Ship agents

In the high-speed, high-pressure business of ship agency, time pressures increase the likelihood of errors.

Increasing competition means that you have to provide more services to higher standards, in less time, and for lower levels of remuneration than ever before.

Examples of errors ITIC has encountered

  • misdirection of cargo - containers sent to Santiago in Chile, instead of San Diego in California, USA;
  • wrong port information provided;
  • bill of lading drafting errors - freight marked ‘prepaid’ instead of ‘collect’; or failure to insert clause for on-deck stowage;
  • reefer temperature problems - set to +20° instead of -20°;
  • manifest errors - weight shown in kilograms instead of pounds, resulting in customs fines;  
  • incorrect freight quotations - quote for Bilbao in Spain instead of Balboa in Panama. The line will claim any shortfall in freight from the agent;
  • mistaken release of cargo - wrong person, incorrect documents – ship owner's insurances will fail.

ITIC’s professional advice and experience is available at all times; we can help you avoid problems in the first place.

Liner agents - the claims experience

Liner agents’ errors or omissions claims account for claims in excess of US$ 13 million presented to ITIC over the past five years. The best way to explain the insurance provided by ITIC is to provide examples of claims. All of these claims result in expense for the shipping line, much of which is not covered by the line’s P&I or hull insurances.

Most claims against ship agents relate to negligence, examples of which are:

  • providing wrong port information;
  • documentary errors - which can result in:
  • inability to collect freight
  • errors in quoting freight rates
  • customs fines and confiscation of cargo
  • misdirection/cross delivery of cargo
  • reefer cargoes at wrong temperature
  • erroneous fumigation
  • mismanagement of equipment
  • delivery of cargo without bills of lading


Fact Sheet

Any ship agent will face day-to-day exposure to risk, but will be able to rely on ITIC to help reduce any potential hazards. 

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Keeping on an even keel: claims against naval architects, a webinar hosted by ITIC in association with RINA.

For over 25 years ITIC has provided insurance to naval architects and currently insures over 350 companies offering naval architecture services globally. As such, the team at ITIC has a deep understanding of both the risks faced by naval architects and the delicate balance of the commercial relationship with their clients. During this half an hour webinar ITIC’s Robert Hodge and Mark Brattman provide their insight on the types of claims faced and how to avoid or minimise such liabilities. Topics covered during the webinar include: copyright infringement, design related claims and contracts.

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