Transport of merchandise, sent from the UK to the south of Spain. Cargo was aircraft spare parts, expensive pieces. The carrier lost the merchandise while it was in one of its transit facilities between way station Germany and its final destination in Andalusia.
Our customer insured the transport for the Spanish buyer and paid EUR 16.000 for the lost cargo.
The challenges we faced
There was no clear evidence of intent or negligence. The shipment was simply lost in a complicated route from origin to destination. Carrier even tried an internal investigation to find the lost goods and gave as many explanations as they could.
The liability limit by weight of the lost cargo, according to applying CMR Convention was only 200 euros, way less than the actual loss.
Carrier relied on that limit and their offer was exactly 200 euros.
The carrier had a relatively high deductible and the costs had to be assumed by one of their stations individually. Obviously, no station wanted to assume the loss.
We already had a good relationship with the carrier from other claims in the past. They have always been reasonable.
We tried to make them see that the jurisprudence on the matter is not clear, except in obvious cases, and that a judge could perfectly consider that, during the complex journey that the merchandise followed, the carrier disregarded its duties of security and guarantee of the merchandise. Also, the cost of maintaining open litigation in court should be assessed, both in terms of money and time.
We were also a bit lucky that the person handling the matter inside the carrier had the ability to achieve an agreement among their stations about the deductible.