What Happens When International Cargo is Lost at Sea?
The majority of worldwide cargo is transported by sea. Occasionally, events can arise where cargo is lost overseas. So, what happens when international cargo is lost at sea?
How Cargo is Lost
According to The World Shipping Council, the sea freight industry loses about 10,000 containers every year transporting good internationally. The number varies from year to year, but usually falls somewhere in between the range of 2,000 to 10,000 per year.
Factors That Cause Loss of Cargo
Factors that can contribute to the loss of cargo overseas include severe weather that is outside of the control of carriers, stevedores or shippers. Other factors can include pirating or the malfunctioning of mechanical systems.
Recovering Lost Cargo
If cargo is lost at sea and cannot be recovered, the goods shipped are automatically covered under the legal liability standard to the transportation industry. For cases of partial loss or damage, only the lost or damaged portion is subject to the claim settlement. For further protection, there is also the option to insure your freight before transport. This decision is typically based off factors such as the total value of the goods shipped, the shipping destination and origin.
Prevention and safety procedures for the crew and cargo are top priority. Every measure is taken to insure the safe transport of international cargo goods. Cargo is weighed and secured following the all protocol requirements and regulatory standards.
The ships’ computer systems are sophisticated, and enable precise routing transport and loading.
Efficiency of Liner Shipping
Liner shipping can be one of the most efficient means of international cargo transportation of goods. While individual ships vary in size and carrying capacity, many ships can carry up to 8,000 containers of finished goods and products on a single trip. On a single voyage, some car carriers can carry up to 7,600 cars.
It would take hundreds of freight aircraft and fleets of trucks to carry the same amount of goods that can fit on one large liner ship.
So, while there are infrequent cases of cargo being lost at seas, cargo ships are still the most efficient means of transporting international shipping goods. Cargo is insured, and reimbursement for the potential loss or damage of goods is decided on before shipping commences.