Need Help - Overage by Shipper

Mar 3, 2016
I was hoping to get some insight into a scenario here.

Have a shipper who loaded machine parts on a flatbed. BOL noted 8 units, CI noted 1 unit, and the Rate Confirmation noted 2 units.

With machinery, we notice these discrepancies all the time as they have to be disassembled, etc.

We reach the receiver and the receiver says that 4 of the units don't belong to them. Shipper says that they shipped everything that the customer paid for. Broker is expecting me to relocate this product for free.

How should a scenario like this be approached? Are we at fault for not verifying the units beforehand or is the shipper responsible? In addition, the load confirmation had very minimal information on what we were supposed to move as they only provided dimensions (which dont even match the actual product).



Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2009
1. This sounds like shipper and/or consignee error to me. The first step is for the shipper and consignee to review the order and determine how the order got messed up. That has nothing to do with you at all. How are you expected to know what belongs to who?

2. Unless I am missing something, why on earth would you be expected to relocate the product for free?? That is absolutely absurd since the error was clearly made by the shipper or consignee and has nothing to do with you.


Site Supporter
Feb 22, 2008
Tell him you are on the clock and figure it out, make sure you get a confirmation load sheet before unloading.

Gord M

Active Member
Mar 4, 2010
You could call the shipper directly and tell them you can bring the goods back if thy pay you directly or sell the excess as scrap to recover your costs. If they say they don't want it (get a name) drive to a scrap yard and dump the stuff.


New Member
Aug 2, 2018
1st error transporter should verify content and Qty. Dispatcher should be notified by driver and Broker should be notified by Dispatcher about discrepancies. Broker will advice what to do with shipment. Broker will be responsible whatever decision he will make. in your case transport and shipper is at error. its upto broker to press his client to pay for relocation. Broker can't press much, he could loose his client. at the end of day Transport company responsible for what they are hauling. i really hope this one not a cross border shipment. Please update us for this shipment to learn more.


Staff member
Jan 21, 2010
Georgetown, Ontario
I'm not sure it's reasonable to assume that a driver can estimate how many pieces a machine should be disassembled to in order for said machine to be transported. Broker gives the info they are given to carrier for pickup (yes, be sure to ask all the right questions for the commodity/equipment you are booking). This leaves only 2 parties left.

Either the shipper loaded too many parts (upselling) or the consignee didn't want all of it at once or no longer wants some of what they ordered and so is trying to refuse part of the shipment.

Maybe. There's always more details to a story. Hope this works out, in the end drivers don't work for free so someone must cough it up.

Please do keep us posted,
Mar 3, 2016

This was a "co-brokered" load, and as usual, these loads normally miss out on important information. I contacted the shipper and he explained that the broker had only given him a 2 hour notice on our truck coming in to pickup the product, therefore he had no time to prepare.

We knew we were going to pickup machinery, and we were told it was going to be two pieces. This information was relayed to the driver but the driver did not advise that the truck was loaded with 8. When we received his customs paperwork, we did not notice the overage either.

Did the driver double check with the dispatch to ensure that the qty loaded matched qty that was supposed to be loaded? No.

Did we catch the overage when we received the BOL from the driver? No.

Did the shipper confirm with his customer which units were to be shipped? No.

Did the broker provide serial numbers, instead of qty and dimensions (meaningless with machinery)? No.

Ultimately, we determined that everyone was somewhat at fault and that we, the transporter, could have caught the problem ahead of time and saved everyone the headache.

Luckily we did not incur any financial penalty and we found a storage facility close by. The product was going to be shipped one day anyway to the US. The broker had compensated us for the driver's time wasted.

This could have been a lot worse, but I gained the experience and will make sure I don't ship another piece of machinery without serial numbers.