TT Talk - Overloaded containers

  • Date: 06/04/2005
  • Source: TT Talk 64

The police and highway authorities are continuing to crack down on overweight vehicles, and are looking especially at containerized loads.

In many countries, if a vehicle is discovered to be over the permitted weight limit, it will generally not be permitted to move any further: the truck operator or the shipper will be required to arrange to transfer the excess weight to another vehicle. It will immediately be recognized that the roadside is not the best environment for carrying out such transfers. Delivery will inevitably be delayed and there is a substantial risk of damage to the cargo. In the United States, truckers are permitted by federal law to recover the costs of any such transfer operations, and any fines imposed, from the shipper; they are also allowed to impose a lien on the cargo until the costs are paid. Similar arrangements exist in many other countries, either by law or under agreed contractual terms.

The reasons behind this close attention are evident: overloaded vehicles constitute a danger to themselves and other road users. If you were responsible for dispatching an overloaded container which was subsequently involved in an accident, you could find yourself liable in tort to an injured third party. No indemnity or guarantee from a customer or a trucker will shield you against any such claim, although they might enable you to make a financial recovery - providing, of course, that the trucker or customer is adequately insured. If you knew that the container was in excess of the permitted limits and nevertheless allowed it to proceed, you may have jeopardised your TT Club cover for first party and third party liabilities.

Because the weight restrictions differ from country to country, and because you also have to take into account the weight of the carrying vehicle when calculating the permitted weight in a container, the Club cannot give precise information for any particular movement. You should however be able to get the required information from the shipping line’s dispatch department.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited and TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, trading as the TT Club. TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, registered in the UK (Company number: 02657093) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Hong Kong, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in Australia by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. In the United States, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is approved as a surplus lines insurer in all states and is accessible through properly licensed surplus lines brokers. The registered offices are: 90 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4ST.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited, registered in Bermuda (Company number: 1750) is authorised and regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. 

The UK VAT Identification number for Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited is: GB 564 5244 35 and for TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is: GB 564 3375 30. The Italian VAT Identification number for TT Club Mutual Ltd is: 03627210101.

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