Missing containers

A ship agent had been instructed to arrange for five containers to be shipped from the UK.

In error, the agency office left a clause on the bill of lading stating “Shipper’s Own Containers”. As a result the containers were released to the consignee and no steps were taken to see if they were returned. However, the containers in fact belonged to a leasing company.

The units were only discovered as missing at an annual inventory check by the line. They subsequently held the agent liable for the depreciated cost of the five units and eight month leasing costs. An attempt was made to retrieve the containers from the receiver but given the time delay they confirmed that the containers had been sold on.

The ship agent received a claim for GBP 45,000, which was paid by ITIC.

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