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Sea Cargo is one on the preferred modes of transporting of freight between countries for centuries. At first it was the only means of which goods could be bartered across the oceans, but nowadays, compared to the alternative of air cargo, sea cargo fares better due to its cost efficiency. However, if you really were to look at sea cargo, there are more dangers at sea than air, and as a sea cargo customer, you should be aware and understand that these are common occurrences and that is why you should get sea cargo insurance as the freight forward may not be liable for a variety of causes. In this blog post, we look at the reasons in which a lot of freight forwarders get a lot of heat on the basis of cargo damage at sea and why we always recommend you take sea cargo insurance as a probable mitigation measure.

Risk, loss and damages are common when it comes to sea cargo as you should be aware that nature can easily change its temperament and an ocean cargo journey can be arduous. Thus, sea cargo insurance will be able to provide protection against all risks of physical loss and damage caused by external causes while shipping.  Of course, you are able to for-go the sea cargo insurance and assume all risk by self-insuring but that is on the assumption that you have understood that in the event that your cargo has had some physical damage, the freight forwarder will NOT be liable.

There are many ways in which cargo can get damaged during sea cargo and is often a common occurrence due to things like severe weather and high seas, accidents and even incorrect stowage. However, it can also get damaged when the shipping boxes and crates are not packed and packages properly, Thus, it should be said that if you opt to pack your own goods into shipping boxes and crates, it is it ESSENTIAL that you take into account all the necessary packing and packaging guidelines to avoid damages to your personal effects or goods that you want to sea cargo.

There are different types of sea cargo insurance that you can take up based on your circumstances and requirements. Sea Cargo insurance, is mostly referred to as Marine Cargo Insurance and covers ocean and air cargo as well. Essentially this type of insurance will cover damages during loading/unloading, weather, piracy and disaster.  There are 3 sub categories of the sea cargo insurance (or marine cargo insurance), and a generic insurance type, which are as follows;

  1. Open Cover Cargo Policies – covers all cargo during a specific time period
  2. Specific Cargo Policies/ Voyage Policies – covers a freight shipment
  3. Contingency Insurance Policies (Secondary Insurance) – typically smaller premiums in the event the primary insurance does not pay
  4. General Average Loss – in the event of a loss of a container, the loss is written off over the entire load, and all the shippers of the sea cargo pay a calculate share. In the event of an emergency or safety to the crew – the captain of the vessel will make a judgement choice to jettison a few containers overboard, and for which you as the shipper will be liable to pay  a percentage of the loss before goods will be released from the port. You can purchase cargo insurance to cover General Average Loss.

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