TT Talk - Another scam on shipping lines

  • Date: 13/12/2002
  • Source: TT Talk 29

The reader who kindly contributed an item under this heading in TT Talk Edition 27, has told us another
tale. It goes as follows: "Several years ago I received a call from a consignee in the United States advising us that their product (brake shoe/parts) had arrived from Italy. After breaking down one of the pallets and viewing the contents, they had found the brake shoes affected by flaking rust. He advised the value of the shipment was approximately US$42,000 and, if the remaining contents were in the same condition, they would be unsuitable for use and the load would be considered a total loss. I asked that samples of the deteriorated brake parts be sent to me and that I be kept advised of their further findings.

After further investigation, we found that the load had been in our possession for less than 30 days. It was, therefore, virtually impossible for that type of deterioration to have occurred whilst the goods were under our control. However, it would become our responsibility to defend the claim when/if it was filed. We duly received samples of the damaged shoes, followed shortly by notice from the shipper in Italy, advising of rusting damages to the shipment and that the consignee was rejecting the entire load.

During the interim, the container had been returned to the pier and we confirmed there was no damage or deterioration to the unit that would have allowed for salt water ingress. Furthermore, it had not been stowed in a position on the ship where it could have been affected by water rising in the hold.

While we were examining the parts, we found a mark under the rust that showed the origin of the item to be China. After much effort we determined that the parts were initially manufactured in China for destination Italy. The vessel carrying the cargo from China had caught fire off Yugoslavia and, after heroic efforts, by the crew, the fire had been extinguished and the ship safely made port. Much of the cargo on board had been salvaged and some, unscrupulous, enterprising, individual or organization had bought the damaged parts, repackaged them and then sold them to an unsuspecting US customer.

Needless to say we rejected the claim based upon our findings and to my knowledge never received another shipment from that shipper again."

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited and TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, trading as the TT Club. TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, registered in the UK (Company number: 02657093) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Hong Kong, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in Australia by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. In the United States, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is approved as a surplus lines insurer in all states and is accessible through properly licensed surplus lines brokers. The registered offices are: 90 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4ST.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited, registered in Bermuda (Company number: 1750) is authorised and regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. 

The UK VAT Identification number for Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited is: GB 564 5244 35 and for TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is: GB 564 3375 30. The Italian VAT Identification number for TT Club Mutual Ltd is: 03627210101.

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