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Update: the Hanjin shipping company almost bankrupt, and your transport insurance

10 November 2016


Early September it was announced that the South-Korean shipping company Hanjin was in financial trouble. A number of ships loaded with containers were detained in several ports around the world, causing many goods, pertaining to Belgian companies, to be impounded. ADD defends its customers’ interests with transport insurance.

In many Belgian ports, Hanjin containers with goods from several clients, Belgians as well, were being detained. Many containers are floating around purposelessly over the globe. The terminal operators demand an additional compensation from the owners of the cargo (retailers, steel- and food companies, retailers of consumer goods, …) for offloading their goods or for loading them onto other vessels. Mid September, the Association of Antwerp Forwarders (VEA) initiated a fast-track procedure in order to have the cargo released from the containers without additional costs or guarantee. Now, in November, a large number of containers with cargo from our customers are still being detained, and there still has not been any ruling for the VEA. In The Netherlands, the interim ruling was awarded within a week, even the costs were determined at that time. In the meantime, Hanjin has also asked for protection from its creditors in Belgium, which it has been granted. Regrettably, there are parties to the fast-track procedure who have been forced to offload their containers and have had to pay an additional compensation.

ADD’s cargo insurance compensates any loss of or damage to your goods that has occurred during transport, as well as any additional expenses for transport, storage or transit. It does not exclusively have to be caused by the bankruptcy of a shipping company, it also provides cover in case of financial problems within the shipping company. In the case of an impending bankruptcy of a shipping company, there may an indemnity payment for extra costs incurred in handling the container. This way, the cargo interest again has access to his cargo. The policy can include the reimbursement of reasonable additional costs, e.g. legal or handling fees that the cargo interest would normally not have incurred in. As always, every situation is unique: every dossier has to be examined case by case, and legal advice may also be required.

Finally, here are some figures that were presented at a meeting of transport insurers:

The Hanjin case is assumed to involve 550.000 20-feet containers (TEU). The total value of the cargo assumed to be in transit, would amount to approximately 500 billion euro. At this moment, the provisional amount of the total claim is estimated to amount to 2.5 billion euro, and this amount could still increase.

Would you like more information on cargo insurance? Or have you not yet presented your Hanjin claim? Contact our specialist, Nadine Verberght at ADD.

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