Rights, Duties and Liabilities of a Common Carrier

In this era of globalization and e-commerce, we all are heavily dependent on common carriers like the post office, currier and parcel delivery service and often we blindly depend on their terms and condition but we don’t know or often forget that there are certain rights, duties and liabilities of a common carrier. Here few of them are mentioned below.

Rights of a common carrier

  1. Right of Reward: A common carrier has a right to charge a reasonable amount for his services.
  2. Right to Retain the Goods: If the charges are not paid to him, he can refuse to deliver the goods until the payment is made.
  3. Right of Advance Payment: He has also right to demand advance payment before he accepts the goods.
  4. Right to Recover Damages: If the goods carried are in dangerous nature and cause any damage then common carrier has a right to recover such damage.
  5. Right of Selling: A common carrier has the right to sell the perishable goods after getting the instruction from the cosigner if consignee refuses to accept the delivery.
  6. Expenses Recovery Right: Sometimes consignee refuses to accept the delivery. Due to this refusal, he bears some expenses. These expenses can be recovered by the common carrier.
  7. Right to Limit Liability: He has also a right to limit his liability by the special contract with the consignor.
  8. Refusal Right: In some special cases he can also refuse to carry the goods.
    • A common carrier cannot be compelled to carry the goods in the following cases :(a) If his vehicle is already full;
      (b) If the goods are of a dangerous nature;
      (c) If the goods are inadequately packed;
      (d) If the goods belong to a class which he does not profess to carry;
      (e) If the route through which the goods are to be carried is in a disturbed state.
  9. Right to Recover Goods: Sometimes a common carrier delivers the goods wrongfully to any person. He has a right to recover the goods or its value from that person.
  10. Recovery of Loss Caused by Concealing: Sometimes consignor conceals the facts about the goods. Due to this common carrier suffers a loss. This loss can be recovered by him the consignor.
Rights, Duties and Liabilities of a Common Carrier

Rights, Duties and Liabilities of a Common Carrier

Duties of common carrier

  1. Acceptance of Goods: It is the first duty of the common carrier that he should accept, the goods from anyone who wants to employ him except in a few special cases.
  2. To Carry the Goods Safely: It is the duty of the common carrier that he should carry the goods safely. In case of loss or damage, he will be responsible.
  3. Use Common Route: He should carry the goods by the general route. He should avoid adopting the shortest route. He should treat the ordinary circumstances.
  4. To Obey the Instructions: He should also obey the instructions of the sender the goods related to transportation.
  5. In Time Delivery: It is the duty of the common carrier that he should deliver the goods within the time expressed in the contract.
  6. Proper Place: He should also deliver the goods at a proper place mentioned in the contract.
  7. Delivery To A Right Person: It is also the duty of the common carrier that should deliver the goods to the right person. Otherwise, it will be held responsible.

Liabilities of common carrier

A common carrier is liable to pay all the loss caused by him to the goods or persons. But in some special cases like an act of God, an act of war, public enemies he will be not liable.

  1. Liability In Case Of Wrong delivery: If the delivery is not made to the right person carrier is liable for that loss.
  2. Liability In Case Of Negligence: Due to the negligence of the carrier if any passenger is injured then the carrier will be liable for the loss.

These principles are embedded into; THE POST OFFICE ACT, 1898, The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1925, Mailing operator and courier service rules 2013 etc.

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