Transportation Liability - Busting the Most Common Myths

Transportation Liability – Busting the Most Common Myths


Keep in mind contracts are a legally bonding document. There is the intent and there is the letter of the contract. This can often be up to interpretation.

The contracts can be seen as a form of protection, leaning in the favor of who wrote it. The transportation liability in a contract will always favor one side over the other.

Basically, a contract covers what is expected (by all involved). It will include the services that are being offered. A contract should cover payment, time tables, and even individual responsibilities. The part that gets most people is what it says about when it isn’t honored. At least not to the satisfaction of both parties involved!

Think about it, you never hear about contract disputes because everyone is happy.  You only hear about it when one side or the other isn’t happy.


Perhaps the freight was late, damaged, stolen, or seized by law enforcement. The other side might be that the custom won’t pay the agreed price, wasn’t able to receive it, or gave a bad description of the freight. There are numerous ‘what ifs’ but the fact remains, someone wasn’t satisfied.

So regardless which side of the contract you’re on, make sure it’s the right side.

To begin with have it/them drafted by legal professionals. It you didn’t have it made, have a legal representative review it. Make sure you know what’s in it before you sign it. If you don’t consider your transportation liability when doing contracts, you might be in for a lot more that you bargained for.

Transportation Liability Myth #3: “You Know How to Handle Your Freight Better Than the Carrier”

Transportation liability directly ties in to the freight being transported. Sometimes people don’t trust the carrier to handle their product correctly. They feel that only they know how it should be done. Now, yes there are times when this might be true, but not always!

So, you might have a type of cargo that you think should be in box/van type trailer. Maybe it seems appropriate to you. But the reality it might need to be on a flatbed, or hauled in a reefer.


Obviously there are times, such as transporting rare ancient artifacts, where you are the best one to oversee the shipping and handling. But under normal circumstances the carriers do this for a living.

There is no reason what so ever for you to dictate to them how to best perform their job.

If this is truly the case and you don’t feel comfortable with them and feel the transportation liability risk is too great, don’t use them.

There are literally hundreds of trucking companies from all over the USA. Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Florida, every state has so many to choose from! Many even specialize, so all you have to is research a little on trucker forums and magazines, and keep the transportation liability risk to a bare minimum.


You can check their safety ratings, the consumer reviews with the Consumer reports or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Heck, nowadays you can just go on YouTube and find videos.

So, there is really no excuse to not trust the trucking company you’ve hired. Besides you should have a good contract so if anything where to go wrong you’re covered anyway, right?

After all I bet you don’t like overbearing people telling you how to run your business. Sure we can all understand and be cautious. But just don’t be paranoid.

Something else to consider, just like you’ll speak about a bad carrier, they’ll speak about you. The trucking industry is a small family in many ways.

Transportation Liability Myth #4: “The Insurance Protects Me and Covers Every Possibility”

HA! And HA HA! Pardon me for laughing, but when it comes to transportation liability this is another one of those that gets people in a heap of trouble. I am not just speaking about carriers or customers, but both and often at the same time!


Nothing is worse than to have a valuable shipment entrusted in the capable hands of total strangers just to have the unthinkable happen. Perhaps the only one, who feels as bad, is the dispatcher who must tell their manager that the truckload of mattresses is now ruined.

But hello, what’s this light at the end of the tunnel? Is it? Could it be? It is! The carrier had insurance, the driver had insurance, the customer had insurance, and even the broker had insurance. But wait, that light is a train and ‘WHAM’!

It smacks you in right in the kisser just like Wile E. Coyote. The insurance didn’t cover the one in a billion chances that aliens would land right in front of the truck hauling your precious cargo! But it gets worse, since none of the other insurance companies had a clause to cover that either!


And to make matters worse, the truck has been impounded by the government. So now your new state of the art super comfy trucker mattress, which you just spent your last penny getting the patent for, are tied up in some government warehouse.

Now here come the attorneys. They will pour over the contracts checking to see if it was packaged correctly, reviewing which law applies, and determining ultimately where the transportation liability lies.

Transportation Liability Myth #5: “If there’s An Issue the Broker Will Take Care of It”

It does matter if you one of the top car transportation trucking companies or just a small mom and pop business. Transportation liability knows no limits and no boundary, so make sure everything is in order!


Even if you chose to go with the most reputable broker in the industry, they  still might not be covering everything. The transportation liability often falls on the carrier who is responsible for the freight. This where knowing the rules and reading your contract comes in.



< Page 2 / 4 >