Major losses of transported goods are on the rise – this became clear at the annual conference of the International Union of Marine Insurance in Toronto in September. According to a DVZ report, hurricane and flood losses play an important role as well as the increasing concentration of goods and values in ports and logistics hubs. In addition, there is an increase in major losses during maritime transport due to containership fires. At the beginning of January, Hapag-Lloyd declared general average following the fire on its containership "Yantian Express". "In such a case, all those who have containers on board will be obliged to settle claims," warns Willem van der Schalk, Managing Director of a. hartrodt.
General average must be insured
"We always advise to effect transport insurance," says van der Schalk. Around 80 percent of the customers have their own transport insurance, for all others a. hartrodt offers individual services in close cooperation with insurance companies. In the event of loss, goods and property damage are compensated and general average contributions are paid. "Even if the own goods are not damaged, the customer still has to participate," warns van der Schalk. In order to protect against this, general average bonds are subscribed.
Properly packaged freight
The service of a. hartrodt includes pre-loading survey. Internal and external experts from insurance companies or packaging companies inspect the cargo. a. hartrodt also advises on the choice of the right packaging for air and sea freight as well as for overland transport. Especially the seaworthy packaging is critical: "Customers underestimate the forces and think it is enough to pack boxes into containers," reports van der Schalk. Especially in autumn, when strong waves cause ships to rock, goods can get mixed up and break without proper lashing. This is why the outer packaging is shrink-wrapped onto pallets.
The sum insured is calculated by a. hartrodt on the basis of the value of the goods plus freight costs, incidentals and other costs - for example for special packaging. In addition, 10 percent of the merchandise value is taken into account as an imaginary profit.