Marine Terminal Operator's Liability for Misdelivery: Chinese Law and Judicial Practice

Haifan Yang, Ling Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


During the entire process of the carriage of goods by sea, the marine terminal operator ( MTO) plays a crucial role, since it provides ancillary services, such as loading, discharging and warehousing for clients before and after the voyage. Misdelivery often occurs when an MTO has the obligation to store and deliver the goods against certain documents but fails to do so—and there is actually an increasing number of disputes in this area. When misdelivery occurs, the MTO can be claimed against for liability, either under the contract or in tort. This article aims to conduct an in-depth analysis of the adequacy of the existing legal rules in regulating MTOs and their contractual and tort liabilities for misdelivery. The findings in this article show that the existing rules are fragmented, vague and uncertain in several aspects. It is suggested that a set of rules specifically and effectively addressing different aspects relating to the MTO and its delivery obligations are necessary in Chinese law, and a number of recommendations are accordingly provided in this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of business law
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Bills of lading
  • Carriage by sea
  • Carriers' liabilities
  • China
  • Commercial contracts
  • Comparative law
  • Contractual liability
  • Harbour authorities
  • Misdelivery
  • Ports
  • Tortious liability


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