Frozen pastry D’oh!
A 40ft reefer container laden with 12 tons of frozen pastry and baking dough in pallets was booked to be transported from Europe to the Middle East via the port of Antwerp.
The cargo was loaded in the container by the shipper and the temperature set at -18c. This was fine until the transhipment port. The agent had booked the cargo into the carrier’s system to be transported at +18c. Despite the bills of lading being issued correctly containing -18 as the temperature, the error in the booking system was not spotted until discharge in the Middle East. The cargo travelled from Antwerp to the Middle East at +18c and was a total loss.
The consignee tried to claim directly against the ship agent who had made the mistake in the booking system. Their claim was for the full commercial value of the cargo which was in excess of the limitation of liability the carrier would have been able to rely upon. The consignee was redirected accordingly.
The carrier was able to rely on the limitation of liability on the bill of lading and settled with the consignee. The carrier then passed the claim to the agent who settled for EUR 30,000. This was reimbursed by ITIC.