In this, the second edition of the ITIC Claims Review, we would like to draw the attention of the Club's ship agent Members to the increasing number of claims (about 15 in the past year varying between US$ 15,000 and US$ 150,000 each in value) which have resulted from reefer containers either being left off power at the load or discharge port or carried at the wrong temperature due to agent error.
All the following claims resulted from ship agents failing to arrange for reefer containers to be plugged in whilst in the port area:
FROZEN PRAWNS from Lagos left off power on the quay in Newcastle, England for ten days. ICE CREAM for export from the U.K. to Beirut left off power because the agent failed to inform the reefer engineers of its arrival. PUMPKINS, YAMS and SWEET POTATOES off power at Kingston, Jamaica for a week found to be bad on arrival at the London fruit market. FROZEN PINEAPPLE CONCENTRATE off power at Valencia for four days over a holiday weekend.
Other claims resulted from errors by ship agents in entering temperatures on ship's documents or in inputting incorrect details into computers:
CHEESE from Denmark to the U.K. carried at 0º C instead of -20º C. CONCRETE ADDITIVES from Bremerhaven to Helsinki which needed to be maintained at +10 º C to prevent frost damage, carried at -6º. BOTTLES OF WINE from Antwerp to the U.S. carried at -20º C, and FROZEN BEEF at +2º C because the temperatures for two reefers had been transposed by the agent.
Unfortunately there is generally no defence to these claims. Members handling this type of business can give valuable assistance to the Club and to themselves by taking whatever steps they can within their organisations to eliminate these simple errors which have such expensive consequences.
Agent's liability to authorities
An agent at Karachi acted for charterers of a vessel which arrived at the port and was discharging a heavy package on to a barge which sank, taking the cargo with it. The Karachi Port Authority held the agent liable for the...
Agent sued for principal's debts
The agents were appointed as general agents in the UK for liner operators who went bankrupt owing approximately £7 million to their creditors. As is not unusual in such cases, some creditors of the line, including suppliers,...
Alleged wrongful cancellation of charter party
Brokers were authorised by charterers in South America to fix a ship for a time charter voyage from Uruguay to Peru with a cargo of bagged rice. The charterer stipulated that the ship had to present at the load port by 8th...
Release of cargo without original Bill of lading and against indemnity
The ship agent took delivery of a container of nickel silver scrap valued at US$ 34,222.80 on arrival at Calcutta from Kaohsiung. Shortly after arrival the consignee, a sole trader, called at the agent's office claiming to...
Lloyd's Agent's liability for cargo survey
A Lloyd's agent was instructed to carry out pre-shipment surveys on twelve consignments of frozen swordfish chunks and the surveys were completed over a period of approximately four months. The buyer required the agent to...
Agent joint in action for misdescription of origin
The carriers of a cargo of 21 x 40' containers of acetate tow, which was discharged at a U.S. port from Brazil, instructed their local agents to arrange for the goods to be reloaded into containers belonging to another shipping...
Agent sued as co-carrier of cargo
The agent in Thailand was appointed to act for the Hong Kong owners of a ship which called at Bangkok to load a cargo of 13,300 MT of bagged rice for discharge in West Africa. On completion of the loading, the agent signed...