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Tips on quoting for valuable/fragile products

It is common for companies to transport goods from one place to another. The process usually involves different parties, such as forwarders, airline companies and shipping agents. Professional advice on insurance cover is needed to ensure that the transportation goes smoothly, and to minimise the risk of any transit loss. This is particularly important when fragile and valuable items are insured. You may find the following tips useful.

  1. Suitable and secure packaging
    If you are going to transport valuable and delicate products, such as musical instruments (e.g. pianos) or electronic equipment (e.g. computers), you should ensure that the goods are protected by suitable and sufficient forms of packing in compliance with standard export requirements. In general, wooden crate boxes provide better protection than cartons or cardboard boxes. It is also strongly advised to have the cargoes containerised. In case the goods are vulnerable to changes in surrounding moisture levels, you should make sure that adequate silica gel is placed inside the packing to absorb excessive moisture.
  2. Reliable and reputable carrier/forwarder
    While some companies often mainly look at the amount of fees charged by their forwarders/carriers to determine whether they will utilise their service, our advice is that it is equally, if not more, important that the forwarders/carriers must be able to provide reliable and quality service to you. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, reliable forwarders/carriers with good service quality often mean a high degree of skill and workmanship on the part of their staff and workers in handling the goods of your customers. This can minimise the risks of transit damage or loss. Secondly, in the unfortunate event that the goods are damaged and a claim arises, insurers, following claim settlement, will pursue recovery against the liable parties who are usually the carriers/forwarders in question. Reputable forwarders/carriers often have appropriate liability insurance covers to meet subrogated claims from cargo insurers. If insurers' claim outlays can be fully/partially recovered from third parties, this can improve your customers' loss ratio which is certainly to their advantage in future reviews of insurance premium rates.

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