Carrier Delay in Multimodal Transport

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: This research is a critical analysis of a delay regime for multimodal transport, or door-to-door transport. At this day, there are no mandatory rules governing multimodal transport, but a process of creating a set of rules are pending both within UNCITRAL as well as the European Union. Due to the increased use of containers in shipping, multimodal transport has become more common. For this purpose, shipping companies are commonly signing contracts in which they agree on being responsible for loss or damage throughout the whole journey, until the goods are discharged at final destination. However, problems will most likely arise in case of a dispute. Since a multimodal regime does not exist, the rules applicable to such contractual relationship are not one, but various transport conventions. The present system creates unpredictability for the contracting parties as to what rules are applicable on their contractual relationship, which leads to significant amounts spent on legal counselling. Thus, there is a need for a set of mandatory rules within the field of multimodal transport. The increased multimodal transport, in combination with an increased just-in-time management has increased the importance of a timely delivery and a functioning transport chain. The research will focus on the issues arising out of delay in delivery under the future multimodal regime. Since the UNCITRAL draft is not yet in force, the conclusion will have a de lege ferenda perspective. In order to reach a conclusion, delay regimes in the various unimodal laws existing will be reviewed, as well as obsolete and non-mandatory multimodal rules existing. Liability for carrier delay in delivery is imposed in one way or another in every field of transport. Liability could be imposed either only by agreement between the parties or also an imposed delay by statute for what could be expected from a ''reasonable carrier''. In my conclusion, I will analyze how a delay provision ought to be stipulated in a multimodal regime in order to gain a feasible set of rules. A feasible set of rules is one that has enough signing states to unify the existing laws existing today and makes contractual relationships more predictable with regards to possible effects of breach of contract.

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