5.4 Transport contracting

Once you’ve decided on the means of transport to be used and supplier (according to the budget and the level of urgency), you will need to negotiate and draft contracts with transporters.

The contract must include:

  • name and address of transport company, and details of the vehicle
  • unit price of transport (usually per tonne per km, or per truck per km) unless it’s a daily rental.
  • When a daily rental is used, negotiate driver, fuel & repair coverage (it is better to include it)
  • the total price (inclusive of tax and any extras)
  • terms of payment
  • exact loading address
  • address of destination and contact person
  • details of clearing agent if needed
  • itinerary
  • description of the articles to carry (volume/weight)
  • insurance or liability for damaged goods
  • delivery note and packing list.

A general principle for transportation is never to pay for the service in advance. Payment is done when the freight has arrived and the contents checked.

When deciding on the terms of the contract for road transport, consider the options in section 5.4.1.

Modality Advantage Disadvantage
Trip charter (per vehicle per journey) You will have the exclusive use of the vehicles The carrier might not be interested in filling each vehicles to its maximum capacity, thereby multiplying the number of trip

The size of the vehicle might not correspond to the size of the load

Trip charter (by the tonne or tonnes/km) You pay for the transport of the goods regardless of the time the trip takes or whether the truck is full

The cost of the service is clearly agreed upon from the start

The carrier might decide to transport other client loads

The driver might use less direct route to add kilometres to the bill

Time charter (per vehicle per day) You have the exclusive use of the vehicle, and it is usually the best option for short trips The carrier might choose to take it easy on each trip

In the event the truck needs repairs, the daily fee might still be applicable unless stipulated otherwise in the contract