What is a backorder or damage?

In the TRM (Transport Routier de Marchandises) sector, we often use two terms that refer to fairly similar issues: “back-ordered goods” and “damage”. However, it’s important to distinguish between these two notions, as spoiled goods are not always in distress, and vice-versa. Rely on your professional transporter to explain all the terms and help you find your way around!

Definition of backorders

Backordered merchandise, by definition, is stored merchandise awaiting collection by the consignee. Backorders can be a real problem, as they generate additional costs in terms of storage time.

The term “goods in default” is explicitly defined in the Transport Code, in the appendix to article D.322-12, article 2.15: “neither the consignee, duly notified of its presentation, nor the principal, informed of this situation, shall give instructions to the carrier as to the fate of the goods”.

Professional transporters take great care every day to avoid backlogs as far as possible. Goods that are not picked up by the recipient cost money, and can become a major concern both in practical and financial terms. Some professionals are forced to end up auctioning off backorders to cover the costs incurred.

Backordered merchandise can be spoiled, but it can also be in good condition. The problem lies not in his condition, but in his care: no one has ruled on his recovery.

Definition of spoiled goods

Damaged goods have been damaged. Such damage may be due to technical incidents during loading and/or unloading, but also during transport. There are several different types of damage:

  • Specific damage refers to material damage caused by an unforeseen event beyond our control, such as a major storm, fire or vandalism. They can arise from handling errors during load breakage, or from accidents affecting the goods themselves (water, dirt, pollution).
  • Damage/expenses and miscellaneous expenses refer to damage of a financial (not material) nature. For example, return or repair costs due to unforeseen circumstances, which can be combined with specific damage.

What should I do if my goods are spoiled?

If you receive damaged goods and the damage is obvious, don’t forget to make a reservation on the delivery note. Next, you must send a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to the carrier. If you discover damage that was not apparent at the time of booking, your registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt must be sent within 7 days of delivery of the goods.


How to avoid damage and loss in road transport?

Download our free guide outlining the most important tips for avoiding losses during the transportation of your goods:

  • Communicate all information to your carrier
  • Understanding your needs and constraints
  • Choose the right packaging and accessories
Le guide d'accessibilité Goëvia