Container of glass detained in Jakarta
A liner agent Member in the UK received two separate requests from the same glass manufacturer for opentop containers to be positioned at their premises for loading with high-tech glass and thereafter carriage to the Far East on the line's regular service. One container was destined for Bangkok and the other to Jakarta. The line's regular sub-contracted hauliers were given instructions to take a specifically numbered container to pick up the Bangkok cargo and a second specifically numbered container to pick up the Jakarta cargo.
The inevitable happened and the Bangkok cargo was loaded into the Jakarta container, and vice versa. Once the job records reached the road haulier's offices the mistake was discovered and the haulier verbally informed the agent of the mistake. Unfortunately the agent issued Bs/L bearing the wrong container numbers and the containers were cross-delivered.
The Jakarta container was re-routed from Bangkok on the next sailing at a cost of US$1,000. However the Bangkok container remained in Jakarta for seven months while the line's Indonesian agents went from
government department to government department trying to get permission to re-export it. The container was eventually released and surveyed at Singapore.
Storage of the glass in an opentop container under tropical conditions for seven months had resulted in microscopic etching of the surface. The glass was worthless and was destroyed. The value of the cargo, and the costs of storage, destruction, re-routing etc., amounted to nearly US$50,000.
Cross-delivery of containers is a regular occurrence but the costs are normally only those of re-directing. This case shows how costly a simple mistake can be.