When it comes time to protect your cargo shipment, there is information you need to make an informed decision. Please review the following so that you can better understand how to protect your interests.
Did you know that a Bill of Lading does not provide any insurance to you?
What it does do is state the terms and conditions of carriage and the extent of responsibility in the case of loss or damage. There are multiple factors involved in determining that responsibility, including the means of transportation. Let's put this into practical terms.
Water Carriage of Cargo: Covered to the greater value of US $1,031.50 (approx) or US $3.09 per kilogram or, by COGSA* deﬁnition, US $500 per package
Inland Trucking: US $3.34 per kilogram or US $1.51 per pound
Rail Transport: By written agreement or tariff
Freight Forwarder as agent: US $3.09 per kilogram
Freight Forwarder issuing Bill of Lading: same as water carriage of cargo
*Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, Enacted 1936, USA
Example: I have a shipment of 50 boxes of books, consolidated in a 20-foot container. My portion of the shipment weighs 2,000 lbs. and is valued at US $15,000. During the voyage, my cargo is water-damaged for a total loss. Based on water carriage, this would provide me with about US $2,800 of liability coverage. Consequently, I would receive that compensation once I had proven that the carrier is at fault. Carriers are not responsible by law for acts of god (ﬂoods, quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.), or for strikes, riots, or civil commotions. If the ship carrying my cargo was caught in a hurricane, which caused the water damage, then the carrier bears no responsibility. Also consider that the US $2,800 compensation must cover my cost in proving responsibility and court costs, if any. Then there's the lost time as well as any import/export duties, freight charges, replacement costs, etc.
The situation is not much different with air transport, as it is governed by the same types of laws. Truck transport is deregulated in the continental United States, so it is different in each state and for each carrier. In Canada, it is set at $2 per pound.
By law, carriers and freight forwarders have the right to limit their liability should a cargo they are legally liable for sustain damage.
As someone who has a vested interest in the cargo, you need to know that you are covered for the real value of the shipment. You need to know that you can expect proper compensation in the case of an accident. This is possible with the right kind of insurance all-risk cargo insurance.
Ask us for a quote on all-risk cargo insurance before your shipment leaves.