Final destination disaster

Upon request from cargo owners, a ship agent was asked to change the final destination on four bills of lading from Hong Kong to Singapore.

The agent updated the information in the owner’s software system before the cargo arrived at the first transhipment port. The agent forgot to advise their agency office in the transhipment port about these changes and as a result they were not spotted. Therefore, the agents at the transhipment port advised stevedores to prepare the containers as if they were being shipped to Hong Kong.

The containers were loaded onto the ship. The next day, the agency in the transhipment port noticed the error and asked their principal for their instructions on how to solve the situation. The principal told the ship agent how to alter the software in order to show that the containers were now proceeding to Hong Kong as originally planned, as the ship had to call at Hong Kong in any event.

The agent then proceeded to change the delivery port on each bill of lading back to Hong Kong from Singapore. The agent subsequently received a claim from the principal in respect of costs incurred due to the error of US$ 21,728. This sum related to the costs of unloading and reloading the 29 containers at the port of Hong Kong to send them to Singapore. This claim was settled and the payment was covered by ITIC.

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