Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Understanding "bailment"

If you or your employees take possession of goods or equipment that you don't own, you need to recognize your legal responsibilities. Understanding the meaning of the legal term "bailment" is your first step.

Bailment is a term about possession and involves a bailor and a bailee. A bailor is the person who owns the goods and gives permission for the bailee (transport company) to that takes possession of those goods whilst in transport.

A bailee has a certain special responsibility to take reasonable care of those goods that belong to another, and when sub-contractors are involved as sub-bailees, they too have a legal duty to care for those goods.

It’s important that when you are handling someone else’s goods, you have some form of written agreement that deals with the risks associated with those goods.

We consulted with our legal expert, Gillian Bristow, to make this complex term simple for our readers.

Another legal term you might not be that familiar with is ‘Liens’. A Lien is a legal device that can be used by transport companies to secure the payment of a debt. Gillian does another excellent breakdown of the term for the Truck Assist blog.