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Conflicting Temperatures and Cool Control

Temperature readings from the reefer download and portable recorders conflict.
Dock to Dock

(7.2) ….Carriers are expected to maintain air temperatures throughout the trailer.  Accordingly, air temperature readings from a single recorder may show a breach of the contract of carriage even if air temperature readings from other locations in the trailer do not.

With respect to the carrier’s reference to the alleged “inherit vice of the product” he (or she) is referring to a strict liability standard which arguably may apply under the common law of common carriage (even though the commodity is exempt from federal economic regulation and may be considered contract carriage rather than common carriage). A strictly liability standard, however, if applied, would only further weaken the carrier’s position because it would require the carrier to prove it was free from negligence, which, in our view, it cannot, given the readings from the portable devices placed throughout the trailer.

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Doug Nelson is vice president of the Special Services department at Blue Book Services. Nelson previously worked as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as an attorney specializing in commercial litigation.