Overcoming Contractual Challenges in International Freight Logistics

Overcoming Contractual Challenges in International Freight Logistics

Client Profile

At Claims Trans, we recently represented a small, yet resilient Bulgarian haulier company engaged in transporting goods throughout Western Europe. Their experience is emblematic of a broader trend where smaller logistics firms are often at a contractual disadvantage against larger counterparts. Our expertise in such cases was particularly relevant in 2023, handling multiple similar disputes effectively.

The Challenge

Our client entered into an exclusive agreement with a major German logistics company. However, the partnership encountered significant disruptions:

Unilateral Contract Alterations: Without our client’s consent, the German company drastically reduced the payment rates, severely affecting our client’s revenue.

Operational Hurdles: A crucial vehicle breakdown within our client’s fleet impeded their service provision.

Compounding these challenges, our client was compelled to terminate the contract. This action, however, led to punitive measures from the German firm, imposing penalties exceeding 10,000 EUR, with 6800.00 EUR attributed solely to the non-availability of the broken truck.

Our Intervention

Recognizing the injustice, Claims Trans undertook a comprehensive legal analysis. Despite our primary specialization in CMR cargo claims, our legal team is adept at offering stellar protection across various jurisdictions. In this case, we focused on the German Civil Code (BGB):

Article 275 of the BGB: We contended that the imposition of penalties for the inoperable truck was unlawful, as it was impossible for our client to fulfill these specific obligations.

Articles 313 & 314 of the BGB: The unilateral changes in payment terms warranted our client’s right to immediate contract termination, invalidating subsequent penalty claims.

Negotiation Strategy

Confronted with a large German logistics firm’s reluctance and contractual rigidity, our approach was multifaceted:

Persistent Advocacy: Twice-a-week communications to maintain pressure and visibility.

Tactical Escalation: Involving senior management and utilizing whistleblower channels to intensify scrutiny.

Unwavering Legal Stance: Repeatedly asserting our solid legal argumentation against dismissive tactics.

Settlement Adaptability: Demonstrating flexibility in negotiations to secure the best possible outcome for our client.

Impact and Lessons Learned

Our determined efforts culminated in a successful settlement, significantly reducing the penalty by over 70% and securing immediate payment release to our client, turning a potential loss into a gain of over 5000.00 EUR. Notably, even after accounting for our service fees, our client emerged with a net profit, illustrating the tangible value of expert legal intervention in such scenarios.

This case exemplifies a crucial lesson for smaller logistics companies: With specialized legal support, they can confidently challenge larger companies and protect their commercial interests. It underscores the power of informed legal strategy and relentless advocacy in leveling the playing field in international logistics.

Conclusion

This case not only fortified our client’s financial position but also set an important industry precedent. At Claims Trans, we pride ourselves on our unique blend of legal expertise in transport law and comprehensive industry understanding. Our approach goes beyond mere legal advocacy; we strive to protect and champion our clients’ commercial interests, ensuring they navigate the complexities of international logistics contracts with confidence and success regardless of the jurisdiction.

Overcoming unjustified claims: a recipe for a positive outcome

Overcoming unjustified claims: a recipe for a positive outcome

International transport is fraught with both opportunities and many challenges. Transport companies are increasingly faced with a growing number of cases and disputes that arise in the course of their work. In some cases, these disagreements reach court, where qualified expertise is crucial to achieving a positive outcome. In this article we focus on the importance of professional work in resolving disputes in the world of international transport.

 

The Facts

Our client, a carrier, was commissioned to transport goods from Bulgaria to France. At the unloading address it was found that the goods were damaged. This was also established by the entry of an appropriate remark in the CMR consignment note.

The challenges

The owner of the goods brought a claim in relation to the damaged goods directly before the court. This is generally unusual as claims for damage or shortages are brought out of court under the CMR Convention.

Our client received by post a notice from the French court before which the case was brought, of the scheduled hearing, and information about the claim. With surprise and a degree of concern, a representative of the transport company contacted us asking for assistance.

In a case such as this, great care must be taken, bearing in mind the jurisdiction of the court before which the case is pending and that the specifics of the applicable law must be taken into account.

Professional care and assistance

As experts in the field of transport law, we at Claims Trans have an extensive network of contacts of lawyers abroad with whom we work on a daily basis on various cases.

Without wasting time, we contacted our partner in France. The latter, after becoming acquainted with the case, immediately took the necessary steps to ensure that our client was properly represented in court in France.

Together with the lawyer, we discussed the main lines of defence open to us.

The claimant’s (the owner of the goods) claim was extremely high, including the cost of repairing the damaged goods, transport costs, operational loss, and legal costs.

The operating loss claimed by the plaintiff was a huge sum, which was not proven either in reason or in amount.

After a thorough discussion of the facts and the applicable law with the French lawyer, we concluded together that our client was only liable for the damage to the goods, but up to the limit of liability provided for in the CMR Convention.

As a next step, we considered that it would be best if an out-of-court settlement could be reached with the other party in order to bring the case to a swift and fair conclusion.

Our partner initiated serious negotiations with the opposing party and its legal representative, ultimately succeeding in its efforts, and the claimant agreed to be compensated up to the carrier’s limit of liability and to have the case dismissed and accordingly closed.

In the meantime, open court hearings were held and it took almost a year to reach a settlement, have it approved by the court and accordingly terminate the proceedings. Otherwise, if no agreement had been reached, perhaps the trial would have continued for another year.

Conclusions

In the end, thanks to our efforts and the professionalism of our partner, the value of the claim was reduced from nearly 90,000 EUR to 13,000 EUR. With the out-of-court settlement, the case was closed relatively quickly and entirely in the interest of our client. Justice prevailed once again and we were able to fight off the unjustified claim of the owner of the goods, which, had it been upheld by the court, could have proved disastrous for our client’s business.

 

Success in the field of transportation case management requires not only careful management, but also professional care and assistance. At Claims Trans, we provide expert claims assistance on a daily basis. Our commitment to clients and our ability to offer quick and effective solutions play a crucial role in achieving positive results that, in turn, fully satisfy our clients.

Unraveling Delay Damages: Claims Trans` Victory Over Gross Negligence in Logistics

Unraveling Delay Damages: Claims Trans` Victory Over Gross Negligence in Logistics

When a high-value shipment gets entangled in a web of deceit and delay, the situation may seem impossible to untangle. This was the predicament faced by a Bulgarian exporter of premium climbing walls when their logistics turned into a legal labyrinth. This case study explores how Claims Trans transformed what appeared to be an insurmountable challenge into a triumph of legal acumen and negotiation finesse.

 

The Challenge

Our client, an exporter, faced the daunting task of recovering substantial losses from a transport debacle involving multiple subcontractors and a mislaid trust in a major logistics company. With cargo held hostage, deadlines missed, and costs mounting, the scenario seemed bleak. The client’s hope for a favorable outcome was dim, as they braced for a substantial financial hit of 10,000 EUR due to additional travel, accommodation, and equipment rental costs.

At this point of escalation, Claims Trans stepped onto the scene.

 

The Art of Claiming Delay Damages

Under the shadow of Art. 23(5) of the CMR Convention, claiming damages for delay is notoriously challenging. This provision typically caps compensation at the carriage charge amount, a paltry sum compared to the potential losses faced by our client. However, Claims Trans refused to accept this limitation as the final word.

At Claims Trans, we knew the success of the legal statement hinged on the precision of our narrative and document preparation. This rigorous process was crucial, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the client’s world, fully comprehend the magnitude of the challenge, and effectively communicate the strategy and its chances of success.

Claims Trans’ Approach

Claims Trans, armed with a profound understanding of the CMR Convention, approached the case with a strategy anchored in leveraging Art. 29, a seldom-invoked and jurisprudentially scarce provision.

This article, a theoretical labyrinth rarely navigated with proficiency, often stands as a conundrum to insurers, logistics companies, and even seasoned lawyers. Its application is not just a matter of legal interpretation but requires a nuanced understanding that transcends theoretical knowledge into the realm of practical, actionable insight.

Our expertise allowed us to dissect the article, to extract a standard for triggering Art. 29 based on gross negligence, and to apply it with precision to the facts at hand. We translated the legal jargon into a language that resonated with the client’s commercial realities, outlining the possibilities and calculating the odds with them transparently.

This meticulous process did not merely shape our legal strategy; it shaped the narrative of the case, painting a clear and compelling picture of the logistics company’s glaring oversight and misconduct. Our narrative was fortified by a deep understanding of international legal precedents, which we leveraged to bolster our argument, making it not just persuasive but unassailable.

Navigating Negotiations

The Claims Trans team maintained an open line of constant communication, weighing each decision with precision and preparing diligently for negotiations. The lead claim analyst’s presence at meetings and the transparent appraisal of the logistics company’s stance provided the client with invaluable commercial insights. This strategic advisory role fortified our client’s trust, empowering them to make informed decisions throughout the process.

The Corporate Labyrinth

The pursuit of justice led us into the intricate hierarchy of the logistics behemoth, a multi-tiered structure designed to shield them from liability. Our team navigated this labyrinth with astute negotiation tactics, engaging with various levels of management and legal teams. This was not merely a test of legal knowledge but a battle of wits and endurance, where Claims Trans’ commitment to client advocacy shone brightest.

The Final Push

As the settlement discussions reached their zenith, Claims Trans’ legal acumen was put to the ultimate test against a seasoned lawyer from a major firm. Our specialized knowledge in transport law became the lever with which we pried the case in our favor, exposing the opposition’s lack of specialized knowledge and securing a significant settlement.

Successful Outcome

The persistence and expertise of Claims Trans culminated in a settlement that significantly exceeded the conventional limits of compensation for delay as dictated by the CMR Convention. The client, initially faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, received over 8500.00 EUR in compensation, effectively turning an “impossible” situation into a landmark victory.

 

Client’s Testimonial

High-value shipment gets delayed-Client testimonial

Conclusion

Through this case, Claims Trans has not only underscored its reputation as a preeminent transport law consultancy but has also set a new precedent in the application of Art. 29 of the CMR Convention. Our blend of legal mastery and commercial insight ensures that our clients’ interests are not just legally protected, but commercially vindicated, too. This case stands as a beacon of Claims Trans’ dedication to converting complex legal challenges into success stories.

Another Successfully Resolved Case of Total Goods Damage Due to a Road Incident

Another Successfully Resolved Case of Total Goods Damage Due to a Road Incident

In the dynamic transport industry, incidents leading to total goods damage due to road accidents are not uncommon. These occurrences pose significant challenges for carriers and all parties involved, relying on seamless cargo delivery. However, with timely intervention, effective management, and expertise in transport law, successfully resolving such cases becomes possible.

Facts

Our client, a carrier, was tasked with transporting goods to Germany. During the transport, a road incident occurred due to a burst tire, resulting in the overturning of the composition, hitting the roadside barriers, and shifting into oncoming traffic. A severe incident, fortunately leaving the driver unharmed.

Challenges

Road incidents of this nature are highly dangerous, both for the driver and other road users. Timely arrival of the police at the accident site was crucial, leading to the drafting of a police report. This report was of significant importance in processing the claim by the insurers. Simultaneously, the composition with the scattered goods blocked the busy highway. It was imperative to promptly organize the clearing of the roadway and the removal of the composition and goods to the nearest parking lot by an assisting company. Another challenge emerged in the destruction of the damaged goods. As it was a food product, the goods had to be disposed of as quickly as possible, following certain standards, resulting in additional significant expenses.

Navigating the Process

We promptly informed the carrier’s insurer about the insurance event and requested immediate guidance. The insurer confirmed that engaging an surveyor in this case was unnecessary as the goods were entirely damaged – a total loss.

Quick Actions Lead to Results

Upon submitting all the necessary documents to the carrier’s insurer and maintaining active communication, the insurer provided a positive response, and the full value of the damaged goods was paid to the claimant. Moreover, the expenses incurred by the carrier in clearing the goods from the roadway and their destruction were fully reimbursed by the insurer.

Conclusions

The significant incident posed a challenge for both the carrier and the cargo owner. The carrier took responsibility, adhering to the standards and obligations outlined in the CMR Convention, which was crucial for the successful resolution of the case. It’s essential to note that thanks to rapid and effective communication and collaboration among all involved parties, the insurer completely satisfied the cargo owner’s claim, providing full compensation for the incurred losses. This successful outcome highlights the importance of a professional approach and the ability to act quickly and effectively when unexpected incidents occur during international cargo transport.

Our experts understand the importance of handling incidents and insurance claims. With our extensive experience and a team of transport and insurance law professionals, we are at your service to provide our expertise and commitment to resolving similar situations. Rest assured, with us, your interests and rights will be fully protected, and the process of settling insurance claims will be conducted efficiently and with special attention to details.

Turn challenges on the road into successes: How Claims Trans wins with MTPL claims

Turn challenges on the road into successes: How Claims Trans wins with MTPL claims

 

We’re delighted to share an incredible success story from our team, which highlights our capabilities in the world of Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) claims. We recently secured a remarkable reimbursement for one of our valued customers, proving once again that Clams Trans is your go-to solution for all your transport claims. 🌟

The Facts

Our client’s vehicle was involved in a multi-vehicle road accident on an Italian motorway, resulting in significant repair costs. This unfortunate incident occurred while the vehicle was moving slowly, causing a chain reaction of collisions that left our customer’s vehicle sandwiched between two large trucks. Sadly, the accident also resulted in fatalities, underscoring the severity of the impact.

The Challenges

Our client initially attempted to claim damages from their own Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurer, but their claim was unfairly denied based on policy regulations. Despite persistent efforts, the insurer maintained an inflexible stance.

Actions

Faced with this significant challenge, our team chose an alternative path by directly seeking recovery of repair costs from the MTPL insurance company of the at-fault party. As is customary with any MTPL claim, the insurer required a formal event record as evidence of the insured’s liability. We collaborated with the local police unit that arrived at the scene of the accident and completed the necessary procedures. Due to the seriousness of the case, obtaining special permission from the Attorney General of the Court of Peace was crucial. After a series of communications and legal procedures, we obtained the necessary clearance and returned to law enforcement to provide it, granting us access to key police protocols.

Results

Armed with compelling evidence that clearly demonstrated the responsible party, we presented the protocol to the MTPL insurance company. Although they took their time to assess the documents and repair costs, they ultimately recognized the merits of the customer’s claim and agreed to reimburse the costs, excluding VAT.

Although VAT is excluded, the reimbursement amount is still substantial, covering 95% of each individual repair.

Conclusions🏁

This success is a testament to our team’s expertise in handling complex transport claims, effectively communicating with different jurisdictions, and proving the validity of customer claims. At Clams Trans, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing innovative solutions to all your transport challenges.

We sincerely appreciate your continued support as a valued member of our network. If you have any questions or if we can assist you in addressing similar challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Together, we can overcome any obstacle in the world of transport claims! 🚚✨