Larger ships generate huge data requirements for general average

The large number of containers on current container ships generates significant data compilation requirements, said Paul Friett, Assistant Director of W.E. Cox Claims Group (Europe) Ltd when speaking recently at the Lloyd’s Maritime Academy general average seminar on the topic of “Obtaining Security and Forms for Securities – Challenges & Solutions”

Friett noted that LCL containers might have multiple separate cargo owners, each with their own House Bill of Lading but relating to one container and one Ocean Bill of Lading.

Uninsured interests would have to provide Bank Guarantee and/or cash deposits. Cargo would not be released until securities had been provided for all cargo interests.

Claim Documents

As well as Bond, Guarantees and Counter Guarantees (five documents), other items that could/would be required were:

  • Invoice(s)
  • Freight Invoice(s)
  • Contract(s) of Carriage
  • Insurance Policy/Certificate(s)
  • Survey Report
  • Loss mitigation
  • Subrogation Form
  • Letter of Authority

Thus, said Friett, there were a minimum of seven documents for sound and potentially 13 or more types of document for damaged cargoes. This times 1,531 rows equalled between 10,717  and 19,903 documents.

This led to giant spreadsheets, with 31 columns, 1,531 rows, and 47,461 unique entries.

Possible solutions proposed by Friett included:

  • Electronic Guarantees
  • Uniform wordings
  • GA & Salvage collection by one party
  • Blanket counter securities
  • Blanket ‘rolling’ guarantees with ‘declarations’
  • Spreadsheets/documents populated automatically from a database.