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Thaw end of the deal
A liner agent accepted a booking of two reefer containers of frozen fish for shipment to China. Instructions were received to ship the cargo at a temperature of minus 20. Unfortunately, when the details of the shipment were being entered into the carrier’s computer system, the temperature setting was mistakenly left blank.
As a result of the failure to enter a temperature, the containers were carried as “inactive reefers.” They were accordingly not plugged in while on board the vessel.
When the frozen fish arrived at the destination it had deteriorated to the extent that it was not fit for consumption and could not be processed for any other purposes. This was confirmed by surveyors who arranged for the cargo to be destroyed in accordance with local regulations.
The claim was initially settled by the shipping line in accordance with the terms of the bill of lading. The claim was subsequently passed to the ship agent, whose staff had made the clerical error and paid by ITIC.
Reefer cargoes carried at incorrect temperatures are one of the most frequent claims brought to ITIC. It is important for ship agents to take care to follow the correct instructions.