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The law relating to carriage of goods may be studied under three heads : Carriage by land Carriage by sea Carriage by air The law relating to carriage of goods by land is contained in : The common carriers Act 1865 The railway Act 1890


Contract Of Carriage:
A contract where by a person or company agrees to carry goods or people from one place to another in return of payment is called a contract of carriage.

The party or person who carries goods or passengers for payment whether by land , air ,or sea is called the Carrier.


Following are the kinds of carrier:

1) Common Carrier

The carriers Act 1865 defines a common carrier as any individual, firm or company (other then government) engaged in the business of transporting for hire goods from place to place, by land or inland navigation, for all persons indiscriminately .

2) Private Carrier

A private carrier is one who does not make general offer but carries goods occasionally. He carries goods for a particular persons on some terms mutually agreed upon. He is not abound to carry goods for all indiscriminately. He can accept or reject the offer for carriage of goods.


1) Common Carrier:
A common carrier may be an individual, a firm or a company excluding Government.

2) For Hire:
A common carrier is one who is engaged in the business of transporting goods for hire.

3) Regular Business:
A common carrier carries goods as a regular business to earn money.

4) Inland Navigation:
The carriage must be made by land or inland navigation (waterways).

5) All persons Indiscriminately:

A common carrier is bound to carry the goods of any person who offers hires goods for carriage and pays for the service, without any discrimination.


A common carrier can refuse to carry goods in the following circumstances:

1) If the vehicle is already full. 2) If the goods are such nature which he does not carry. 3) If the goods are of dangerous nature and may result in extra ordinary risk. 4) If the destination to which the goods are to be transported is not on his normal route. 5) If reasonable charges for the carriage are not paid 6) If the goods are offered at an unreasonable hour. 7) If the goods are not properly packed. 8) If the consigner refuses to disclose the nature of goods offered for carriage.



A private carrier is governed by the contract Act, 1872.
A private carrier carries the goods of a particular person on some special terms mutually agreed upon. A private carrier carries the goods as a casual occupation and not as a regular business. A private carrier can reject the offer of carriage of goods without any reasons.


The common carrier act 1865 governs a common carrier. PERSONS: A common carrier carries the goods of all people indiscriminately. REGULAR BUSINESS: A common carrier carries the goods as a regular business. REJECTION OF OFFER: A common carrier cannot reject the goods for carriage. He can reject the offer only under some special circumstances. DAMAGES: A common carrier refuses to carry goods without any sufficient reasons, he can be sued and made liable for damages. HIRE: A common carrier carries goods for hire. TERMS: A common carrier has fixed terms of carriage of goods .

A private carrier cannot be sued for damages on his refusal to carry the goods.

A private carrier may carry the goods for hire or free of charge. A private carrier determines the terms of carriage of goods through negotiation.



Right to get remuneration Right to Retain Right to sue Right to Recover Expenses Right to Recover Damages Right to sell

Right to Give concession Right to Refuse to Carry Goods Right to Limit his liability

Right to get remuneration A common carrier is entitled to the agreed charges for His work .If charges have not been agreed, common carrier is entitled to the agreed charges he is entitled to reasonable charges for his services .He can demand payment of hire in advance and if he is Not paid ,he may Refuse to carry

Right to Retain He has a right to retain the goods and refuse delivery thereof until his charges of hire are paid If no charges are paid he can exercise particular lien over the goods . The lien cannot be enforced If the carrier has agreed to give credit

Right to Sue The carrier has a special right regarding the goods delivered to him for carriage .He can file A suit against any person who wrongfully deprives him of goods or Injures Him

Right to Recover Expenses If some Expenses are incurred due to the safe carriage of goods due to disasters such as flood Then the carrier can recover the expenses from the owner
Right to Recover Damages Carrier can recover damages from the consignor if the goods of dangerous natures are not packed properly due to which some accident happens so the owner is liable to pay all the damages to the carrier or the vehicle

Right to sell On refusal to accept delivery of the goods by the consignee , the carrier would be entitled to take such steps as may be deemed reasonable in the circumstances of the case .He can even sell the Goods if the same are of perishable nature or store them in a warehouse if condition of Goods may so allow


Right to give concessions

He has a right to give some concession to any person. However, he cannot charge an unreasonable payment from any customer

Right to refuse to carry Goods

He has a right to refuse to carry the dangerous nature goods. He can also refuse to carry goods which he does not normally carry

Right to Limit his liability

A common carrier has a right to limit his liability by Entering into a special contract Under Certain circumstances

Duties of Common Carrier

Duty to Receive Goods Duty to Carry Goods Duty to Follow Route Duty to carry Goods Safely Duty to provide Suitable Carrier Duty to Deliver at proper place Duty to Deliver to Right Person Duty to obey instructions

Duty to receive Goods A common carrier is bound to receive for the carriage All goods offered provided he has Convenience to carry them, and the goods are of a proper kind ,and the employer is Ready To pay reasonable hire

Duty to carry Goods A common carrier is bound to carry goods who employ him for the carriage of goods .He can refuse to carry goods under certain circumstances. If he refuses to carry the goods of a person In cases other than those discussed above he is liable for damages


Duty to Follow the route

A common carrier is bound to carry goods delivered to him for the carriage by his usual route. which may or may not be his shortest route. He can however deviate from the Ordinary Route if that becomes necessary for the safe Carriage of goods

Duty to Deliver the goods

The carrier must deliver the goods at the agreed time or where no time is fixed, within A reasonable time .He should use reasonable diligence to avoid delay. He is not Responsible For the causes of Delay beyond his control

Duty to carry Goods Safely

He must carry goods within reasonable care .It is the duty of Common carrier to ensure Their safety during the carriage and until delivery He is responsible for owner for safe and Sound delivery


Duty to provide suitable carrier

It is also his Duty to Load the goods properly in the vehicle so that the goods may be carried to the destination safely


Duty to Deliver at proper Place

He must deliver the goods to the consignee. He is not bound to deliver the goods at the house of the consignee unless, an agreement to that affect has been made if no place Is mentioned he must deliver the goods at the customary place of the consignment.


Duty to deliver to Right person

It is the duty of a common carrier to use reasonable care to deliver the goods to the right Person In accordance with the usual course of business


Duty to obey instructions

When the goods are in transit the carrier is bound to obey the instructions of the consignor as to alteration of delivery.


The Act of God The common carrier is not liable due to loss incurred by natural disasters like Earthquake, floods etc
Enemies of the state The carrier is not liable of loss Caused by enemies of a state in situations such as war like war between India and Pakistan

Inherent Defects The carrier is not liable for losses arising from inherent defects such as disease in animal and evaporation of liquid products
Defective Packing The Carrier is not liable if the loss arise due to defective packing of goods

Fraud or Fault of consignor If the consignor is guilty of fraud the carrier is not liable for any loss or damage incurred to The product

Railway As Carrier

Forwarding note:
Every consignor of goods or animals has to prepare a note called forwarding note or consignment note. It contains the description of the goods, number of packages, weight, names and addresses of the consignor and the consignee and the liability of railway and freight paid and freight to pay. o Fright Paid o Fright to Pay

Railway Receipt (R/R):

On submission of the forwarding note to the railway parcel office the consignor is given a receipt acknowledging the goods with an undertaking to carry them in accordance with the terms and conditions.

1) 2) 3)

Duty to provide facility Duty to treat equally Duty to follow directions

1)Liability at railway risk:

If the consignment is at railways risk the railway is responsible for any loss, destruction in transit arises. Except

Act of God Act of war Fire explosion and any unforeseen risk

2) Liability at owners risk:
If the goods are carried by railway at owners risk it is not liable for any loss or damage of goods unless its proved that such loss was due to negligence or mishandling by its servant.

3) Liability for delay or detention in transit :

A railway is not responsible for loss, destruction, damage or deterioration or animals or goods caused by delay or detention unless the proved negligence or misconduct of railway.

4) Liability for wrong delivery:

Where railway delivers the goods or animals in a good faith to the person who produces the original railway receipt.

5) Liability after Termination of Transit:

Transit terminates on the expiry of the free time allowed for uploading the good. The liability of railway administration during seven days after the termination of transit is the same as that of a bailey under contract act.

6) Liability as a Carrier of Animals:

In case of animals, the liability of railway administration for loss or damage etc. shall not exceed:
Elephant Horse Rs.50,000 Rs.10,000 Horned cattle or camel Dog, Donkey, Goat or Bird Rs.15,000 Rs.1000

7) Liability in carriage of passengers luggage:
A railway is not liable for the personal luggage of a passenger which has not been booked and the passenger takes with him at his own risk.

8) Liability in article of special value:

When the package or parcel of which the value has been declared, the compensation for loss shall not exceed the value so declared.

9) Liability in case of accident of passenger:
If a passenger dies or is injured as a result of railway accident, the railway shall be liable to pay Rs.100000 to the heirs of deceased and Rs.10000 to the injured passenger.

10) Liability in case of accident of a person other than passenger:

The railway shall be liable for to pay Rs100000 to heirs of the deceased and Rs.10000 to the injured. If the accident is proved to proved to have occurred due to railways negligence.

11) Responsibility in case of goods falsely described:
A railway shall not be responsible for the loss, destruction or deterioration of any goods which have been falsely declared.

12) Notification of claim:

A person shall not be entitled to a refund of an overcharge in respect of animals or goods carried by railway or to compensation for the loss, destruction or deterioration of animals or goods unless his claim has been made in writing within six months from the date of deliver of the animals or goods.