OOCL as a prudent Carrier, commit to deliver quality services to our customers, however, errors and accidents might happen and beyond our control. In the event that your cargo having sustained loss / damage whilst under our custody, we have a professional team in Shanghai, China to handle yours cargo claims in an effective and efficiently manner.
Following procedures are designed to answer your questions and guide you through the claims process:
What should I do when I take delivery of my shipments?
1 Check whether the container is externally sound and undamaged;
2 Check that the original OOCL Line and other seals, if any, are intact;
3 For reefer, check the temperature, humidity and ventilation settings (where applicable).
In case cargo loss or damage discovered – What should I do?
1 Notify your insurance company.
2 Notify OOCL local offices where cargo loss or damage is discovered in writing as soon as possible, Please refer to Clause 26 of the OOCL bill of lading.
*Below information in your notification to OOCL will help us to give a quick response to your damage notice:
1) OOCL transportation document number; container number;
2) Nature of loss/damage of cargo (e.g. wet damage;OR breakage / physical damage;OR temperature abuse OR quality problem; etc.); photos of container / cargo.
3) Estimated value of loss/damage (if cannot ascertain, please specify number of affected goods & its corresponding Commercial Invoice Value).
3 If necessary, arrange for a joint survey with your own surveyor and OOCL surveyor’s attendance – preferably while the cargo is still untouched in the container.
4 Minimize the loss by salvaging the remainder of your goods and take other relevant precautions to protect your cargo and its value for the purpose of loss mitigation.
5 Determine whether or not you have a claim and wish to file a claim.
To whom should I send the claim?
1 Submit the claim to your insurance company or directly to the contract party(s) suspected of causing the loss or damage (e.g, Contractual carrier on B/L or house B/L, rail carrier, or trucking company, etc).
2 To file your claim with OOCL, you can click here to create a notice of claim or click here to submit your formal claim with claim documents online. You could also choose to submit the claim to OOCL local offices, in case you do not have the pleasure to use our online service.
What documents are needed to file a claim?
1 A well-documented claim will facilitate the claims handling process and speed up the investigation. Please refer to below listed general document in need when you submit a claim:
- Copy of OOCL original bill of lading or seaway bill (both front and back side);
- Letter of Authority to act, from party with rights to the claim, if claim not being filed by cargo interests; subrogated underwriters Subrogation Receipt, if claim filed by cargo underwriters or their agents;
- Copy of original commercial invoice & packing list;
- Survey report with digital photos certifying the nature and extent of alleged loss/damage; and / or proof of loss/damage (for example, Testing reports and Lab test reports);
- Breakdown of Claim amount;
- Evidence proving pre-shipment cargo condition;
- Stuffing report indicating cargo condition before the container door close at POL;
- Trucker’s delivery receipt / Devanning tally (warehouse Receipt) with seal no. and exceptions;
- Export / Import customs declaration;
- Salvage invoice, if cargo was salvaged;
- Destruction certificate or Statement describing disposition of the cargo, in case of unsalvageable cargo;
- Veterinary certificate if applicable;
- Other substantiating documents if applicable.
Things to remember
1 Time for claim: Normally a claim must be lodged one year from the date of delivery or when delivery should have taken place. Passing that period, claim will become time barred.
2 Loss mitigation – your responsibilities: mitigation of loss is the cargo owner’s responsibility. You must take all reasonable steps to mitigate the loss (e.g., separating wet goods, cleaning, repackaging, and salvage, if necessary).
You will need to keep records such as ‘Reconditioning or Repair invoices’ and ‘salvage invoice’ to prove loss mitigation has been implemented.
3 Am I assured full value recovery by OOCL?
The law protects ocean carriers in certain situations; ocean carriers are not the same as your marine cargo insurance underwriters. Your chances of recovery from the cargo underwriter and from the ocean carrier can vary greatly. In certain cases you may obtain full recovery only from your cargo underwriter.
Below tips for cargo interests’ reference on how to prevent loss and damage:
- Ensure that you use a suitable container size and type.
- Ensure that the containers are in a clean, odor free and sound condition before stuffing them.
- Ensure that the cargo is suitably packaged for container stowage/transportation.
- Ensure that the container is stuffed in a proper and secure manner so that the cargo cannot shift during transportation.
- Ensure that the container is properly closed and sealed.
- Do not mix incompatible cargoes in the same container.
- Check the temperature requirements for your cargo type.
- We recommend that you make a physical inspection to ensure that the actual ventilation setting corresponds to the requested setting.
- Pre-cool your cargo to the correct set temperature.
- Stuff the container in a cold facility (i.e. ensure that the cold chain is never broken!).
- Re-check the temperature before delivering the container.
- Do not stuff the cargo above the red load line.