A Secret Rendezvous: Your Warehouse or Mine?

A Secret Rendezvous: Your Warehouse or Mine?

In a world that produces an astronomical number of physical tangible goods every day, shipping and storage of these goods is a part of the fabric of everyday business and commercial life. Goods don’t just magically leave a manufacturing plant and suddenly arrive on a store shelf. Captain Kirk is not beaming goods from point A to point B a la Star Trek.

Every tangible product made in the world marketplace follows the route of manufacture, then packaging, followed by shipping, then storage and, finally, delivery to wholesale and retail outlets. That new toaster you just bought, or the new pair of shoes you’re wearing, or that box of chocolates you’re bringing into the office, were on quite a journey before they arrived in your hands.

Not to sound like a lawyer, but such a convoluted journey carries with its multiple risks of liability from beginning to end. Starting with the manufacturing plant, every step exposes the product(s) to risks, particularly the step at hand. Tangible products can be misplaced, lost, damaged, vandalized, stolen, mis-delivered; damaged or evenly ruined by disease (think coffee farms and Christmas tree growers); made unusable from damage from water, wind, power loss, flooding, fire and so on and so on; you get the idea. Yes, even earthquakes and volcanoes have wreaked havoc with consumer products across the globe.

Anyone know how to spell “insurance”? Everyone up and down the line, from manufacturer to warehouser, is subject to the mysterious, “smoke and mirrors” world of liability insurance. Such insurance is often required by many state and federal regulations. Even if it weren’t so, no one in their right mind would think of getting involved in the business world without a minimum of insurance coverage.

Re-directing our attention to the focus of this article, the Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC as it’s known, Article 7, is the main “body of law” addressing the liability of storage and warehouse facilities in the United States. The UCC is the best example of so-called “uniform law” in our legal system. Drafted decades ago, by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, it deserves an article, so it is on my list to write one somewhere later. A continuation of this discussion will be in our next article.




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