Whilst sending goods via rail is a very efficient method of getting goods from point A to point B, you do have to be aware that there are a few documents that will need to be completed before your goods can be loaded onto the freight train. On this page, we are going to take a little look at some of these key rail transport documents.
CIM Consignment Note
This is one of the most important documents you have. It helps to signify the contract between you and the trader. It lets everybody know that the freight train operator has permission to carry those goods for you. The CIM consignment note does not change who owns the goods. It simply says what is being sent and where it is going to. The CIM consignment note will include the following information:
- A description of the goods being sent. This will include the number of packages that may be inside of the container as well as the overall weight.
- The name and address of the sender.
- The name and address of the recipient.
The sender of the goods will be responsible for ensuring that all of the information on the CIM consignment note is 100% accurate. If there are any inaccuracies and the document is signed for despite these inaccuracies, the freight operator will not be responsible for any losses, or at least their responsibility will be kept to the absolute minimum. Notes will be used to calculate any compensation should the goods on the train become damaged or lost. It is, therefore, vital that you keep back all CIM consignment notes.
If you are sending goods internationally, it is unlikely that the same train will take your goods the whole way. This is what a forwarder certificate is for. This certificate will provide proof that a forwarder has collected the goods and that they have now taken upon the task of ensuring that those goods get delivered to the recipient. The forwarder document does not mean that the goods are on the way. It, instead, means that the forwarder is working on it. This means that you will be able to collect payment for the consignment sooner as opposed to later. All you need to do is present the certificate to the recipient. If you go down the other route i.e. do not use a freight forwarder, then you will need to wait to receive a travel document which signifies the fact that the goods have been loaded onto the train and that they are on the way. This can delay payment.
Yes, key transport documents for rail travel are complicated beasts. However, if you work closely with a decent freight forwarding team, you can be sure that each and every piece of information is filled out correctly. This will provide you with the protection that you need to ensure that your goods remain not only on time but in the best possible condition.