Every Time You Turn Your Freight Over for Transport Is a Roll of the Dice
International commerce is flourishing, with more and more goods moving around the world. As a player in the trading game, you ship cargo often.
So, you’ve built strategic relationships with trustworthy carriers and freight forwarders. They look after your consignment and ensure it reaches its destination undamaged.
But everything is fine until it’s not!
Despite all safety and security measures in place, cargo is exposed to plenty of risks during transit. Unforeseen events do happen, leading to:
- Damage: for example, goods that get dented, scratched or wet.
- Lost or stolen goods: take a container that goes overboard, missing warehouse inventory or fictitious cargo pickups.
- Delays: late delivery of goods can have an impact on your entire production chain, causing what is known as consequential damages.
Needless to say, these situations related to cargo transportation result in financial losses.
Besides, your business transaction may be cancelled altogether. And you may have to pay a penalty because of not delivering to your customer as agreed.
Will Your Carrier or Forwarder Compensate You for Your Financial Loss?
You may assume that your logistics company will take responsibility for any damage or loss . Well, that’s not always the case.
Carriers and forwarders can only be held liable if there was any demonstrable mistake or negligence during transport. And there are certain exceptions, such as damage or loss resulting from:
- Errors made by you during preparation (e.g., poor packaging or improper labelling).
- Force majeure (e.g., extreme weather events).
- Public authority (e.g., trade embargoes or quarantine).
- Nature of goods (e.g., perishables, which are subject to decay).
Now, let us say you have a claim you think your carrier is liable for.
You still have to prove that your cargo was picked up in good condition and delivered damaged. Plus substantiate the specific amount of financial loss caused.
With this in mind, making a successful liability claim against any air, road, rail or sea carrier is challenging, to say the least.
Even more so because the laws in the transport sector allow carriers to limit their liability.
Walking the Fine Line between Transport and Liability Claims
Imagine you send a laptop that costs 2,000 € by airfreight. When it reaches your customer, it’s apparent that it got damaged during transport. How much can you claim from your carrier?
The carrier’s limitation of liability establishes that your compensation will be calculated based on 3 factors:
• The mode of transport and the applicable convention
• The weight of your cargo
• Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
In case you aren’t familiar with the term, SDRs are currency units of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that are used as a method to determine value.
Back to our example.
Under the Montreal Convention, you’d be entitled to receive 19 SDRs per kg of merchandise. Since 1 SDR is now worth 1.24 €, if your laptop weighs 3 kg, your carrier will be reimbursing you under 24 €. Out of 2,000 €.
The carrier’s failure to deliver your laptop in good condition will cost you a significant financial loss.
Now, you may have taken out an insurance policy to protect your cargo. A very wise move when the value of the goods exceeds the limits of liability. In this case, your transport claim should be settled on the basis of the actual value of the goods.
Because, if you aren’t familiar with the convoluted language used in policy provisions and exclusions, you may find yourself without coverage. Or not knowing how to go about filing your claim due to overlapping coverage.
And let’s not forget it’s common for carriers and customers to have conflicting opinions about an incident. Which may lead to your insurer refusing to pay your transport claim.
Worst-case scenario, you may have to pursue litigation.
Do you have the time and resources to embark on this draining process on your own?
Let Us Streamline Your Transport & Liability Claims
No-Fuss Third-Party Administrator for Transport and Liability Claims
Facing a complex cargo claim may make you feel as if you were stuck in a maze due to:
- The number of stakeholders involved in logistics.
- Confusing insurance policies.
- Your lack of knowledge of transport law.
We hear you.
That’s why, as a Third-Party Administrator (TPA), we support you throughout the life cycle of your claim. From first notice of loss to settlement negotiation.
Our claims management solutions are modular. In other words, you can rely on us to handle your case from end to end. But you may also hire us for one specific service that you don’t have the knowledge, resources or time to deal with in-house.
Here’s how we ease your claims process :
Reporting your claim is a nontrivial step, which sets the pace for the rest of the claims process. Acting quickly allows your insurer or carrier to take charge and keep costs under control.
FNOL implies data entry and document review, so it goes beyond the actual capturing. We deal with the admin side of filing your claim and lay the foundation for a quick settlement.
Marine insurance is complex as it is. Plus, your cargo may have gone missing or suffered damages on the other side of the world. Leaving you in a sea of uncertainty about the applicable legal framework.
We have a deep understanding of the principles governing marine insurance. Let us be your global legal counsel and provide you with solution-driven consultancy.
We dissect your claim to estimate its amount, severity and underlying causes. A thorough analysis that allows us to work out how strong your case is.
Besides, we go one step further. We anticipate future events where mitigation and salvage may be necessary. Our goal is to protect your interests from day one.
When dealing with complicated claims, it’s often your word against that of your carrier, forwarder or insurer. That’s why you need to argue your case with facts.
A surveyor investigates cause, gathers evidence and assesses damage. By hiring such a professional, you’ll have an unbiased statement report to support your claim.
With presence in more than 180 countries, we have you covered anywhere you ship.
You have a duty to protect sound cargo and ensure the claim amount is kept to a minimum. We act swiftly to prevent your damage from getting out of hand.
Our team will analyse the salvage option best suited to your claim. Whether it be repair and replacement, alternate use for damaged goods or disposal. Our team will come up with the most cost-effective, timely solution.
Our claims handling team takes the weight of claims processing off your shoulders.
With our comprehensive TPA service, there are no loose ends throughout the claim life cycle. Since you submit your transport or liability claim until we reach a favourable settlement.
With our legal experience, we strive to negotiate the best possible outcome. We won’t shy away from resorting to litigation in case of need. But, truth be told, we settle without going to court in over 98% of cases.
Wondering Whether to Hire a TPA to Deal with Your Claims? Let Us Dispel Your Doubts
We offer an all-around solution for claims handling. From first notice of loss, including survey coordination, mitigation, salvage and legal protection to settlement.
You can choose individual services or outsource the entire claims handling process.
Name the place and we’ll be there.
With our knowledge of international maritime law, we can provide legal counsel wherever you move cargo.
Besides, our network of surveyors covers more than 180 countries. So, we’ll be able to have your consignment inspected regardless of where the harmful event happened. We also have the resources to provide our mitigation and salvage services on-site.
Transport and liability claims may dig a hole in your pocket.
For a start, you’ll sustain a financial loss due to your cargo being damaged or lost. But that isn’t all. You’ll face hidden costs, such as labour, mitigation, lost productivity, lost business, and even penalties for late delivery.
With our knowledge of insurance policies and transport law, we can achieve the best outcome for your claim.
What’s more, you won’t pay a cent until we reach a favourable settlement.
In every claim, there are variables that may lead to the agreement taking longer than expected. However, we have a streamlined claims handling procedure, and rely on a skilled claims team to expedite the settlement.
We’ll do everything in our might to ensure your claims process is short and sweet.