Analysis of freight transport and logistics insurer TT Club’s claims records over the past three years shows that miscommunication of operational instructions and temperature setting errors account for more than half of all temperature-controlled cargo losses.
Almost 30% of these incidents involved a miscommunication of operational instructions on care of the cargo with a further 23% down to temperature setting errors. Reefer equipment failure or damage accounted for a quarter of the claims.
The insurer is attempeting to minimise losses in the cold chain through publicly available guidance documents such as as StopLoss – Temperature Controlled Cargo as well as via online webinars.
Mike Yarwood, TT Club’s loss prevention managing director, said: “Our own experiences and the data drawn from our claims history was reinforced by over a third of webinar attendees, who when asked their perception of the primary risk factors, pointed to communications errors with ambiguous or incorrect instructions passed between supply chain stakeholders.”
The sensitivity of many commodities transported under temperature-controlled conditions puts the care of the product both before and during transit as a paramount concern.
During a recent webinar, Carsten Jensen, a consultant and surveyor specialising in perishable goods transport, discussed five key aspects that impinge on loss prevention: product quality; preparation of the goods; correct packaging and stowing; attention to temperature irregularities and prolonged storage and transit.
Yarwood commented: “Clearly a number of these processes are outwith the control of forwarder, carrier and terminal operator.
“But as the demand for unitised transport of perishables continues its upward trend, it is vital that the transport links in the chain become more informed about all the relevant processes to improve the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.”