Crane costs confusion


  • Date: 10/03/2015

A ship agent was contacted by charterers. The charterers asked the agent to obtain a quote from a local port on how much it would cost to discharge two parcels weighing 70mt using the shore crane. The agent contacted their usual sub-agent in the port, by telephone, and were given an estimate of US$2,750 per shift, so a total of US$5,500. This estimate was passed by the agent to the charterer, and on this basis the cargo was fixed.

A few weeks later the agent received a message from the shipping line that the shore crane at the port could only lift 50mt and the parcels were too heavy to be discharged by the ship’s crane. The charterers asked the agent to enquire about discharging at another nearby port. The agent was notified that the cost of hiring the shore crane at the next port for the two parcels would be US$66,382 a difference of US$60,882. The charterers advised the agent that they had priced and booked the cargo based on the estimated costs provided by the agent and would claim the difference from them.

As the sub-agent had been notified that the two parcels weighed 70mt when the booking was made, ITIC looked to the sub-agent to pay the difference in the discharge costs. However, the sub-agent was able to produce an email, which they had sent to the ship agent before the cargo was fixed, which said:

“CARGO MORE THAN 50 MT, NEW PORT RULES, USE SHIP CRANE OR RORO”.

The ship agent had clearly overlooked the information that they had been provided and as such paid the difference in the costs of US$60,882, which was reimbursed by ITIC.

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