Failure to report claused Mate's receipts

A ship loaded a cargo of copper cathodes which the Chief Officer noted on the Mate's receipt and Loading Exceptions was short of six bundles.

The Chief Officer tried to contact the shippers via sub-agents to report the short shipment but was unable to do so before the ship sailed.  In the circumstances the sub-agents undertook to forward the information on the Mate's receipt and Loading Exceptions report to the shippers and to the Line's agents who were to issue the bill of lading.

In the event the information passed to the Line's agents was that a full cargo had been loaded in accordance with the shippers' documentation.  Consequently, the bill of lading was drawn up without any reference to the short loading of the cargo.

Inevitably the consignees at the discharge port presented a short landing claim under the bill of lading against the Line and they in turn looked to the sub-agents for indemnity.

There being no defence, the claim was settled in full for the sum of US$ 38,000.

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