What is the freight carrier's limit of liability?

In the event of delay, damage, partial loss or total loss of your road freight, your carrier is liable – and must pay you compensation. On a daily basis, this transport and logistics professional is bound by an obligation of result: he must deliver goods in perfect condition, on time. The slightest worry can lead to litigation. That’s why it also benefits from legal protection, which caps the amount of compensation payable in the event of a problem. Clauses which render the carrier irresponsible in the event of loss or damage are prohibited by article L.133-1 paragraph 3 of the French Commercial Code. However, the limit of liability puts things into perspective: it limits the amount of money to be paid on the carrier’s side.

How does my carrier's liability limit apply?

Your goods delivery didn’t go as planned: you suffered a major delay, damage or even lost part of your parcels. In this case, your carrier must compensate you. The compensation paid is capped according to the total weight of the shipment:

  • Shipments under 3 tons: €33 per kg of goods (up to €1,000 per parcel)
  • Shipments over 3 tonnes: €20 per kg of merchandise

At the same time, there are exemptions from liability. If your carrier can prove that one of them applies, he is no longer liable for any amount. For example, he is not liable for damage or loss in the event of fire, an event for which he cannot be held responsible, a defect in the goods, a fault attributable to the shipper, or in the event of force majeure.

What to do in the event of a claim after transport?

You notice a problem when you receive your goods: declare any anomalies in the presence of the driver. Make sure you check the quality and quantity of your goods on arrival (check-in). With this in mind, don’t hesitate to open packages to identify any anomalies and report them in writing.

At the same time, we advise you to avoid signing with the words “sous réserve de déballage” (“subject to unpacking”). In fact, it has no legal value – you can’t use it to justify yourself in the event of a dispute.

Insuring your merchandise: a real plus for avoiding losses

To better protect yourself against damage and associated financial losses, cover your transport services with Ad Valorem insurance. This allows you to be compensated according to the value of your goods, regardless of their weight.

With Transports Goëvia, when you book your transport, you can benefit from the cover offered by our service provider AXA. The insurance covers damage and loss of material in terms of weight and quantity, including loading and unloading. Certain exclusions may apply: read the contract carefully before you start your road haulage service.


Everything you need to know to prepare and manage your freight shipments

You need to ship pallets and parcels – but don’t know how to go about it? Download our free guide to :

  • Define your needs
  • Understanding your carrier’s rates
  • Taking your ethics into consideration
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