While many of the Western consumer economies tentatively explore the easing of social restrictions, the global supply chain environment remains significantly disrupted and operators will continue to face many challenges. International freight insurer, TT Club seeks to guide them with advice for turbulent times.
TT Club draws attention to its dedicated Coronavirus webpage, including both risk briefings and alerts, as well as a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)*. The insurer, in line with key elements of its mission to make the industry safer and more secure, is keen to provide commentary on issues that have arisen during the onset of the pandemic. The diverse governmental responses around the globe have created a variable demand for goods, complex regulatory structures, and significantly changed trade patterns.
Among the expanding range of questions dealt with by TT Club’s FAQ service, cargo abandonment and seafarer welfare at port facilities, a current focus for crew exchanges, are particularly salient. There is likely to be an increase in the abandonment of low value cargoes in containers, either delayed in transit or for which a market is no longer available, causing additional headaches for forwarders and terminals alike. Similarly, amongst the issues faced by ports, many face a responsibility for properly protecting all involved in the safe transfer of ships’ crews, many of whom have had protracted periods at sea.
“While the current circumstances facing global supply chains and the operators that serve it are truly challenging, TT is providing carefully considered and pragmatic advice to real issues,” says TT Club’s Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox. “As a specialist insurer for the international transport and logistics the Club has a unique insight into the nature and extent of risk exposures. As such, the ability to compile and recommend mitigating measures in the current circumstances is well-founded. In relation to the FAQs, we would welcome enquiries from the industry on issues that maybe of concern.”
Other topics currently covered by the FAQs include: dealing with customers whose cargo delivery has been delayed and the proper use of force majeure clauses in contracts; protecting key workers in a responsible way; advice on demurrage and detention charges; comments on the need to alter terms of Standard Terms and Conditions (STCs) and bills of lading in order to protect against liabilities; and a responsible approach to any relaxation of safety regulations by government authorities.
“Extraordinary circumstances will often require innovative and exceptional practices. At this time, while supply chain stakeholders strive to maintain their valuable operations effectively, we seek to provide input that supports sound, safe practices, protecting as far as possible against unexpected liabilities,” concluded Storrs-Fox.
Sea News, May 15