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20151006 Information Sharing: - International Transportation (Part III Final)


October 6th 2015 Taipei


Information Sharing: - International Transportation (Part III Final)


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Mal treatment of goods and accident in local warehouse

Damage during air transportation is usually caused by human muscle; while damage during sea transportation is usually caused by muscle machine in seaport warehouse.


LCL cargoes usually get the highest risk of damage (even goods is packed properly). We use our own experience as actual examples: -  

  1. Forklift operator pushes too hard when moving pallets inside container or when trying to squeeze as much space as possible.
  2. Pallet/goods falls down from forklift because of improper forklift operation.
  3. Another pallet placed is stacked on the lower pallet of goods.
  4. Cargoes expose to heavy rain during storage or loading into container.


May be it is good to know that on the cargo receipt which warehouse issues to shipper, it always bear a remark like “packed is damaged when received” even though the cargo is package is in perfect condition. So shipper will have very less chance to claim for damages happened in warehouse.


Customs inspection

All exported goods are subjected to customs inspection before boarding on ship. Which and whose cargoes to be inspected is selected randomly by computer. Chinese official classifies all export companies into 4 categories… A, B, C and D. Category A companies get the least chance of begin inspected; category D companies get the most chance to be inspected.


All newly setup companies started from category C. Then  after xx & yy exports and conditions, a category C company may be promoted to category B. Only huge companies can be listed as category A. FM has long been in category B.


If customs inspection will be the case, then alarm sounds. It is because: -

  1. Cargo will not be in time for the original schedule ship. Because the inspection is usually picked up / done at the last minute.
  2. Shipper has to pay for the cost of the inspection even though his cargo and documentation are both very OK.
  3. Shipper would better pray that other cargoes inside the same container will be everything OK, otherwise, the whole container will be retained until everything inside the same container satisfies the customs. And…
  4. And… Message deleted…Message deleted…Message deleted…Message deleted…Message deleted…Message deleted…Message deleted…


Goods shipped to wrong destination

Do not be surprised if an oceanic cargo went to Mediterranean. It is usually because of human error in warehouse. If it is the case, forwarder has all the obligations to correct this at their cost and as soon as possible. But as a matter of fact, it is not always. Why? Imagine a pallet of floor platforms, say 12 pieces of ESB-1212 floor platforms ( is the aforesaid case.


Another problem is forwarder may / will not know where the cargo has gone until another seaport in the world reported this. Numerous time is then wasted.


Accident during voyage

Again, let’s focus on sea transportation. We do not talk about what kind of accident can happen during voyage here, let’s talk about a special term “general average”.


I experienced (when I was working with my ex-company) this case in which 1/3 of containers on board were damaged and ship was badly damaged. Carrier declared “general average”.


According to this, carrier demanded legally all owners of cargo (disregarding goods condition and whom should be blamed) to pay 75% of the goods value as general average deposit. Majority of this deposit was not returned because it was used to compensate the loss damages (containers and ship itself). Fortunately, the cargo was insured by customer and it was estimated that around USD100,000 was saved. That is a lot of money for most weighing scale companies.


To know more about general average, click


Theft case

Theft case may happen all the way from the cargo left the shipper and before arriving consignee’s warehouse. Shipping by FCL supposed to be but not 100% safer. I experienced (during my early days with my ex-company) that 50% of the container cargo was stolen before it arrived customer’s warehouse. Again and luckily, this container was insured.


Measure like counting the number of cartons/ pallets immediate upon cargo arrival and make sure that the counts matches with what are listed on transportation documents (e.g. bill of lading and air waybill) is important.


We do not aim to use these examples to scare anybody. Instead we just want to say that risk is always there during transportation and: -


  1. Most damages or losses happened during transportation can be claimed back if the goods is insured.
  2. We would better shift / share some of the transportation risk to insurance companies.
  3. Insurance premium is very affordable when compared with those potential risk / loss can happen during transportation.


We always suggest our customers to have their cargoes insured. Check with your insurance company and find out and the best suit insurance type for your cargo.


As a friendly reminder, insurance is not included in our product quotation and insurance should always be covered by consignee. Our life during day time is already tough enough, why not spend small money to buy good sleep and at the same time to protect our business?

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