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0121 557 3352 info@kmbshipping.co.uk

It is often thought that the contractual and legal responsibilities of the ‘carrier’ – who may be the haulier, freight forwarder, shipping company or airline- provides full compensation for goods lost or damaged whilst in their care. This is incorrect and could result in you the client or your customer being out of pocket following a loss.

We recommend that clients should arrange their own All Risk Cargo Insurance, the reason for this is because;

  • The carrier’s insurance only protects against his contractual or legal liabilities arising from his Trading Conditions which invariably impose a limitation per tonne. In the case of hauliers in the UK, this is normally £1300 per tonne which in most instances is insufficient to cover the cost of goods.
  • The client must prove loss or damage occurred whilst in the custody and control of the carrier.
  • A most important feature of the carrier’s conditions of carriage is the time limitation imposed by the carrier on the customer. This can mean that claims for loss or damage may become time barred three days after delivery.
  • Carriers responsible for loss or damage or their insurers may be based overseas, and this leads to inevitable problems in obtaining recompense.


Proving that the carrier is liable for damage suffered is often an expensive and time-consuming process.

Recovery problems are left to the expertise of our claims and recoveries personnel.

Insuring cargo in transit is not legally compulsory, but the need to insure is a common-sense reality.



The carrier can avoid liability for any loss caused by –

  • The neglect of the claimant/customer.
  • The instructions supplied by the claimant/customer (unless the carrier has acted wrongfully).
  • Unpreventable circumstances e.g. – cross channel ferry sinks, hi-jack, puncture & vehicle overturns.
  • The use of an open or unsheeted vehicle providing the consignment note expressly agreed that such a vehicle could be used.
  • Handling, loading, stowage or unloading performed by the sender/consignee or persons acting on the senders’/consignees’ behalf.

It is imperative that the consignee checks the goods on delivery & advises the carrier of any reservations as to the goods condition immediately in the case of apparent loss/damage, or within seven days if the damage was not apparent.  Again, if this is not done, the carrier can avoid liability.

If and when the carrier is shown to be liable, liability shall not exceed 8.33 SDR’s per kilo. This equates to approximately £7 800 per tonne.

  • The carrier can subcontract loads to any other carrier. The name of sub-contractors need only be supplied to the customer on request.
  • The carrier does not accept liability for damage caused during loading & unloading where special appliances are required and have not been supplied by the customer.
  • Any service needed beyond the usual places of collection or delivery are at the sole risk of the customer.
  • Although the carrier will sign a consignment note on collection of the goods, this will not be evidence of the quantity, weight, correctness, or condition of the goods.
  • The carrier shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from any consequences of war strike, riot or civil commotion
  • When the carrier is found to be liable for loss or damage to goods, this liability is restricted to £1,300 per tonne usually based on the gross weight of the consignment.
  • The carrier can avoid liability for loss from, or damage to any part of a consignment unless advised in writing (other than upon a consignment note) within three days and a written claim submitted within seven days of the transit terminating. The carrier can also avoid liability for loss of, or damage to an entire consignment unless advised in writing (other than upon a consignment note) within twenty-eight days and a written claim submitted within forty-two days of the transit terminating.

KMB Shipping can happily arrange All Risk Cargo Insurance on your behalf from as little of £25, for further information, please contact your usual office contact on 0121 557 3352.