Damaged Freight in shipping is always a possibility, and sooner or later it’s going to happen. Goods can be misplaced, physically damaged or even stolen whether sat in a warehouse, a container or onboard the ship.
The most important thing for any company that ships goods is a cargo insurance policy. With a high quality policy, freight carriers find themselves bearing the responsibility of any claim, rather than the seller. For the policy to have real effect, you need to know it inside out: some policies cover for vandalism, some don’t. Similarly some policies might cover goods in transit, but not while they are sat in a warehouse. You need to know who’s responsible and where compensation will come from at every stage of the logistics chain.
Yet even if the damage occurs during shipping the seller can still be liable. Poor packaging is the first things insurers will look for. Manufacturing faults as well can lead to breakage with no real fault of any freight carriers. Ultimately photographs of the damaged goods will show just where the cause of damage lies – whether with the shipper or the seller.
Each party involved has a responsibility to mitigate the amount of potential damage, and this can only be done with top quality documentation and collection of data. By choosing the most reliable carriers the seller can lower any risk of damage in shipping. Any seller also needs to understand the Bill of Lading – this is the contract of carriage where no other contract has been presented between the shipping company and the seller. Terms within this Bill mean the laws surrounding freight claims can vary from country to country, and as such legal ownership of the damaged goods can also vary extensively.
Damage can occur anywhere within the supply chain – warehouses, containers, shipping vessels, and even the front door of the buyer. By maintaining good administration and high quality insurance, liability can be avoided so you don’t find yourself paying for damage that isn’t your fault.