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The Carriers Duty in Trans Portation


THE CARRIER'S DUTY IN TRANS PORTATION. The carrier must provide all reason able and necessary facilities to the public required to carry on the undertaking which he assumes. He is to forward goods of all impartially, in the order of their receipt for shipment, except that he may give the pref erence to perishable goods, as fruits, but he should not receive perishable goods for shipment if by so doing he delays the shipment of other goods already on hand. (Railroad Co. v. Burrows, 33 Mich. 6; Railroad Co. v. Burns, 6o Ill. 285.) The carrier should provide ade quate cars for the handling of such varieties of freight as may ordinarily be expected to seek transportation on his route. (Northern Belle, 9 Wall. 526.) And must furnish refrigerator cars for such articles as butter, if he accepts them for shipment. (Beard v. Ill. Cent. Ry. Co., 79 Ia. 518.) So a carrier must use such improved machinery as is used by practical men, as a spark ar rester, but he is not compelled to adopt unused and un tried inventions or methods of transportation. (Lever ing v. Trans Co., 42 Mo. 88.) The goods should be carried by the carrier's cus tomary route, or he becomes liable for all losses, so, where there are two routes and one is more dangerous than the other, he takes the more perilous one at the risk of being held for any loss. In marine transporta tion general merchandise must be stored in the hold of the vessel and inflammable goods or live stock on deck. Where goods are marked to indicate their na ture, and that care is required in their handling, as "glass, with care," they. must be carefully handled or the carrier will be liable. So where a definite mode of transportation is contracted for by the shipper, it must be strictly complied with by the shipper, and if the contract is for "all rail" transportation, and it is sent part by water, the carrier is responsible for any loss.

The carrier may deviate from his usual route to avoid danger, or when his own route is obstructed, or to suc cor the distressed at sea.

The transportation must be completed within a rea sonable time, but, as has been seen, the carrier is not an insurer of the prompt delivery of the goods, and may. excuse delay on the grounds of stress of weather, low water, or the interference of mobs, riots, strikers and the like. (Ante, Sec. 724.) So the custom and general usage of the carrier will determine whether he should make a personal delivery to the consignee, or simply give notice of the arrival of the goods at their destina tion. In this respect all that is required of the carrier is reasonable diligence.

The carrier must despatch goods promptly, and while stress of business will excuse him from accepting, it will not, after acceptance, excuse his lack of proper accom modations. (Hutchinson, Carriers, Sec. 292.) Where he contracts to deliver within a specified time he will be held to the strict terms of the contract, and absolute impossibility will not excuse him, though there are ex ceptions to this rule. In case accident befalls the goods in shipment from a cause for which the carrier is not responsible, he must use all diligence to protect and preserve them, or he will nevertheless become liable.

carrier, shipment, transportation, excuse and route