are picking up your freight.

What Can DTS Do For You?

Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.

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