Package damages during ocean shipping

The last blog post discussed safety records of the typical shipping methods and compared to insurance rates for packages.   International Cargo shipping has the highest cost for insurance.  A general merchandize item valued at $100.00 would cost $.87 to insure.   For the insurance company to break even on that rate there would have to be less than a .87 % chance of a package being damaged.  One can only speculate on what margins the insurance company is realizing, but it would be reasonable to assume that the insurance company believes that there is less than .5% chance of a damage claim.

As stated before, shipping companies are not publishing their damage claim rates, but even if the actual percent for ocean shipping was less than .5%; that number still dwarfs the .02% chance that the cargo ship has for accident on any voyage.  In other words, vessel accidents accounts for minuscule percentage of all the causes of package damage.  What are the other main causes for a product being damaged during ocean shipping? 

  • Damage during warehousing – forklifts
  • Damage during loading and unloading – crane and hoists
  • Damage during transport  – rolling and tilting during storms
  • Corrosion during transport – sea air and water damage
  • Damage while opening container – pry bars and hammers.

Below is an info graph of cargo ship safety