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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3933
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I'm a limited company that used the services of a UK based

Customer Question

Hi, I'm a limited company that used the services of a UK based Freight Forwarder to ship my goods from USA to UK. They provided me with a location of their USA warehouse which I delivered my goods to.My goods were then lost within the warehouse for several months and now (5 months on) 60%-70% of the goods have been located.The UK Freight Forwarder offered to have this part consignment delivered to UK, however I did not want to use their services anymore or ship a part consignment. I only requested dimensions of the located consignment so I can offer other forwarders a chance to quote me for the shipping cost. Instead of dimensions I received notification that my goods have already been shipped and they have presented an invoice for me to pay.I replied to them saying it was not my wish to have them shipped and to return them back to the USA, they refused and will hold my goods till full payment is made.I also still have approx 30% of my goods lost in their warehouse in the USA.What is my legal position here?Regards
R Sandhu
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Is this is a US based company? Do you have a copy of the terms and conditions signed? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi AJ,
We are a UK based company and the freight forwarder is also UK based, both registered limited companies.As to ToC's I only had the "standard trading conditions 2005a edition" which was printed on the back of the credit application (copy attached). Also on the earlier versions of the quotes they provided me they mention on the back "All business transacted in accordance with the latest BIFA standard trading conditions..." (copy attached).
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. I will review these and revert to you as soon as possible. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi AJ, Did you manage to review the ToC's and my inquiry?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. My apologies for the delay I am writing a response now. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. The key point here is the terms and conditions are governed by UK law so you could sue this company in the English courts. Can you confirm how much loss you have actually suffered?

What I would suggest you do - (i) Itemise the missing goods and their value (ii) Send the company this list and demand the return or identification of these goods within 7 days (or even delivery of them to a new warehouse supplier in the USA. I would then say if they do not resolve the issue within 7 days you will reserve the right to hold them liable for all losses arising from their breach of contract, and failure to provide any reasonable care or skill in the service (Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982).
Do you trust them to deliver the goods to the UK - can you find a replacement supplier? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Alex, There was two pints to my initial enquiry. The other was that the freight forwarder offered to ship part of the consignment (just the located items so far) to the UK, however I did not accept or request this and only asked for size and weight so I can obtain other quotes. Last week I received an email confirming goods have already been shipped and they attached an invoice and if this wasn't paid they would not release the goods, I requested they return them to the USA as I did not authorise this shipment, they said they can't.I did have 30 days credit terms upto £1000 and this is invoice is £644.69.Can they hold these goods to ransom?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. Technically they can exercise a lien on the goods, but as you are still in the credit terms this is something they should not be doing. How much loss is this causing you?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Approx £3k in actual goods (Lost in USA) and further £4k-£5k in loss of sales for the 4 months delay.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. Have you sent them a notice itemising this loss? Or have they even admitted that they are at fault?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We have not sent any itemised notice as they can't confirm what has been found, therefore we can only guesstimate the loss. They have not admitted fault, keep blaming me for not confirming multiple consignments delivered to their US warehouse instead of one whole consignment.