Freight brokers (or property brokers) do not take possession of cargo and this fact alone means that they are not at risk to any large extent. The carrier, however, assumes liability when they take possession of the cargo.

When there is damage or missing pieces, the shipper may be responsible for filing a legal claim against the carrier. Shippers may look to the bill of lading, to separate contracts and, perhaps, to the Carmack Amendment. QBF scheme

This Amendment places cargo liability squarely with the carrier when the cargo is in the possession of the carrier.

Nevertheless, the broker should be aware of (1) their conduct, (2) how they present themselves and (3) their relationship between and among the parties they deal with. Sometimes the shipper is confused as to whether they are dealing with a carrier or a broker. After all, some motor carriers place their freight brokerage inside the corporate structure of their trucking company. fivem host

It is important for the property broker to clarify matters.

To better protect themselves, it is incumbent upon brokers to define their status and relationships. A simple Statement of Position should be presented to shippers and carriers wherein the brokerage business owner indicates that they are independent contractors, they are not motor carriers, they do not take possession of the cargo, they do not assume liability for damages and so on.

Preparing a simple statement such as this will go a long way toward lessening the probability of being faced with a law suit.

There may be some shippers who try to intimidate freight brokers when it comes to dealing with the consequences of partially or fully rejected loads due to damage or, perhaps, spoilage.

The shipper may think that it is the property broker’s responsibility to clear up the mess because, after all, it is the broker who hired the carrier.

Barring any broker negligence, however, damage or missing pieces are issues between the shipper, and/or the receiver and the carrier. The property broker is simply the middle person who should be prepared to facilitate a smooth outcome when there are problems on delivery.

There are some recent regulations passing some liability on to the freight broker when moving food products. John’s training goes into detail on this in his formal training.

It should be pointed out that, despite the potential for damaged goods on delivery, there are many, many, many loads if not most, career opportunities that are delivered without a problem. In my training several years ago with a truck driver, he indicated that in his 35+ years of driving he never had a late delivery, he never had damaged goods, and he never had a claim filed against him.

He is probably representative of most truck drivers. In my training, I have dealt with hundreds of truckers who take great pride in their work and the eventual delivery of goods to the satisfaction of a shipper’s demands.

A good broker will strive to get professional carriers of high caliber as well as knowing where they stand when it comes to liability issues. It is not that difficult to take the necessary steps to be kept from being negligent.

In Part II, we will look at liability concerning bodily injury or death that may result when the broker assigns a load to a carrier who then gets into an accident.

Author Bio:

John is the sole owner and president of Atex Freight Broker Training, Inc. He trains individuals (1) over the telephone and Internet (2) live in El Paso TX and (3) with a home study program to become fully self-employed freight brokers. John is a certified public accountant by profession with over 30 years experience working with small business startups.