A lockout of the Montreal Longshoremen will occur at the Port of Montreal began in the AM, Monday July 19th at 08:00. As a result there is no train service available into or out of the Port of Montreal until further notice. What is an innocent forwarder to do?
First, the forwarder generally acts as agent (e.g. CIFFA STCs at 1 and 3). Accordingly, they are not laible for failures in the performance of the carriage unless caused by their own negligence. Where a carrier’s document is issued, it will almost invariably protect against failures in performance arising from stirke, lockout, or other labour strife.
Second, STCs commonly protect the forwarder in ‘changed circumstances’ (CIFFA STCs at 11). While this is often referred to in the case of a frustrated sale and corresponding refusal to take delivery, it is clear that the Forwarder remains responsible for communicating with their customer and following that customer’s instructions – but on the customer’s account, of course.
Finally, limitations and time-bar provisions continue to apply, and often special limitations apply to delay: at paragraph 15 of the CIFFA STCs recovery is limited to 2x gross margin.