Risky Business: Cover your Cargo and your Bottom Line

No sooner had the New Year’s Eve ball dropped heralding in 2019, the MSC Zoe made international headlines when it lost about 270 cargo containers overboard in turbulent waters while crossing the North Sea.

Sound expensive?  The story doesn’t end there — by January 3, MSC had begun the arduous and costly journey of recovery — starting with hiring a cleanup company to coordinate the retrieval of cargo and beach cleanup operations.  They also deployed sonar-equipped vessels to assist in the search and have initiated public outreach efforts about the incident and that some of the containers contained dangerous organic peroxides.


Each month, nearly 120 containers are lost or damaged at sea.  Is your business prepared to handle this type of loss or what happened with the MSC Zoe?  AFS Logistics™ can help protect your bottom line and your supply chain from financial disruptions with all-risk cargo insurance through AFS Risk Management  Services:

  • Bottom Line Protection: Coverage up to the full sales value of your goods
  • Real Insurance Certificates of coverage issued for each Bill of Lading
  • Time: 90 days to report and file a concealed damage claim
  • Savings: Peace of mind coverage for pennies on the dollar
  • Fast Claims: Claims advocates work for you — not the carrier


Current maritime law typically limits recovery to $500 per package, and proving liability can be a long, tedious process.

The Carriage of Goods at Sea Act is a U.S. statute governing the rights and responsibilities between shippers of cargo and ship owners.  This statute allows ship owners to limit their liability to $500 per unit when damage or loss occurs.

The Law of General Average is a principal of maritime law allowing ship owners to pass certain costs of recovery to cargo owners.  Cargo owners having goods on any vessel proportionally share in losses resulting from voluntary sacrifice (of ship or cargo) to save the whole during an emergency.

And there’s more to consider — carriers also have service terms that can burden you, the cargo owner, with the costs associated with recovery of both containers and vessels.  They can also deny liability for the following reasons, leaving you with no options for legal recourse:

  • Neglect of the carrier in the navigation of the ship
  • Fire (unless carrier is at fault)
  • Act of God, war, public enemies, and riots
  • Any other cause arising without actual fault of the carrier
  • Insufficient packing, inadequate marks, and shipper omissions
  • Strikes, lockouts or labor stoppage
  • Saving life or property at sea
  • Damage caused from inherent quality/vice of the goods

If you haven’t yet set anchor on your new year’s resolution, perhaps it will be to cover your assets with all-risk cargo insurance.  Starting the year fresh with a new plan to protect the security and financial stability of your business will offer peace of mind — and make for smoother sailing should you encounter rough waters.

For more information:

Call AFS at 866-842-1338

or email [email protected]



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