Boom and bust

A liner agent booked a container of calcium hypochlorite to be moved from a port in the Middle East to Europe. Calcium hypochlorite is a dangerous cargo, with an IMO classification of 5.1. The shipping line had sent clear instructions to the agent prohibiting the loading of this cargo, along with a number of other dangerous cargoes. The agent appeared to have overlooked this instruction.

Both the cargo and the container were clearly marked as dangerous cargo, so were shipped on deck as per regulations.

Unfortunately the cargo auto-combusted onboard the vessel and caused damage to four other neighbouring containers, their cargoes and the ship. The total claim was in excess of US$700,000.

Cargo claims were pursued against the shipping line, who ultimately settled each of the claims out of court. The total cost was US$130,000, including legal costs. The shipping line held the agent responsible and ITIC reimbursed the agent in full, less the deductible.

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