Who is the shipper in a freight transport?

Several players play different roles in road haulage. The service provider, the carrier, works for a customer or principal, also known as the “shipper”. This charger can be a natural personbut also a legal entity (company, association, organization). The latter uses a road haulage company for its own account or for that of a third party (as an agent, for example), depending on the case. He’s in charge of managing the administrative side of transport (ordering, settling invoices, organizing) and packing the merchandise. Of course, he can entrust these tasks to intermediaries to save time. Since we may need to transport goods in all sorts of fields, the profile of the shipper is bound to change considerably from one transport service to another!

What are the shipper's obligations when transporting goods by road?

The shipper must ensure that the goods are ready to be transported without risk. In the event of a problem on the route due to poor packaging, it is the driver who becomes responsible. They must therefore prepare and protect pallets or goods in such a way as to simplify pick-up and transport, while avoiding incidents that could lead to breakage or damage.

In the case of a shipment where the weight of the goods exceeds a limit of 3 tonnes, the loader must also carry out the loading operation: placing the goods in the vehicle and carrying out the required chocking and lashing operations.

Another important obligation for the loader: deliver to the
road haulage contractor
all information for loading and unloading. In this sense, if the place of shipment is difficult for a truck to reach, the transport company must be informed. It may decide to use another vehicle more compatible with the situation. If there’s a miscommunication between the shipper and the carrier, and the goods can’t be loaded (or delivered), a second run may be necessary – costing the shipper more money.

The loader business in brief

Last but not least, the shipper is responsible for pay for transport and logistics services on timein accordance with previously agreed conditions. Of course, he can delegate the tasks of packaging goods and managing transport (staff, external service providers).

The shipper's rights when transporting goods

Logically, the shipper also benefits from a certain number of rights when working with a professional carrier. The latter is associated with a obligation of result The customer is under an obligation to achieve results: he or she must do everything necessary to meet the customer’s specifications (meeting deadlines, handling the merchandise, etc.).

The shipper also has the right to know the progress of his shipment. He can do this with tools such as Goëvia Online that integrate Track & Trace, but they can also contact their carrier’s customer service department. The latter must be able to deliver the information it needs, in full transparency.

The shipper has the right to take out Ad Valorem insurance – and is even advised to do so! This means that in the event of an incident during transport, loading or unloading, he can be compensated for losses resulting from damage to the goods.


Shippers: choose the right carrier

As a shipper, you’re looking for a carrier to get your goods from point A to point B. Discover our tips for selecting your transport and logistics partner:

  • By anticipating your needs;
  • By several technical criteria;
  • By respecting certain values.
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