Just whose job is it to load or unload the truck?
If it’s not agreed beforehand, vehicle cargo handling can be the cause of major – and costly – disputes and delays.

It happens so many times yet the problems associated with vehicle cargo handling can so easily be avoided just by talking to one another. 
All too often truck companies simply assume that the vehicle cargo handling will be the responsibility of the warehouse staff.
Likewise, and all too frequently, the importer or exporter presumes that the loading or unloading operation will be handled by the truck drivers and their mates.

There is another very important point to bear in mind as well. What if the goods are accidentally damaged during the loading or unloading process?
Who takes responsibility for that and where does the liability rest?

If there are no clear and agreed contractural arrangements then disputes and delays can, and almost certainly will, occur.
And they can be costly! 

Good advice is to always discuss vehicle cargo handling concerns with your liability insurance provider prior to undertaking additional and possibly unexpected work. For instance if you’re required to use a customer’s equipment to move the goods, if you have to move heavy cases within a customer’s premises, or handle what could be fragile cargo.There are so many additional risks involved for which you and your employees may not be covered. 

At Aerona (Air & Sea) Customs Clearing Agents our advice is always to agree the procedure and the responsibilities with your customer before they take place. Raising the matter while the job is in progress, or even worse, failing to discuss it after a problem has occurred could be disastrous – both from a practical and financial point of view. 

Particularly important are Ex Works shipments because you really need to be clear on the terms as set out in the seller’s contract.
For instance, if the contract states ‘Ex Works Incoterms 2000’ then the ICC Incoterms 2020 would apply. 

If, however, the contract is simply written as ‘Ex Works’ then there could be different interpretations both for the requirements … and your responsibilities. 
The main difference being that Ex Works Incoterms rule that the goods are not deemed to have been delivered until they have been removed from the seller’s premises and placed in the loading vehicle. 
Ex Works on the other hand simply means that the goods are placed at the buyer’s disposal while still within the seller’s premises.

Yes, vehicle cargo handling in all its forms can be complex and is frequently fraught with hidden and often unexpected problems.
Our advice at Aerona is to make sure you have an unambiguous contractual agreement in place.That way all parties concerned are clearly in the picture and the chances of disputes and disagreements are minimised.

At Aerona we offer a total international import and export facility that can include the transport or onward forwarding of goods, including vehicle cargo handling, both within the UK and around the world. If you would like to discuss your requirements then please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on: 0161 652 3443.
You can also email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can send us an online message using the form that can be found on our Contact page.