83 - 02/99 - Continuing Bagged Shortages - Hodeidah - Yemen

This problem of large bagged cargo shortage claims at Hodeidah identified in our Bulletin 13/97 does not appear to be improving. In a recent case Members were faced with a shortlanding of 4,882 bags (approx 244mt ) out of a cargo of 10,020mt of flour. In this instance the owners had acted  prudently and instigated their own tally. Unfortunately this tally revealed an alleged shortage of 21,730 bags !(The alleged  loss of 21,730 bags of flour on passage is deeply suspect . If the cargo was never loaded  one would notice a practically empty hold !  21,730 bags would leave a rather big hole)

Receivers instructed charterers' agents not to let the ship sail by "withholding the port clearance" until their alleged claim of US$ 67,428 was settled. Receivers were also, as usual, not prepared to accept any form of security - only a cash settlement.

To complicate matters further, the Eid holiday period had started with banks and local offices shut until 23rd January (the ship completed discharge on 16th January) and the courts shut until the end of January. There was no realistic opportunity of taking legal action to release the vessel, particularly as the Members were under extreme pressure due to their future employment commitments and could not afford to let the ship remain idle for two weeks. The result was a settlement with the receivers at a level far in excess of what might be deemed reasonable.

We can only remind Members travelling to this area that shortages and other claims in the Yemen - and especially in Hodeidah - are all but inevitable and refer them to the suggestions made in Bulletin 13/97

Source of information :

Danny Ng (Hong Kong)

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Thomas Miller & Co Ltd

Date23/03/2009

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