Telex release goes wrong

Liner agents frequently have to arrange for cargo to be released against bills of lading surrendered at the loadport – the so called “Telex Release”. This type of release is risky as no bill of lading is collected at the discharge port and frequently results in misdelivery of cargo.

In a recent case two containers were shipped to a port in the Netherlands by a shipper; both containers were consigned to the same company. The shipper gave instructions to the load port agent to release one of the containers and this authority was passed to the discharge port agent, who mistakenly released both containers.

The consignee never paid for the second container, and the shipper appointed lawyers to pursue recovery of EUR 76,000, the value of the cargo in the second container, from the shipping line. The claim was eventually settled, after negotiation, for EUR 66,000, which was claimed from the discharge port agent.

Mistakes in arranging Telex Release are a constant and growing source of claims against ship agents, and members are recommended to read the article on ITIC’s website on this subject. “Telex Release by E-Mail” – Intermediary September 2007.

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