TT Talk - Another scam on shipping lines
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."
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TT Talk - The long game
As the supply chain industry globally is gearing up to comply with the SOLAS amendment that, from 1 July 2016, requires verified gross mass for every packed container, it is worth reiterating that container weight is just one (relatively small) part of ramping up safety.
The problem of uncollected cargo is a perennial problem for NVOCC operators, often resulting in considerable bills on warehousing, container demurrage, and disposal costs. Apart from anything else, there is a significant drain on management resource to bring resolution.