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Usually means Steamship Company, but can also refer to trucking company, airline, or railroad as transporter of cargo.
There are two kinds of carriers, namely, common carriers and private carriers. These latter are persons who, although they do not undertake to transport the goods of such as choose to employ them, yet agree to carry the goods of some particular person for hire, from one place to another.
In such case the carrier incurs no responsibility beyond that of any other ordinary bailee for hire, that is to say, the responsibility of ordinary diligence. But in Gordon v. Hutchinson it was holden that a Wagoner Who carries goods for hire, contracts,the responsibility of a common carrier, whether transportation be his principal and direct business, or only an occasional and incidental employment.
To bring a person within the description of a common carrier, he must exercise his business as a public employment; he must undertake to carry goods for persons generally; and he must hold himself out as ready to engage in the transportation of goods for hire, as a business; not as a casual occupation pro hac vice.