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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I buy green coffee which is sold in situ at a warehouse. Once

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I buy green coffee which is sold in situ at a warehouse. Once we have purchased it the coffee is "released" to my company and WE become the legal owner of the coffee. Some coffees we arrange to be delivered straight away, whilst others remain at the warehouse and we pay a rent to keep them there. I arrange for transport of this coffee to my business premises. The Warehouse, my premises and the coffee supplier are all in England.
When I want to take delivery of the coffee, I email a "release" which details what coffee I require transporting to the carrier, and the carrier rings the warehouse with details of what they want to collect on my behalf.
When the carrier collects the coffee their driver signs a loading note which details what coffee has been loaded onto their lorry. This is then used as a delivery note so we can check what we got and as the basis of invoicing our delivery by the transport company.
In February we released 165 sacks of coffee to the transport company who collected it as normal. However, they also signed for 15 sacks (900kg) of a particularly expensive coffee worth about £4500 which we had not requested, and which they claim they had not requested by from the warehouse. The transport company claim they did not receive this and the warehouse are adamant that they did. The transport company did not query this at the time. When we received the delivery we received 165 sacks of coffee, as expected, and were invoiced for hauling 165 sacks of coffee as expected. Because we got what we expected we were not aware of the additional 15 sacks until this month when we tried to release them for our transporter. The warehouse said they had already been dispatched.
So my questions are:
1) Do you think the transport company's driver's signature for taking delivery of the missing sacks is enough to transfer responsibility for the missing coffee from the warehouse to the transport company? They are currently saying that they are not responsible as they did not take delivery.
2) If the answer to 1 is yes, the transport company say they transport subject to the RHA Conditions of Carriage 2009. This would limit their liability to £1170 (i.e. £1300 per tonne with the lost coffee weighing 900kg). However, non of the directors or staff of my company have ever signed such conditions but their invoices do say "All goods carried under the R.H.A. Conditions of Carriage 2009". This is not the first invoice with them but non of us have ever noticed it or had this pointed out to us. Are we bound by this limitation?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is the value of the loss? Was it insured?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


The loss is £4500 and it is not insured as it has not been subject to the specific insured peril.



Just to be clear, there is a signature saying it has been collected by transport co?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello yes there is.

I have attached a copy. It is the first item, 15 bags of Yirgacheffe

Attachment: 2015-04-29_145342_pod_for_5th_february_2015.pdf

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