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Navigating damaged cargo claims in maritime shipping

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Admiralty & Maritime Defense

The vast expanse of the world’s oceans has long been an important conduit for global trade.

As maritime vessels ferry goods across these waters, the risk of damaged cargo is an inevitable challenge. Understanding how to handle claims for damaged cargo is integral to maintaining the smooth flow of international trade.

Assessing the damage

When cargo arrives at its destination in less than optimal condition, it is important to initiate a meticulous assessment. The first step is to document the damages comprehensively. This involves noting any visible signs of harm, from dents to water damage. A detailed inspection at the port of arrival can provide valuable evidence.

Timely reporting

Swift reporting of the damaged cargo is a necessity. The responsible party, be it the shipper or the consignee, must notify the carrier immediately. This prompt reporting ensures that all relevant parties are aware of the situation. This allows for a quicker response and resolution.

Collaborative investigation

Upon notification, a collaborative investigation involving the shipper, carrier and any relevant third parties begins. This joint effort aims to uncover the root cause of the damage. Was it due to inadequate packaging, rough handling or unforeseen weather conditions? Determining the cause is key to establishing liability.

Fair settlement discussions

With a clear understanding of the damage and its cause, the next step is engaging in fair settlement discussions. The involved parties should negotiate openly and transparently, considering the evidence at hand. This collaborative approach fosters goodwill and promotes a fair resolution that benefits all parties involved.

In 2021, global maritime shipments reached 11 billion tons. Unfortunately, the unexpected can happen. When it does, taking a strategic approach to claims can help resolve issues promptly and justly.