A contract of carriage defines the legal responsibilities of the carrier and the user. The carrier may be a freight trucking carrier, air cargo carrier, ocean carrier, etc and the user is either the consignor or consignee.
The carriage of goods in an international freight shipment has been standardized by international convention. These requirements ensure uniformity in the application of rules and laws.
In particular, the standardized contract of carriage, included in all carrier contract’s terms and conditions, and referenced in freight forwarders terms and conditions, set minimum standards for carrier liability and responsibility, for instance in case of loss or damage.
The convention also standardizes the rights and responsibilities of shippers and their freight forwarders.