Logistics is one of the core parts of international trade. There are many stages in the transportation of goods by sea or on land; loading in the container or temporary storage in a warehouse, transport to the port, loading and unloading of the container on and from the transportation means. The wider the chain, the more the risk of damage to your cargo increases, including spoiled, wet, or damaged cargo, or even no receipt of the cargo at all. Then your position towards your buyers waiting for the shipment becomes difficult.
Identifying the carrier
Theoretically, your contractual counterpart is the carrier. This is the party that you should hold liable for the damage to your cargo. But then comes the question: who is the carrier? Did you enter into an agreement with a carrier or a freight forwarder? Who actually performed the transport? Papers include many company names, and with everyone rejecting liability the issue turns out to be complicated.
What you should first pay attention to is whether you are dealing with a forwarder (a kind of intermediary) or a carrier. You may have made the booking with a freight forwarder, but you can rarely hold them liable successfully for the damage to your cargo. That is why you should know who the contracting carrier is. Identifying the contracting carrier is not an easy task neither. The contracting carrier is not necessarily the actual carrier; your carrier may have outsourced the transport to another party, the sub-carrier.
Will there be a full compensation?
The answer to this question depends on the existence and extent of damage and on whether the damage was caused by the fault of the carrier. In order to establish these elements, it is very crucial to appoint a loss adjuster to inspect the cargo as soon as possible. The loss adjuster can make a decision about the cause of the damage.
Depending on the outcome of the adjuster’s report, you can determine the submission of the claim to the carrier. Since the carrier will most likely not admit their liability, negotiations take place for the settlement of your claim. The carrier will offer a percentage of the total damage amount or will propose a commercial solution.