In shipping, cargo claims are an inevitable part of the process. However, recent industry statistics reveal a concerning trend: a whopping 90% of cargo claims are pushed into the time bar by carriers each year.
This raises a crucial question for shippers: what should you do if your claim is not settled in time? In this article, we will guide you through the steps to take when facing such a situation and provide a valuable pro-tip that could make all the difference.
The Time Bar Challenge
Cargo damage can occur during transit, and when it does, shippers rightfully seek compensation through cargo claims. The challenge arises when carriers, for various reasons, push these claims beyond the stipulated time bar. The time bar is the deadline by which a claim must be settled, which 1 year from the date of deliver of goods and exceeding it can jeopardize the chances of successful cargo claims recovery.
Act Swiftly: Request a Time Extension
The key to addressing this challenge is proactive communication. Shippers must take the initiative and send a formal request for a time extension to the shipping line well in advance of the time bar date. We recommend submitting this request at least a month, prior to the time bar date.
It demonstrates the shipper’s commitment to resolving the issue amicably and allows both parties to engage in constructive dialogue. Timely communication can often lead to a smoother resolution of cargo claims, preventing unnecessary delays and complications.
Here’s a pro-tip that many may not be aware of: if you are a shipper under House Bill of Lading (HBL), the time extension request should be directed to the freight forwarder rather than the carrier. Failure to follow the correct channel may result in delays, miscommunication, and, ultimately, a denied time bar extension.
The Consequences of Non-Approval
What happens if the carrier does not approve the time bar extension? This is a critical question that shippers must consider. If the extension is denied, it becomes imperative to explore alternative avenues for resolution, such as engaging legal counsel and commencing litigation to interrupt the time bar. The key is not to let the denial deter you but to actively seek a resolution to protect your interests.
When faced with the prospect of your claim being pushed into the time bar, submitting time extension and receiving approval from the shipping line can save your claim.
Recoupex is a hub of transport lawyers – experts in cargo claims. We assess your case quickly. We have successfully recovered claims from Maersk, Sealand, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company – MSC, CMA CGM, and other carriers.