In April of 2012, the defendant entrusted the plaintiff to
handle the freight forwarding issues of two shipments. According to
the requirement, the plaintiff duly booked cargo space with
Weihang. Thereafter, Weihang issued the bills of lading
(No.SHAJKTY124061, No.SHAJKTY124081) which recorded the shipper is
the defendant, the loading port is Shanghai, China, the discharge
port is Jakarta and the service type is CY/DOOR, freight prepaid.
Finally, the two shipments safely arrived the discharging port.
However, the defendant did not pay the freight forwarding fees
or reimburse the terminal charge paid by the plaintiff for the
defendant in amount of RMB 237,034.75 and RMB 528,898.65.
The plaintiff filed a law suit against the defendant for the
above mentioned fee and disbursement.
The Focus of Controversy
As the defendant's entrusted agent, our lawyers made full
investigation and collected evidences into each dispute, and issued
legal opinions on the basis of facts.
The focus of controversy of this case is concentrated in the
following two aspects:
(1) Who should pay the freight forwarding fee?
The defendant argued that the payer specified in the several
invoices is Sichuan Construction Development Co., Ltd. Jinte'er
Steel Structure Factory (hereinafter "Steel Structure
Factory"). Therefore, it has no obligation to pay the relevant
freight forwarding fee.
Our lawyer explained that the reason why the payer was Steel
Structure Factory was that the defendant required to do so. In
addition, according to the principle of substituted performance
stipulated in the Contract Law, under the circumstance that Steel
Structure Factory does not pay, the defendant will still be liable
for the payment.
(2) The problem of the terminal charges
The defendant had the different opinion on the reason why the
terminal charge arose. The defendant hold that the freight
forwarder should make reasonable judgments on whether the cargo had
undergone any test run and the consequences thereof at the
discharging port and it should en- sure the clearance information
Our lawyer argued that it's the defendant that should be
responsible for the consistency between the actual shipments and
the clearance information. No evidence showed that the defendant
can/ should discover the condition that the cargo had underwent
test run, which beyond the due care of common freight forwarder.
Therefore, the plaintiff has no fault during the process of
performing the contract, and the terminal charge should paid by the
The defendant also argued that the trade terms in this case is
DDU, i.e the defendant has no obligation to pay total fee when the
transportation is not complete.
In terms of the above argument, our lawyer rebutted that DDU
shall only be binding between the parties of the sales contract,
which cannot restrain the plaintiff as a freight forwarder. As a
result, once the plaintiff had already fulfilled the obligation,
the defendant should pay the total freight for- warding fee and
Meanwhile, our lawyer submitted the affidavit of the agent of
the carrier at the port of destination bank slip of the relevant
terminal charges to prove it had paid the terminal charges above
for the defendant.
Based on the sufficient evidences provided by the plaintiff and
justifiable arguments, the court supported the plaintiff's
claim. The court decision was as follows:
(1) The defendant should pay the freight forwarding fee
RMB237,034.75 and interests to the plaintiff in ten days of the
judgments coming into effect.
(2) The defendant should pay the disbursement USD 46,153.13 and
interests to the plaintiff in ten days of the judgments coming into
Therefore, our lawyer greatly protected the rights and interests
of our customer and resolved this case quickly and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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