Must my mover transport the shipment in a timely manner?
Yes, your mover must transport your household goods in a timely manner. This is also known as “reasonable dispatch service.” Your mover must provide reasonable dispatch service to you, except for transportation on the basis of guaranteed delivery dates.
When your mover is unable to perform either the pickup or delivery of your shipment on the dates or during the periods of time specified in the order for service, your mover must notify you of the delay, at the mover’s expense. As soon as the delay becomes apparent to your mover, it must give you notification that it will be unable to provide the service specified in the terms of the order for service. Your mover may notify you of the delay in any of the following ways: by telephone, fax transmissions, e-mail, overnight courier, certified mail with return receipt requested, or in person.
When your mover notifies you of a delay, it also must advise you of the dates or periods of time it may be able to pick up and/or deliver the shipment. Your mover must consider your needs in its advisement. Your mover must prepare a written record of the date, time, and manner of its notification.
Your mover must prepare a written record of its amended date or period for delivery. Your mover must retain these records as a part of its file on your shipment. The retention period is one year from the date of notification. If you request a copy of the notice, your mover must furnish a copy of the notification to you either by first class mail or in person.
Your mover must tender your shipment for delivery on the agreed-upon delivery date or within the period specified on the bill of lading. Upon your request or concurrence, your mover may deliver your shipment on another day.
The establishment of a delayed pickup or delivery date does not relieve your mover from liability for damages resulting from your mover’s failure to provide service as agreed. However, when your mover notifies you of alternate delivery dates, it is your responsibility to be available to accept delivery on the dates specified. If you are not available and are not willing to accept delivery, your mover has the right to place your shipment in storage at your expense or hold the shipment on its truck and assess additional charges.
If after the pickup of your shipment, you request your mover to change the delivery date, most movers will agree to do so provided your request will not result in unreasonable delay to its equipment or interfere with another customer’s move. However, your mover is under no obligation to consent to amended delivery dates. If you are unwilling or unable to accept delivery on the date agreed to in the bill of lading, your mover has the right to place your shipment in storage at your expense.
If your mover fails to pick up and deliver your shipment on the date entered on the bill of lading and you have expenses you otherwise would not have had, you may be able to recover those expenses from your mover. This is what is called an inconvenience or delay claim. Should your mover refuse to honor such a claim and you continue to believe you are entitled to be paid damages, you may take your mover to court under 49 U.S.C. 14706. FMCSA has no authority to order your mover to pay such claims.
While we hope your mover delivers your shipment in a timely manner, you should consider the possibility your shipment may be delayed. Before you agree with the mover to transport your shipment, find out what payment you can expect if a mover delays service through its own fault.