Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Private Carrier Definition:

One who carries goods or passengers of his choosing and in particular cases and not to the general public indifferently.

Related Terms: Common Carrier

Contrasted with common carrier.

The 2009 version of the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest states the law as follows:

"Carriers by land are either common carriers or private carriers. Whether the carrier is a common carrier or not is a question of fact. A private carrier undertakes to carry goods in a particular case but is not engaged in the business of carrying as a public employment and does not undertake to carry goods for persons generally. A private carrier is not liable for the loss of goods in transit where it has not been guilty of negligence.

"A private carrier of goods for reward is, as such, a bailee of the goods, and the general law as to the responsibility of a bailee applies."

In Tri-City, the Alberta Court (Justice Riley) wrote:

"A private carrier may be described as one who undertakes to carry goods in a particular case, but is not engaged in the business of so carrying as a public employment and does not undertake to carry goods for persons generally.... A private carrier has the burden of disproving negligence."

In Bennett:

"The defendant company was a private carrier of goods for reward. As such, it was a bailee of the goods, and the general law as to the responsibility of a bailee applies to it.

"The onus of proof is on the defendant to show that the injury did not happen in consequence of its neglect to use such care and diligence as a prudent or careful man would exercise in relation to his own property. "

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