Case 4 Ship Damage
Case 4 Ship Damage
While discharging a container ship, a member's crane driver moved his crane without lifting the gantry. The gantry hit and partly demolished the ship's radar mast, radio antenna and various other items of equipment. Consequently the ship could not sail until all the safety and navigational equipment had been repaired. The ship's owners and charterers claimed for the costs of repairs, the laytime incurred and various other charges.
The incident had been witnessed by a number of people and liability was not an issue. There was, however, some dispute about the validity of some of the costs being claimed. Discussions took place with experts on both sides and, as a result, an amicable settlement was reached at about two-thirds of the original claim.
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The recent reports of container ship fires has once more focussed those in the container supply chain on safety issues related to the incorrect processing of dangerous goods. The nascent Cargo Integrity campaign initiated by the international transport and logistics insurer, TT Club has as a consequence gained renewed impetus.
The announcement of another fire on board a container ship early in January 2020 – the first publicised this year – reinforce the vital importance of increasing rigour around the transport of dangerous goods (and not just by sea).
A number of container lines have recently announced measures to discourage shippers from mis-declaring hazardous cargoes, which is a practice strongly suspected as being either the cause of, or at least contributory to, the spate of container ship fires in recent months.
The shipping industry has been horrified to hear of the tragic incident that occurred in Tianjin. The cause of the original fire and subsequent explosions remain uncertain, but seem to reflect a usual chain of events that start with economic opportunity, misunderstandings and compromised standards, undermining measures for control or prevention.