Zeroing in on the mistake


  • Date: 27/03/2014

A ship agent issued a manifest for seven containers of fruit to be shipped from the Caribbean. The system used did not allow for a zero figure to be put in front of the decimal point, so the temperature read as “-.5C”.

The crew misread the manifest and set the temperature of the containers at ‘ -5.0° C’. However, before sailing the Master queried the figure with port agent, as he was concerned that the fruit was being carried at -5.0° C . The agent confirmed that the manifest was correct, misreading his own entry to the manifest.

The fruit arrived damaged at the discharge port. The shipowner made a claim on the port agent of USD 360,000, which was paid by ITIC.

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