Title: The use and legal effects of carriage documents in international multimodal transport

Authors: David A. Glass, Peter B. Marlow, Rawindaran Nair

Addresses: Cardiff Law School, Law Building, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK. ' Logistics and Operations Management Section, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK. ' Logistics and Operations Management Section, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK

Abstract: One element of the supply of international transport services as part of a logistics supply chain is the use of transport documents which exchange and record information and embodies legal significance. Historically, many of these documents developed along modal lines and are paper-based but modern logistics practices and international trade often require multi-modal distribution channels and the greater use of information technology with a possible shift to electronic documents. This paper examines whether, in the light of the evolving operational and legal environment and from an industry perspective, a more flexible approach to carriage documentation could emerge. The paper, based on a qualitative study, comprises five sections. Following the introduction, the research methodology is outlined. Section 3 discusses documents of carriage and legal issues while Section 4 presents the findings from the study. The final section offers some conclusions and suggests that, despite various changes which are moving in the right direction, legacy and uncertainty render various parties reluctant to take advantage of the changing legal framework.

Keywords: international multimodal transport; bills of lading; sea waybills; Rotterdam rules; electronic documents; e-documents; carriage documents; logistics; transport documents; legal issues.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2010.035499

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2010 Vol.2 No.4, pp.347 - 363

Available online: 30 Sep 2010 *

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