Carrier’s implied obligations and responsibilities. The most important and fundamental obligation of a carrier is to deliver the goods in the same condition as they were in when they were received by him.
There are other obligations either contained expressly in the document which contains or is evidence of the contract of carriage or is implied by the common law. For the carrier the important implied obligations, in addition to delivering the goods in the same condition as received, are: to . provide a seaworthy vessel; to perform the obligations of carriage and delivery with “reasonable despatch”; and, to avoid an unjustified deviation from the contracted voyage. These implied obligations are significant for any carriers whether carrying goods under charterparties or bills of lading.
The contractual document may also contain express obligations which exclude or limit liability for breach of the implied obligations, or which expressly state the obligations which are otherwise implied by the law, or which impose other obligations and responsibilities on the carrier. In the case of express contractual responsibilities, these will vary from document to document: However, if the contract of carriage is subject to the Hague Rules or Hague-Visby Rules or Hamburg Rules,. the obligations are expressly contained in those rules and emphasis will be laid on these after briefly discussing the implied obligations mentioned above.