When Liability Begins

Common carrier liability begins only after acceptance of the bailment agreement by the carrier. Such acceptance takes effect when the goods are placed in a position to be cared for, and under the control of the carrier or his agent, with his knowledge and consent. Thus, making available to the shipper a vehicle for loading by the shipper or a vehicle for the possible temporary storage of goods by the shipper does not constitute an acceptance of bailment. Avisun Corp. v. Mercer Motor Freight, Inc., 321 N.Y.S.2d 658 at 660 (App.Div. 1971).

Furthermore, the shipper must give the carrier appropriate shipping instructions. Republic Carloading & Distributing Co. v. Missouri Pacific R.R. Co., 302 F.2d 381 at 385 (8th Cir. 1962).

For liability as a common carrier to commence, a shipper must complete delivery to the carrier, and the shipment must be accepted by the carrier. Dugdale Packing Co. v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 347 F.Supp. 1276 (W.D. Mo. 1972); Mattel, Inc. v. Interstate Contract Carrier Corp., 722 F.2d 17 (2nd. Cir. 1983); Conair Corp. v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., 22 F.3d 529 (3rd Cir. 1994); Industrial Risk Ins. v. United Parcel Service, 746 A.2d 532, 328 N.J.Super. 584 (N.J.Super.AD 2000).