Warm orange juice
When port employees went on strike at a South American port, 50 containers of orange juice had to wait two weeks on the dock until the next ship sailed. The sheer volume of reefer cargo which congested the strike-bound port meant that there were not enough reefer points or clip-on refrigeration units available to keep the cargo cool. The orange juice was found to be unfit for human consumption at its destination and cargo interests presented a claim for US$ 400,000. The agent at the load port had verbally informed the shipper of the problem in cooling his cargo but the shipper denied receiving any such notification. The shipper further said that he would have taken the orange juice back to his own cooling facility if he had been made aware of the situation. The carrier paid the shipper and claimed reimbursement from his agent.
This is a good example of the necessity to put everything in writing.