What to do when your cargo is damaged..??

What to do when your cargo is damaged..??

There are many cases where

  1. client opens the container to find his precious cargo damaged
  2. client receives the container with the container seal broken or
  3. along with the cargo, the container itself is damaged en-route to the client

So what do you do in such cases..??

In all cases, first step would be to contact your insurance company..

IImage for cargo damagen the 1st case above , it is customary for the shipping line to repudiate the claim because the container is packed under the shippers responsibility (remember shippers load, stow and count).. Unless of course the client is able to prove that the cargo got damaged (maybe water damage) due to the container not being cargo worthy and had holes etc..

But then again certain shipping lines might argue that it is also the clients responsibility to check the empties before they take it.. It is advisable for the client not to start unpacking unless there is a joint survey arranged with the shipping line, transporter and any other party involved in the movement of this container..

In the 2nd case, the shipping line must be contacted IMMEDIATELY and client can request a joint survey with the shipping line to ascertain if there has been any damage or pilferage to the cargo.. The line is responsible to ship the cargo from place of origin to final destination or port to port with the same seal number put on by the shipper after the packing is finished..

If there are any changes en-route to the seal number, then the shipping line has to answer to it.. It is advisable for the client not to open the container and start unpacking unless there is a joint survey arranged with the shipping line, transporter and any other party involved in the movement of this container..

In the 3rd case, if the shipping line undertook the carriage then it will be their liability and from the clients side, a joint survey should be arranged to ascertain the level of damage and how much of cargo could be salvaged.. Again the insurance company must be notified of the damage immediately..

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

  1. Hi there, I am from Ghana and I am working with one of the surveying coming here, I have not been to school to learn about survey, but through my boss, I can do a survey on container and it cargo. but my question is how will you dertemine if the shipping line cause the damage to the container and its cargo?

  2. Hi Manaadiar,

    What are some of the channels that one can explore in order to buy either damaged freight(shipment or otherwise, unclaimed goods or any other liquidated stock?

    Kind Regards

    • Hello Langston, generally cargo that is damaged, abandoned, unclaimed, foreclosed etc will be kept under the custody of customs at one of their bonded or nominated depots.. So the best place to start would be to place a call to Customs and find out what one needs to do in order to register or get on the mailing list of cargoes to be auctioned..

  3. Hi Manaadiar,
    I am in Road transport and when cosmos was in place we excperienced long delays getting into the Container Terminals now we have Navis and nothing has changed for the transporters who move the containers in and out of the Terminals. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel or is this something TPT will never be able to resolve as this is costing the road transporters thousands of rand in last revenue to have a vehicle waiting at “A” check for hours before getting down to the tower to be off loaded or loaded.

    • Hi Tony, i do understand your plight and i am sure there are other transporters who have similar issues.. Did you address this issue through the RFA..?? Did you have any success with this.. Also, i think that since Navis is new to many people a lot of them are still unfamiliar with the processes..

      In my opinion, i think the port is really trying, but there seems to be many factors contributing to these delays.. Are the delays same in Pier 1 or Pier 2 or is Pier 1 better because Navis has been active there for some time now..

      It will also help to follow Pre-Advise process manual updated by Transnet.. https://shippingandfreightresource.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/pre-advise-guide-v2-3-1-n4.pdf..

  4. Hey manaadiar: regarding the broken sealing: what if customs in the port requires to ‘sample’ the contents of the container. Is the shipping line required to reseal the container? Who in that case is supposed to oversee this ‘sampling’; who do you know as a consignee that this was an authorized access to the container contents (by law customs have a right to emand access) and what does this do to liability?
    Thanks for your good posts

    • Hey Paul, if customs asks for the container to be inspected, then the line/client has to break open the original seal and after customs inspection, they will put a customs seal for further transportation.. The client should be present at the time of sampling.. The line need not be involved in this process unless there is cause for suspicion..

  5. Hi, Need to find out were inspection companies fit in, in this jigsaw puzzle I have had so many incidences were exporters request for example, an SGS(INDEPENDEDENT SURVEYING COMPANY)damage analysis certificate or other.You are mentioning insurance as your first call, what about the sender himself. Does your insurer have to be present on inspect of the salavage proceeds? Hope this will clear a lot of people’s minds if you may elaborate same.

    • Hi Albert, depending on where and how the damage occured, the shipping line or customer can request a joint survey which means that the shipping line will appoint their own surveyor and customer will appoint their surveyor and both of them inspect the damage at the same time and come to a consensus on how the damage occured and who is responsible for the same..