The law relating to carriage may be studied under three heads:
(i) Carriage by Land, including inland navigation,
(ii) Carriage by Sea and
(iii) Carriage by Air.
This is a convenient classification because these three branches of the law of carriage are
governed by different principles and different statutes. Indian statutes relating to the law of
carriage are mentioned below :
l. Carriage by Land
(i) The Common Carriers Act, 1865, which deals with - Common carriers of goods over land and
inland water ways.
(ii) The Railways Act, 1890, which deals with carriage by railways.
2. Carriage by Sea
(i) The Indian Bills of Lading Act, 1856.
(ii) The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1925.
(iii) The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
(iv) The Marine Insurance Act, 1963.
3. Carriage by Air-Carriage by Air Act, 1972.
The statutes mentioned above are not ‘exhaustive. On all points not specifically covered by them,
Indian courts apply principles of English law as rules of equity and goods conscience.
Any person or an organisation, by an express or implied contract, with or without remuneration,carries goods and/or passengers, is called a Carrier. Government services can be called carrier if
it comes within the above definition, e.g., Indian Railways

The post office is not a common carrier. 3. though realised the value of the article. Common Carriers or Public Carriers In English law a Common carrier is defined as one who undertakes to carry for hire. without discrimination between different consignors. But the government is not included in the category. (Belfast Rope work Co. ‘ Is the Post-Office a Common Carrier ? The post office is not a common carrier. or company (other than the government) who transport goods. 2. Only carriers of goods come within the definition. If a carrier reserves to himself the right to reject an offer (even if there is accom modation in the carriage and the offeror is prepared to pay the usual freight) he is not a common carrier. A common carrier is one who carries goods for business and money. is that he is prepared to carry the goods of anyone without discrimination. Held. A resident of India sent value-payable article to an addressee in Pakistan and the Pakistan Government.. It may be a firm or an individual or a company. Also one who carries’ goods free is not a common carrier. A carrier of passengers is not a common carrier. From this it follows that one who carries goods occasionally is not a common carrier. and Private Carriers. the goods of anyone who employs him.Carriers may be classified into carriers of goods and carriers . although it may carry goods. v. firm. The Common Carriers Act of 1865 defines a common carrier as any individual. according to English law. over land or inland waterways. The essential features of a common carrier. It is more usual to classify carriers into Common Carriers or Public Carriers. Bushell). It is not an agent of the sender to deliver a postal article to the addressee. In Indian law the term common carrier is used in a restricted sense. . The same carrier may of course carry both goods and passengers. the Government of India is not liable. from place to place. did not hand it over to the Government of India. for money. as a business. 1t is really a branch of the Public Service providing postal services subject to the provisions of the Post Office Act and the rules made there under. Example : A lorry of a Transport Company or a Tempo. of passengers. Characteristics of Common Carriers The characteristics of a common carrier in India are as follows: 1. Union of India v Mohd Nazim.

5.4. A common carrier is one who is ready to carry the goods of any person without any discrimination. The term common carrier is applied only in the case of carriage by land and over inland waterways. .