Bills of Lading blunder
In late September, an agent for a major shipping line accepted a booking of industrial solvent. On 10 October the vessel arrived at the loadport but did not complete cargo operations until five days later.
The shipper then requested an original bill of lading from the ship agent. However, when the original bill was produced by the ship agent, the system used to generate the bill of lading picked up the original scheduled departure date of 10 October. The “shipped on board” date was therefore inserted on the original bill of lading as 10 October instead of the actual date of 15 October.
The consignee paid for the cargo under a letter of credit but later claimed that, had the correct “shipped on board” date been inserted, he would have cancelled the order, as there had been a slump in the market for this product.
The loss to the consignee of USD 39,150 was duly paid by the line, who then sought to recover this amount from their agent. ITIC reimbursed the member.
This claim could have been avoided if the ship agent had simply checked that the details on the original bill of lading were correct.