Sunday, 23 November 2014

Multimodal Transport Operator (MTO)

  



Multimodal transport operator, also known as combined transport, is the transportation of goods under a single contract, but performed with at least two different means of transport.

The carrier is liable (in a legal sense) for the entire carriage, even though it is performed by several different modes of transport (by rail, sea and road, for example). The carrier does not have to possess all the means of transport, and in practice usually does not; the carriage is often performed by sub-carriers (referred to in legal language as "actual carriers"). 

The carrier responsible for the entire carriage is referred to as a multimodal transport operator, or MTO. The United Nations Multimodal Convention defines multimodal transport as follows: "'International multimodal transport' means the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport on the basis of a multimodal transport contract from a place in one country at which the goods are taken in charge by the multimodal transport operator to a place designated for delivery situated in a different country". In practice, freight forwarders have become important MTOs; they have moved away from their traditional role as agents for the sender, accepting a greater liability as carriers. 

The MTO works on behalf of the supplier; it assures the supplier (and the buyer) that their goods will be effectively managed and supplied.

(Source: www.fiata.org). 

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