Combined Transport

These documents were essentially created to serve the container trade.  The face of the B/L is similar to the Through B/L in having extra ‘boxes’ to accommodate place of receipt and place of delivery.  The crucial difference between a Combined Transport B/L and a Through B/L is that under the Combined Transport B/L (CT-B/L), the carrier accepts liability for the entire carriage. Containerisation allows for transport from door-to-door, or port-to-port or any mixture of those with added complexities of the merchant arranging his own road haulage or having the line provide everything. Furthermore, there may be pre-carriage or on-carriage by rail or by barge as well as by truck and with the ocean carriers becoming ever larger, feeder ships may be used to or from the “hub” port.   The CT-B/L has to cater for all these permutations and the clauses on the back of the B/L are designed to facilitate this. One problem that has to be overcome is the variation in international agreements covering ocean carriage, road haulage and rail carriage.  The variations particularly affect time-bars also levels and ways of computing limitations of liability. It covers these by stipulating that if there is loss or damage occurring whilst being transported by road the applicable convention will be the international convention for the international carriage of goods by road (CMR) its full name being Convention Relative au Contrat de Tranportation des Marchandises par vois de Routs. If the goods are to cross an international border by rail then it is the (CIM) which applies the full name of that convention being Convention Internationale concernant le transport de Marchandises par Chemin de Fer.