The Containership Company to pursue shippers for breaking cargo vows
 
A DANISH court appointed officer called a "reconstructor" will pursue 83 shippers for US$23 million for failing to meet cargo commitments to The Containership Company (TCC) which says it was forced suspend business because of their failure to do so.
 
TCC chief operations officer Franck Kayser said the reconstructor, lawyer Jorgen Hauschildt, is pursuing payments from shippers who failed to produce 90,000 to 100,000 TEU as promised. He said no legal action is involved, but the reconstructor is contacting shippers asking them to pay according to their contacts.

ComPair Data estimates the average capacity of the five ships in the TCC's weekly service at 2,960 TEU at the end of its service. Most of TCC's customers were non-vessel-operating common carriers.

To deal with such shortfalls, Mr Kayser said big carriers overbook cargo. If all the cargo arrives, the larger carriers can then put in extra loaders or move boxes on other ships. As a small carrier TCC had less flexibility, he said.

According to Denmark's maritime consultants SeaIntel, TCC's claim could provide an interesting case for other carriers to follow, reported London's Containerisation International.

"Given all the current discussions about how to improve the contractual framework, this will provide an interesting possibility of enforcing terms in the existing contractual framework," said SeaIntel founder and former TCC executive, Lars Jensen.

"Analysis performed by us shows that theoretically shippers in the transpacific might be liable for liquidated damages for a value of up to US$4 billion at the extreme. Realistically such amounts are unlikely to be claimed by carriers, but this might well prove to be the catalyst to get more realistic contracts - and as a consequence better adherence to contractual agreements," said Mr Jensen.

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