What are the customer’s legal obligations in freight transport?

16 Nov, 2023

Shippers, when you ship an order, your role doesn’t end with the choice of carrier. Your tasks will include preparing the goods, providing accurate information, transmitting transport documents, paying for the service and receiving the goods. These are mandatory steps that you must take seriously. Otherwise, in the event of damage, you risk not being reimbursed. In this article, we take a look at your obligations as a client.

What are your obligations as a prime contractor?

As the name suggests, as a shipper, you are a principal. You need to give as accurate information as possible about your goods, but also take care of their packaging so that they can be transported safely. We tell you more.

Packaging of goods

Before loading your goods, you need to ensure that your pallets are correctly packed and conditioned. Your merchandise must be able to withstand the journey. Please note that if the total weight of your shipment exceeds 3 tonnes, the carrier may ask you to carry out the loading (including chocking and securing).

For your information, if the packaging is deemed inadequate, you will be liable for any breakage.

Merchandise labelling

Cargo labeling is of great importance to the carrier. It enables fast, clear identification of merchandise. It enables the driver to instantly identify the sender, the recipient, the delivery location and the nature of the goods. Essential information for fast, risk-free delivery. With direct knowledge of the nature of the pallet, they can provide the necessary care.

Transport documents

Shippers and carriers are bound by contractual documents. Generally speaking, it’s up to you to supply them. These include the consignment note, safety protocol and site logistics plan.

Specific information

You are required to provide various information about your pallets. Among other things, you must inform your carrier of :

  • The nature of the merchandise, its dimensions and specificity
  • Unseen special features, especially for ADR goods

If you make an inaccurate declaration, you’ll be at fault in the event of a problem. What’s more, if the carrier has all the information he needs, he’ll be able to transport your goods in the best possible conditions.

Payment on time

Not surprisingly, you need to pay for your transport on time, in accordance with the sales contract, so that the pick-up and delivery of your goods takes place under optimum conditions.

Customer rights

Of course, you’re not the only one who has to follow the rules. Your carrier must also respect a number of obligations. In particular, it must:

  • Deliver merchandise on schedule
  • Ensure that goods are delivered in the best possible condition
  • Quickly inform the loader when an incident occurs

More generally, the carrier must do everything in his power to meet the requirements agreed with his customer (lead times, handling of goods, delivery times, etc.). You can also ask about the progress of the goods: the carrier must be able to answer your questions in complete transparency.

At Transports Goëvia, we’ve set up Goëvia Online, so you can track your goods with just one click.

What can we learn from all this?

  • Before transporting your pallets, you need to give your carrier precise information about your goods (nature, weight, dimensions, specific features, transport tips, etc.).
  • The carrier must make every effort to comply with your instructions.
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