Don’t be caught out with an unseaworthy container – follow this checklist and avoid cargo damage

unseaworthy container

There are several reasons that cargo inside a container could damaged. It could be due to improper packing of cargo inside a container, incorrect container used for the cargo carried, but one of the main reasons for cargo damage inside a container is the condition of the container itself.

  • Wet damage due water ingress (rain, seawater etc) into the container ;
  • Wet damage due to condensation inside the container when an incorrect type of container is used like using a normal container instead of a ventilated container ;
  • Contamination due to adjacency risk or odor transfer ;
  • Infestation damage

are some of the common types of damages reported on cargoes that are packed in containers.

As a general rule, shipping lines reject these claims confirming that the gate out documents of the containers were clean at the time of release to the shipper. Insurance companies use Unseaworthiness and Unfitness Exclusion Clause stated in ICC (A) not to cover similar claims either, unless the insured can prove that he was not aware of the condition of the container at the time of loading.

Obviously, this situation causes a lot of frustration, feelings of injustice, and could result in absorbed losses among shippers globally.

So should the shipper simply accept this rejection of claims and move on?

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