CARRIAGE OF GOODS

CARRIAGE OF GOODS

Carriage of goods, in law is the transportation of goods land, sea, or air. The relevant law governs the rights, responsibilities, liabilities, and immunities of the carrier and of the persons employing the services of the carrier.

Until the development of railroads, the most prominent mode of transport was water. Overland transportation of goods was relatively slow, costly, and perilous. For this reason, the law governing carriage of goods sea developed much earlier than that governing inland transportation. The preclassical Greek city-states had well-developed laws dealing with the carriage of goods sea, along with specialized commercial courts to settle disputes among carriers, shippers, and consignees. The sea laws of the island of Rhodes achieved such prominence that a part of them was carried, many centuries later, into the legislation of Justinian.

In Roman law the contract of carriage did not achieve the status of a distinct contractual form; jurisconsults (legal advisers) dealt with it in the framework of the contractual forms known to them, such as deposit and hire of services or of goods. There was special regulation only insofar as the responsibility of the carrier was concerned: shipowners (nautae), along with innkeepers and stable keepers, were liable without fault for destruction of or damage to the goods of passengers. Nevertheless, they could be relieved of responsibility proving that the loss was attributable to irresistible force.

TYPES OF CARRIERS

A ‘carrier’ can be simply defined as a person who carries cargo (or indeed carries passengers, but passenger carriage is outside the scope of this Practice Note) for the benefit of other persons, whether gratuitously or for payment (or ‘reward’).

THE TYPES OF CARRIER ARE:

  • Common carriers
  • Private carriers
  • Other types of carriers with special rights and duties

For the avoidance of doubt, the following are not carriers:

  • Stevedores
  • Forwarding agents who merely arrange or procure carriage others

MODES OF CARRIAGE

Road Transport

It incorporates transport using road bound means like Lorries, trucks, vans, tankers etc. It is

suitable for transporting durable, bulk products, door to door deliveries especially where the distances covered are not long. Categories of road transport include:

  1. Own fleet e.g. company Lorries, Vans etc.
  2. Contract hire e.g. Swan carriers, Andy forwarders etc.
  3. Public hauliers e.g. Signon freight.

Advantages of Road Transport

  1. Roads are widely spread throughout the country therefore many places are accessible
  2. It is a source of employment to drivers and conductors.
  3. Special facilities e.g. refrigerated trucks make it possible to transport perishable goods
  4. It is faster over short distances.
  5. It is readily available especially in well-developed roads.
  6. Promotes industrial growth.
  7. Roads are widely spread throughout the country therefore many places are accessible
  8. It is a source of employment to drivers and conductors.
  9. Special facilities e.g. refrigerated trucks make it possible to transport perishable goods
  10. Usually flexible.
  11. It provides door-to-door service
  12. It’s relative cheap compared with other modes of transport

Disadvantages of road transport

  1. They cause environmental pollution because of gases they emit to the air.
  2. Bad roads may be impassible during rainy season.
  3. Causes traffic congestion and jam especially in towns and large cities.
  4. It is slow and expensive when carrying bulky goods over long distances.
  5. They cause environmental pollution because of gases they emit to the air.
  6. They are more prone to accidents, theft and pilferage of goods
  7. Bad roads may be impassible during rainy season.
  8. Unreliable since road transporters don’t stick to strict time schedules
  9. Not suitable for urgently required goods and perishable unless special facilities are installed.

Rail Transport

It is one of the oldest modes of transport and its popularity was fueled the industrial

revolution. The first trains were steam which were later replaced diesel and

more recently electric trains were introduced. Rail transport is suitable for bulky and durable

goods to be transported over long distances, heavy /less value consignment like sand, gravel,

cement, grains etc.

ADVANTAGES OF RAIL TRANSPORT

  1. It is less affected delays caused extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainfall.
  2. Rails occupy less space as compared to roads which are wide.
  3. Causes little pollution in the environment especially where modern electric trains are in use.
  4. It is economical in the use of labor i.e. one engine can pull several wagons
  5. It is relatively fast especially where electric trains are in use.
  6. It is convenient to clients in terms of time because trains run on a regular schedule.
  7. Special cargo e.g. petrol, vehicles and cattle can be transported using specifically designed wagons. Still perishable goods are transported in refrigerated wagons.
  8. It is less likely to be affected theft and accidents
  9. Most railway stations have warehouses where goods can be stored awaiting collection.
  10. Trains have direct routes on which they move and one can predict the various stations they will pass through
  11. It is more comfortable for passengers travelling for long distances as they can sleep.
  12. It is reliable due to adherence of strict schedules
  13. No major limitations on geographical areas.
  14. It is economical for transportation of bulky and irregular goods e.g. tractors. Over long distances.
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