Who is Transporting Your Cargo?
It is well known that there is a shortage of drivers to meet the demand of transporting cargo within the UK.
Generally, carriers will arrange for an acceptable haulier to undertake their UK inland transport service. However, problems often occur when the haulier employs an unsuitable driver, especially one who is self-employed as Signum found out when recently investigating two cases of alleged container cargo shortage.
In the first incident a carrier entered into a contract with a haulage operator for him to regularly transport some of their laden containers within the UK. To meet the requirements of the carrier, the haulier subcontracted two self-employed drivers, solely because they were able to drive his tractor units.
Soon after the commencement of the contract, the carrier started to receive complaints that containers were being delivered with their seals intact, but with a cargo shortage. Signum was asked to enquire into the haulier’s activities as the same unit and driver had been involved with each delivery.
An examination of each container revealed that the upper rivet of one of the seal clamps on the right door had been removed, thereby enabling the door to be opened without breaking the original seal. A bolt and nut had replaced the rivet to disguise the method of entry.
The person involved was one of the self-employed drivers, who was totally unsuitable for this type of employment, especially as he was disqualified from driving.
Although the tractor unit tachographs were not available, the time taken on each journey far exceeded the normal acceptable time period.
Just as disconcerting was the operator’s naivety and poor recruitment procedure when employing this person, which has resulted in his operator’s licence being revoked.