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In accordance with a judgment of the Brandenburg Higher Regional Court, the carrier should not charge an additional fee for the use of a crane for loading. Find out how not to lose money when additional equipment is used in transport.

The shipper is responsible for loading the goods. Only in special circumstances may this obligation be imposed on the carrier, but the latter may not charge an additional fee for the use of additional equipment.

According to the Brandenburg Higher Regional Court, the lower regional court correctly held that under Section 412(1) of the HGB (German Commercial Code) the shipper is always responsible for shipping the goods. It must therefore safely load, secure and unload the cargo. If, however, expert knowledge of safe cargo securing, loading and unloading are required, this is the responsibility of the carrier. This was the situation in the court case at issue. 

The carrier and the shipper concluded a contract under which a mobile home was to be transported for a net sum of €1,900. The cost of a police escort of €500 net was added to this amount. In total, the shipper had to pay €2,856 gross for transport. 

In addition, the carrier also invoiced crane handling costs of approximately €5,169.72. Although the shipper paid the fee, he brought the case before the court, which ruled that the operator had to reimburse it. After the carrier’s appeal, the judgment was confirmed by the court of the second instance. The operator should have included the costs of the crane from the very beginning in the transport contract.

Image: Bartosz Wawryszuk

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