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Proper Documentation Vital

Not only does Minnesota require the use of certain forms but the use of the wrong form could have a financial impact on your business. From our friends at the Illinois Moving and Warehousemen’s Association (IMAWA):


Be careful with paperwork on "labor only" jobs so you don't invite liability and claims



Using a HHG bill of lading on any other kind of service - such as loading or unloading a rental truck or POD type container - automatically binds you into contract terms that you don't want, such as specified number of days to file a claim for loss or damage; liability for any boxes you pack; liability limits beginning with $1.25 x weight if the customer didn't put anything else on the B/L. And that's just if you used a Minnesota B/L. If you use the federal form it gets worse!


Why would you want to invite customers to hold you liable when you did not transport it and you don't know how it was handled once it left your hands? If you didn't transport the shipment, you are not held to the transportation regulations -- unless you used a contract form that binds you to it by its terms and conditions. If you do use a B/L and they take you to court, be prepared to pay up.


IMAWA offers a "Pack and Load" contract that helps limit your liability on non-transportation type moving service, whether it's loading/unloading a rental truck or POD type container, moves wholly within a building, etc. For a one-time fee of $50, you can easily limit your liability with a "print as you need them" pack and load contract form. Developed by IMAWA with the capable assistance of transportation attorney Joel Steiner, this easy to use form is the way to go.


What happens if you used a bill of lading anyway and someone wants to file a claim? You must handle it just as you would if it were a regulated move, because you gave them the contract and it binds you to its provisions, too. Be sure to write that disposition letter immediately, denying the claim (you did not transport it and you don't know how it was handled once it left your hands) to minimize the length of time they have to sue you. Think ahead!!!


Contact IMAWA to place your order for IMAWA's copyrighted Pack and Load Contract ... and we have carbonless paper available, too, so that both you and your customer will have identical copies. E-Mail address is (subject line is “I want to order”) and mailing address is Illinois Movers' and Warehousemen's Association, 40 Adloff Lane, Suite 2 , Springfield , IL 62703-6301 .


If you contact IMAWA and are not a member of that state association, let them know you are a member of MTSA. If you do not have this already addressed, it looks like a very inexpensive solution to a potential problem.

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