Driving To Deliver Your Business

A freight forwarder’s liability on uncleared cargo – live case study

Here is a live case study about a freight forwarder’s liability on uncleared cargo for which the reader is seeking your opinion.. Since this is a current situation, the reader has not disclosed names etc.. Below are the salient details of the case..

  • Master bill of lading[1] of shipping line consigned to freight forwarder
  • House bill of lading of freight forwarder consigned to actual receiver
  • Freight forwarder collects their monies due and their original House bill of lading from actual receiver
  • Freight forwarder pays shipping line their monies and surrenders original Master bill of lading to shipping line
  • Freight forwarder issues release letter to shipping line to grant release to actual receiver
  • Actual receiver collects Delivery Order from shipping line

After taking delivery order, the actual receiver has gone AWOL and has not taken release of cargo and container(s) have gone into serious demurrage and storage situation..

Cargo is perishable and may have become unusable.. Shipping line is claiming the demurrage[2], storage[3] charges from the freight forwarder and holding them liable.. Actual receiver is considered absconding..

What is your opinion in this case..??

  • Is the shipping line justified in holding the freight forwarder liable, even though the shipping line issued the Delivery order to the actual receiver..??
  • Does the freight forwarder have a case to waive their liability..??
  • What options does the freight forwarder have to avoid this liability..??

Do share in the comments below..

Coincidentally I received this question hot on the heels of my recent article on Risks and Liabilities of a Freight Forwarder[4]..


  1. ^ bill of lading (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  2. ^ demurrage (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  3. ^ storage (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  4. ^ Risks and Liabilities of a Freight Forwarder (shippingandfreightresource.com)

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