Overcoming Extortion Attempts by Subcontractors

Overcoming Extortion Attempts by Subcontractors

🚚 In this case study, we’re dissecting a particularly dicey situation that could happen to any logistics company: an unexpected standoff with a subcontractor over alleged additional charges. Join us as we navigate through the murky waters of contractual obligations, extortion attempts, and the power of steadfast legal positioning.

 

Client Profile 🏢

The stage is set with a forwarder, operating on a commendable scale, shipping goods from Germany to Greece. The journey, seemingly straightforward, takes an unexpected turn upon arrival due to a subcontractor’s demands.

The Challenge 🌊 

After a minor delay, the subcontractor attempts to leverage the situation by refusing to unload the truck unless an unwarranted and exorbitantly priced demurrage charge is paid upfront. This puts the forwarder in a bind, facing potential repercussions on delivery timelines and client relations.

Claims Trans Intervention 💪

Claims Trans jumps into the fray as the forwarder’s claims adjuster. Armed with expertise in the CMR Convention and a deep understanding of the legalities of transport contracts, we initiate a series of communications aimed at defusing the situation and asserting the forwarder’s rights.

Our Strategy ⚖️ 

  1. **Immediate Legal Positioning** Clearly stating the subcontractor’s obligation to unload the goods as per the contract, highlighting their attempt to detain the goods as an illegal act.
  2. **Rebuttal of Demurrage Charges** Pointing out the unreasonableness of the demanded demurrage charge and its lack of contractual basis.
  3. **Firm Stance Against Extortion** Utilizing strong language to assert the forwarder’s unwillingness to succumb to extortion, emphasizing the subcontractor’s reputational risk should they persist.

Impact & Lessons Learned 🎉 

The standoff was resolved within hours, with the subcontractor capitulating and proceeding with the unloading of goods. This episode underscores the importance of:

1. **Knowing Your Rights** Understanding the legal framework within which logistic operations occur is crucial.

2. **Standing Firm** Presenting a united and informed front against unfounded demands can deter opportunistic behavior.

3. **Preventive Measures** Incorporating clear terms regarding delays and demurrage in contracts can preempt such challenges.

Conclusion 🔍 

In the face of extortion attempts by subcontractors, knowledge and assertiveness are your best allies. This case exemplifies the power of swift, informed action underpinned by legal expertise. At Claims Trans, we’re dedicated to empowering our clients with the insights and support needed to navigate even the most challenging logistics issues.

 

Stay with us for more case studies, where we continue to unravel the complexities of the logistics world and equip you with the tools for success.

Navigating the Unexpected: How Claims Trans Overcame a Challenging Cargo Incident

Navigating the Unexpected: How Claims Trans Overcame a Challenging Cargo Incident

Road accidents happen, and no one is insured against being involved in one. Often in the transportation industry, drivers are faced with circumstances that are beyond their control, and the consequences for the goods being transported can be fatal. Some of the most common factors that predispose to a road accident include road conditions, the reactions of other road users, speed, the dimensions of the truck, and the specifics of the cargo being transported. At Clams Trans, we have successfully resolved just such a case, where the entire cargo perished during a road accident.

The Facts

Our client is a freight forwarding company that was contracted to transport goods from Bulgaria to Sweden. They, in turn, subcontracted the transport to a carrier. The cargo being transported is wine weighing 24 tonnes with a significant material value. Due to the driver’s inappropriate speed, the lorry entered oncoming traffic, crashed into another lorry, overturned, and went off the road.

The Challenges

As a result of the accident, all the wine leaked out, and the driver of the other truck had minor injuries. The event took place in Romania, and the police immediately arrived at the scene to secure the area and retrieve the crashed truck. Already at this stage, the transporter is obliged to notify the assigning party, and so until information reaches the owners of the goods. In the present case, we have a total loss of goods, but in other circumstances where the damage is partial, it is important to recall that under the applicable CMR Convention Article 14(1), if for any reason it is impossible to carry out the transport before the goods reach the place designated for delivery, the carrier must request instructions from the person entitled to dispose of the goods.

Actions

The CMR carrier’s liability insurer was informed immediately of the incident. We investigated the need to appoint an surveyor, but in view of the fact that the damage was total, the insurer considered that there was no need to engage a surveyor. The driver was taken to the police to give his statement and subsequently to obtain an official police report, which is a compulsory document for any insurer under the “Carrier’s Liability” CMR when the event is a road traffic accident or theft.

Rules

In the event of road accidents where the cargo is totally damaged, it is important to collect all evidential documents to be provided to the insurer for their opinion. Often, when the action takes place in another state, obtaining an official police report can be a major challenge and lead to greater tension with the parties involved. At times like this, it is important to put clients at ease and make regular checks with the police regarding the issuance of the report that specifies the cause/party at fault for the crash.

Results

After providing all the necessary documents to the carrier’s CMR liability insurer, another hurdle ensued which delayed the insurer’s ruling. As mentioned at the outset, the driver of the other truck was slightly injured in the crash, so a pre-trial proceeding was initiated against the at-fault driver (our client’s subcontractor). In this case, however, the insurance cover applied to the liability of the carrier for the damage to the cargo during carriage, which was, in fact, the case. Therefore, the tort lawsuit filed was not relevant to this liability. After active communication with the insurer, it confirmed payment of compensation for the full value of the totally damaged (lost) goods.

Conclusions🏁

Although road traffic accidents can lead to great uncertainty, and the resolution of resulting claims can sometimes take considerable time, there are specific mechanisms to speed up the process of obtaining and providing the necessary information. This helps to dramatically improve the situation and reduce the time taken to resolve the issue.

When all parties concerned are informed in a timely manner of the development of the case, when the carrier fulfills its obligation to notify its insurer under the carrier’s liability insurance CMR immediately after the insured event, and when the responsible law enforcement authorities quickly and correctly draw up a document of the event, then all that is necessary is to control the process and apply the legal framework.

At Clams Trans, we rely on our extensive experience in handling claims of this nature and insist that our clients receive effective and legally sound advice to resolve their cases. We value the human aspect highly and always try to preserve the commercial relationship between the participants in the supply chain. We also do not allow escalated tensions to affect our professional judgment because we believe that success comes when you are consistent, responsible, and precise in your work.  

What are the dangers and prevention opportunities for carriers when carrying cargo to the UK?

What are the dangers and prevention opportunities for carriers when carrying cargo to the UK?

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very month there are thousands of attempts by illegal immigrants to gain unauthorized access to vehicles en route to UK. Keeping your vehicle and trailer secure against stowaways can be a challenge. If the UK Border Force or Customs discovers immigrants in one of your vehicles, you may face a heavy fine up to up to £2,000 per illegal entry. Furthermore, your cargo is valuable. If clandestine entrants enter your vehicle, they may cause damage to the cargo, and its recipient may reject it. This can cause more complications, prolonged discussions and it may jeopardize successful business relations.

There are important pillars that every transport company should focus on when performing transport courses in and outside United Kingdom. Not only the overall safety of the driver and the freight can be increased, but carriers also have to act in compliance with all guidelines and requirements, the following key points should be considered:

1.Secure loading and unloading🧳

Those in control of loading / unloading operations, should check the vehicle prior departure. When possible, drivers should aim to park at secure facilities and always check for cuts or tears in the outer shell or fabric of the vehicle.

2.Vehicle security checklists and written instructions for the drivers 🗐

All drivers should have, and consistently use vehicle security checklists. Ideally the operators should fill their check list three times a day from the day of the loading. You can print an appropriate security checklist directly from the government site

📑LINK TO FREE SAMPLE CHECKLIST 📑

3.Provide additional training to drivers🏫

 All drivers should have an adequate training that covers processes, including what to do if they find any clandestine entrants on board. Their training should cover truck security, vulnerable spots on their vehicle and how to use the checklist correctly.

4.Provision of the right equipment🔧

Security devices, such as padlocks, seals and tilt cord, should be used to secure a vehicle as soon as it is loaded. This prevents stowaways from climbing on board once a loaded truck is left unattended. Security equipment should be checked at regular intervals.

5.Regular Checks✔️

Drivers should check their vehicle at the end of every stop and before they cross a border. If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle or has entered their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. Drivers should not attempt to approach the stowaway themselves.

6.Accreditation scheme📝

Companies can join an accreditation scheme to help reduce penalties. To qualify they must have an effective security system for their vehicles and be in complete compliance with all requirements.

The Civil Penalty Code of Practice is an important document for all hauliers and truck drivers to read. You can download it from here:

ENGLISH

BULGARIAN

How can you defend against a civil penalty? 🛡️

If clandestine entrants are found in your vehicle after arriving in the UK, you and your company may receive a Notice of Liability to a Penalty IS11 Letter form Border Force. At this stage, no decision has been made regarding the imposition of any penalty. You now have 28 days from the date of the letter to respond and present your justifications and prove that you did not know or did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that a clandestine entrant was hidden in the vehicle and that you had secure systems in place which were properly operated at the time of the breach.

If you don’t manage to convince Border Force and find yourself in this unfortunate position, you will receive a second letter Notice of Penalty and an IS11 Form. This will tell you how much you are being fined and will invite you to file a Notice of Objection to Border force.

If after filing the Notice of Objection, the Border Force’s decision is still unfair, your only option is to appeal this to the County Court. You should make an appeal on Form N161 and pay court fee when sending your appeal. Judge will review your case and will make a decision whether the fine was properly imposed on you. The judge can diminish the fine or even abolish it completely, hence it is crucial to guarantee that your case is properly presented.

It is a difficult and expensive problem to resolve that’s why having a reliable and trustful guidance determines the course of events. Our company Claims Trans have advanced experience in the communication with key institutions and leads the process with agility, diligence and resilience. We know how to navigate the situation through whatever obstacle comes your way due to various cases we have represented. Our goal is to give you not only a quality and effective service but peace and vindication of right.