Unfortunately, the ability to fully mitigate risks to cargo, resulting in cargo claims, still relies on exporters and importers action, and they don’t always act in their own best interests! Customers are notoriously difficult at seeing future benefit in the face of present inconvenience. You, as a freight forwarder, can assist your customers through just a few simple words of advice:
“You, as an exporter HAVE THE RIGHT to reject a damaged or sub-standard container and request another prior to stuffing”.
“You, as an importer, HAVE THE RIGHT to request a shipping line representative to attend the opening and inspection of cargo at time of destuffing (as long as the container seal is still intact) if you have reason to believe the container has been tampered with, or the container shows any external damage”.
Provide Choice and Options to your Customers… For example, you can advise your customer:
Do not buy insurance cover for low-value cargo. If damage happens, pursue a claim directly against the transportation company or shipping line. Use an external provider to give you a hand if you lack time or lack the knowledge to embark on claiming process yourself.
For other cargoes, you might consider buying insurance cover with the highest deductible possible and the lowest premium you can get in the market. When damage happens, quickly assess if damage extent is above or below the deductible.
If below — there is no need to inform cargo insurer (refer to argument above). Instead, pursue a claim against the liable party.
If damage extent is above deductible you can timely inform insurer, but do not ask compensation yet. Simultaneously pursue liable party to obtain compensation. If you win a claim against the liable party, you won’t need insurance payment. If liable party keeps rejecting your claim — only now it’s the time to claim compensation from your cargo insurer. Insurance company will appreciate, that you took active steps to chase liable party yourself. This plan of action is the only way to keep your insurance premium stable and be in control of exposure.
Let’s work together to help YOUR customer!