DRY BULK CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages

DRY BULK CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages

Table of Contents

DRY BULK CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages

Dry Bulk Cargo Claims Prevention – For Shortages

Many dry bulk cargo shortage claims are mostly paper shortages, caused by different measurement techniques at the load and discharge ports, natural wastage of the cargo, unavoidable losses, and other factors for which the carrier should not be liable.

Below mentioned precautions are recommended so that the carrier can defend the claims.

1)Prior to loading, ensure that all cargo spaces are clean and free of previous cargo.

 If possible, a certificate should be obtained from the shipper confirming that the cargo spaces are suitable for the intending cargo.

2) Draft surveys should be arranged prior to and immediately after loading.

3) The loading procedures and if possible, the method of weighing cargo should be recorded, and a note should be made of any opportunities that might exist for cargo loss between the ship and the shore measurement facility.

4) Normally the weight mentioned on the bill of lading is provided by the shippers. In these circumstances, the bills of lading should indicate that the measurement is neither given nor warranted by the carrier, by words such as “shippers’ weight” or “said to weigh” and “weight, quality, and contents unknown”. 

If there is a significant discrepancy between the weight by the shipper and that ascertained from the draft survey, both figures should possibly be recorded on the bill of lading. If a dispute develops with the shippers, the P&I Club should be notified at once.

5) A draft survey should be carried out on arrival at the discharge port.

6) If there is only one port of loading and one port of discharge, the hatch covers can be sealed and on arrival at the discharge port, the consignees requested to confirm that the seals are still in place.

7) Upon completion of discharge, all cargo spaces should be checked. If possible, a certificate should be obtained from the receivers confirming that the holds are empty of all cargo.

8) If any cargo cannot be discharged, the quantity left on board should be ascertained as accurately as possible by an independent surveyor.

If these above-mentioned precautions are carried out, and suitable records are maintained, then in the absence of any casualty or actual loss of cargo during the voyage, the carrier should be in a good position to deny the claim for shortages.

Dry bulk Cargo Claims Handling – For Shortages

As soon as a possible shortage of cargo is discovered, the P&I Club should be notified immediately. The Club will normally ask for the information mentioned above, and it may be necessary to investigate cargo operations at any intermediate ports during the voyage.

Normally some additional documents shall be required like; original bill of lading, charter party or voyage instructions, commercial invoice, claim note or other documentary evidence showing how the claim is calculated, and a subrogation certificate if the claim is pursued by cargo underwriters.


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