Marine Cargo Claims for Lost or Damaged Goods

Problems do occur from time to time when shipping goods over vast waterways, and it is the freight forwarder that often must assume responsibility for cargo lost or damaged. In this industry it’s important for shipping companies to carry sufficient marine cargo insurance in the event that a problem arises and the clients file marine cargo claims to be properly compensated for their loss.

If proper care is taken during the transportation of clients’ freight a shipper can often mitigate the risk of any financial loss to those goods within the supply chain. Thankfully a marine cargo policy provides coverage for goods when they go missing, or if circumstances exist and they end up badly damaged. This applies to both domestic and international transit.

Cargo insurance purchased from an agency is written to protect goods shipped by sea, air, truck, or rail. Since merchandise often goes to several locations prior to reaching its final destination this can include coverage throughout the distribution supply chain, including warehouses and storage facilities. Goods may also be insured under an open cargo policy.

Issues resulting in lost or damaged cargo

Regardless of how well the cargo is secured or tied off it can still end up tossed and damage due to rough seas or roadways. Shipments can become damaged from any number of incidents, such as rough handling, over-stacking, collisions, and overturning of trucks or vessels.

Theft can occur, especially when shipment is not under guard, as well as mistaken delivery or non-delivery, or in some instances it could end up jettisoned (the act of casting goods from a vessel or aircraft to lighten or stabilize it).

It’s important that someone notifies the claims agent, perhaps a broker or the client, and documents the condition of the cargo upon delivery. If only part of the shipment experiences damage then separate the damaged goods from that in good condition. A surveyor can be called upon to further determine any financial compensation for any loss that has occurred.

Client should be advised to file notice against anyone that they deem responsible for the loss, retaining all copies of shipping documents during the marine cargo claims procedure until a satisfactory resolution has been met.