A common carrier is an organization that transports a product or service using its facilities, or those of other carriers, and offers its services to the general public.
Traditionally common carrier means a business that transports people or physical goods. In the 20th century, the term came to refer also to utilities (those transporting some service such as communications or public utilities). The term differs from private carrier, which operates solely for the benefit of one entity and does not offer services to the general public.
A property common carrier is an organization (often a commercial or private business but sometimes a government agency) that provides transportation of persons or goods, often over a definite route according to a regular schedule, making its services available to all who choose to employ them. Airlines, railroads, bus lines, cruise ships and trucking companies are examples of property common carriers.
Post offices would also be considered common carriers but as universally they are operated by governments they are often treated differently than commercial organizations, such as given special privileges.
Common carriers generally exist under a different regulatory regime than specialised carriers, are subject to different laws, and sometimes to different treatment in other ways (e.g. taxation). For example, common carriers generally explicitly have no legal liability for the contents of freight shipped through them unless the customer has purchased excess insurance for that purpose.
|The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bill_of_lading). 12/27/05|