Acceptance of goods for transport entails great responsibility. A carrier is fully liable for the total or partial loss or theft of goods. Safe transport from points A to B requires significant attention. Freight forwarders do a lot to make sure that your order reaches its destination without any unpleasant surprises.

What precautions does the forwarder take to avoid thefts?

There are two kinds of insurance that protect us against financial liability for theft or damage of goods: the carrier’s civil liability insurance applicable in transport, which should cover damage occurring during carriage and Cargo insurance, purchased by a client or a carrier at the client‘s request. The second policy compensates for damage resulting from theft, fire, flood, avalanche, storm or scattering on road. The carrier’s civil liability insurance is usually enough for a forwarder but if it does not cover the total value of goods you should think of purchasing Cargo insurance, even if for one carriage.

The policy must be valid throughout the performance of your order. There are systems verifying the validity of the carrier’s insurance, thus ensuring that all transactions are made before their expiry. The systems also gather drivers’ data, made available to a client upon request. Additionally, a forwarder requires a driver to park only on guarded car parks and protect a vehicle with a seal when transporting customs goods and FMCG goods (e.g. electronics, alcohol, cigarettes).

How does the driver protect goods against theft?

A forwarder is obliged to know the value of goods transported by a carrier. However, it is a transport company that covers any losses resulting from theft. The cost of transport includes fees for guarded car parks, reducing the likelihood of robbery. A forwarder determines the route, provides notification, and establishes times of loading and unloading. A trained driver is familiar with cargo securing techniques involving the use of belts, anti-slip mats and angles and he or she receives information about the number and type of belts to be used in a given transport. They are able to assess the approximate duration of loading based on the type of loaded goods and their handling. Additional instructions are also provided by a forwarder so as to make sure that everything goes as planned. Owing to that, a driver is ready for any unfavorable circumstances.

Who is liable in case of theft?

A carrier bears liability for theft of goods; however, it is the forwarder who settles directly with a client. An insurer should grant compensation if the carrier did everything to protect the goods from theft. It is also worthwhile to check what exclusions the contract between the forwarder/carrier and the insurer contains. If you decide to go for the cheapest policy, ultimately it might turn out that the insurer will not cover all costs.

Which route requires detailed planning of safety precautions?

Preparation for carriage in Europe is the same for each country. However, risk of theft is highest in Italy and therefore, it is imperative to increase the level of cargo safety in that country. Additionally, Italians often attempt to extort compensation claiming that the imported goods are damaged. Drivers are specifically warned against such attempts.

As you can see, a forwarder plans the whole carriage in detail as to make sure that your goods will go from points A to B intact. It is also of particular importance to them to cooperate only with reliable carriers and qualified, professional drivers. Administration documents should also play an important role in ensuring the safety of transport.