Cargo insurance and it’s importance in the supply chain

Cargo insurance protects the shipper and buyer and without it you put at risk the cost of your cargo. In May 2019 a container vessel catches fire, this time the KMTC Hong Kong. This wasn’t the only vessel this year to catch fire. There have been several incidents worldwide and it is on the increase. Fire is not the only threat to your cargo but it does highlight the need to insure.

Estimates claim half of all sea freight shipped each year have inadequate insurance cover. Meaning thousands of cargo owners take a huge risk with their cargo. Repeated industry warnings do not seem to have an effect on the volume insured. Shippers and buyers continued insistence to cut cost puts them at risk. Cargo insurance is an easy cost to cut but comes at a serious risk.

It’s Simply Not Worth the Risk

Unfortunately, there seem to be reports of fires on container ships every few months. As vessels continue to increase in size the potential impact of a vessel fire only increases.

Damage to cargo or caught out by a General Average claim cargo insurance is there to protect you. Quality cargo insurance clause A cover will protect you against all risks of physical loss or damage.

Most marine cargo insurance policies protect you from carrier exclusions of which there can be many :

  • Acts of God
  • Terrorism
  • Strikes
  • Riots
  • Civil Commotion Risk

General average could be the biggest risk to shippers and is often not discussed until a claim is made. Ask your freight forwarder about general average and see if they know or understand the implications.

General Average

A cargo ship’s master chooses to sacrifice part of the cargo or equipment from the vessel to save the voyage. General average then declares by the vessel insurers which affects all shipments on the vessel. All parties with cargo on the vessel make a proportional contribution to cover the costs. The term for this is “General Average”. The vessel owner can declare this legal principle under maritime law under specific circumstances.

Here is an example of how it works :

  • If a vessel has 200 containers on board and twenty catch fire. The captain of the vessel discharges overboard the 20 containers into the sea.
  • By throwing the twenty containers overboard, saving the crew, vessel and remaining cargo.
  • All companies share the loss. Not just those who had their containers thrown overboard.

General average declares. The ships insurance company look at the damage to the vessel and the lost containers. The shipping line hold the cargo and request payment of general average. If insurance is in place it is straight-forward. The shipper should receive a General Average Guarantee from their insurer.

if cargo is uninsured it will be held awaiting payment. The cash deposit required will depend on the assessed amount. This could run into tens of thousands of pounds. The value of your goods has little effect on the claim made by the shipping line’s insurers.

The most important thing to note is the general average claim could be more than the value of your goods.

All modes of transport, air, sea and road should have adequate cargo insurance. An incident at sea can have significant financial implications. Cargo insurance is a sensible investment for all shipments. General average can make sea freight especially vulnerable.

Container ship on fire, General average is declared and cargo insurance is needed

Connaught Global always recommends cargo insurance

We strongly recommends cargo insurance on imports and exports. Connaught Global can organise to insure your goods if requested. Like all instructions it does need to be specified. We operate an open general marine insurance policy which covers all modes of transport.

if cargo insurance is arranged on your behalf you insure directly with our insurers. Our insurers are listed at Lloyds of London and they are best placed to handle any claim. All certificates raised list an insurance surveyor for speed and ease of use.

We hope you never have to use cargo insurance. But we recommend not cutting this cost out of your supply chain.


Freight forwarder : Choose wisely 5 qualities to consider

When looking for a freight forwarder what should you look for. Freight forwarding companies come in many guises. Companies with decades of experience, those specialising in particular vertical’s or routes. Or the start-ups, how do you tell them apart. Being spoilt for choice can make the decision of who you trust your cargo with a difficult one.

At Connaught global we are proud to offer a completely transparent service. One which allows our customers to have complete trust in the way we do business. Here we share the five qualities we believe you should look for when selecting your freight forwarder.

1. Experience – In the right area

The freight forwarding industry in the UK is unregulated, which means that – in theory – anyone can set themselves up as a freight forwarder.

Choosing a freight forwarder with many years of experience under its belt will give you the peace of mind. The confidence that they know what they are doing. You need to assure they can deal with any issues that could crop up during a process that can be quite complicated.

There are many variables when it comes to moving your cargo. It is essential to ensure that your chosen freight forwarder has experience that applies to the service that you need. For example, if you want to send cargo quickly by air, a freight forwarder that mainly deals with shipping by sea may not be the right one for you. This is even more crucial if you’re sending cargo that requires specialised handling.

Perishables that need to be temperature controlled or vehicles that require Roll-on, Roll-off transportation are good examples where your choice of freight forwarder is crucial.

Connaught Global has over 34 years of experience in freight forwarding. with teams of specialists in place to deal with clients in the Pharmaceutical, Courier, High Value and White gloves movements. We are confident that we can deal with shipments of any kind.

2. Accreditation – from recognised bodies

In place of proper regulation, accreditation’s can serve as a good indicator of high standards and professionalism. Look at the ‘stamps of approval’ that your freight forwarder holds.

At Connaught Global we are accredited by the British International Freight Association (BIFA). We are also a licensed International Air Transport Association (IATA) cargo agent and an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). Your goods are in safe hands with Connaught Global as our service levels are checked and re-checked by external bodies.

Look out for these accreditations when you are determining your next freight forwarder. In particular challenge their AEO procedures to ensure it is AEO Full and not simplified.

3. An extensive partnership network

A freight forwarder relies on its network of carriers and agents when undertaking your cargo movement. If that network is lacking, this could mean delays or issues that aren’t easily resolved.

Discuss with your chosen freight forwarder their network in the countries that you’ll be importing from or exporting to. To ensure the smoothest service ask them how they chose their agency partners.

Worldwide globe showing presence by light of freight forwarder

With a hand-picked presence in 42 countries, we feel that Connaught Global is ideally placed to facilitate most shipments. We regularly visit and assess our partner and carrier’s service levels to ensure they remain at the highest levels.

4. Wrap-around services

Obviously, the right freight forwarder for you will be one offering the specific shipping service that you require –

  • Full Container Load (FCL)
  • Less than Container Load (LCL)
  • Airfreight
  • Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO)
  • Roadfreight
  • Courier

However, there’s a whole host of wrap-around services that a freight forwarder might offer, which could make your business run much smoother and make your life much easier.

Connaught Global can take care of all the relevant documentation helping to facilitate fast-track customs clearance. We also offer a full range of optional extras, from product sourcing and packing to storage and distribution. On-site pick and pack from our bonded warehouses are a particular specialism with online inventory management.

We also provide port-centric logistics, which can reduce the number of handling stages involved in warehousing and distribution. This has numerous potential benefits including saving you both time and money, reducing the carbon footprint of your cargo and also minimising the risk of issues including delay, loss of cargo or mishandling.

5. Excellent customer care

A good company is built on excellent customer care. If something goes wrong somewhere along the freight forwarding process having someone dedicated to putting it right as quickly as possible is invaluable.

You should also look for specific tools that will make your experience as a customer easier. Online tracking, for example, is a fantastic tool that allows greater communication between businesses and their own customers.

We believe that here at Connaught Global it is our standard of customer care which marks us out. If you are looking to evaluate your freight forwarding options come and challenge us on our service levels. You may be surprised when you compare them to your incumbent freight forwarder.


Iceland cargo service now incorporates Glasgow Airport.

Connaught global operate weekly airfreight cargo services to Iceland. Receiving cargo depots at Manchester, London Heathrow and Glasgow airport. Connaught Global are fast becoming the go to freight forwarder by air to Iceland from the UK.

Iceland cargo on B757 service

Icelandair’s fleet of B757’s give us the flexibility we need to operate our consolidation services.

Iceland cargo exports from the UK

Trade between the UK and Iceland is substantial thanks to our close proximity. Iceland has the smallest population in the Nordic and Baltic region but per capita the income is high. Iceland has an educated and technologically advanced society which looks for high quality products and services.

A sophisticated and established trading relationship with the UK makes exporting to Iceland a painless process. A simple EUR1 declaration on your invoice or from the Chamber of Commerce means exports do not attract duty.

  • Food & beverages
  • Industrial supplies
  • fuel & lubricants
  • capital goods
  • transport equipment
  • consumer goods

All are moved to Iceland on a continual basis all year round. Iceland imports are less seasonal than other markets. Connaught Global handle dangerous goods to Iceland although most Fuel exports move on our short-sea services.

Benefits for British businesses exporting to Iceland

  • UK is the closest neighbouring country with good logistical connections
  • English is widely used as the business language
  • Familiarity with British goods as the UK is the preferred shopping place
  • Little manufacturing of consumer goods in Iceland
  • Compact market as high concentration of consumers in Reykjavik
  • High purchasing power due to high per capita income
  • Quality minded consumers

If your goods are successfully sold in the UK there is a good chance you will be successful in Iceland.

It’s not just by Air that Connaught Global support Iceland

As mentioned when talking about fuel and lubricants there is a vibrant short sea service to Iceland. Connaught Global offer FCL and LCL cargo services to Iceland.

Frakt IS receive both our air and sea cargo. This allows us to maintain continuity in the suppply chain. As well as prepaid and collect services we offer DAP & DDP services across Iceland from the UK. This makes pricing and selling your cargo to Iceland a seamless process. Door to door rates are available from our commercial teams in both the UK and Iceland.


History of air freight

Logistics just got an upgrade

One of the most popular transportation options available. The history of air freight is relatively short when you consider sea freight. The movement of goods by sea can be traced back thousands of years. Air freight we only have to look to the last century.

1910 – The first air freight shipment

The very first air freight shipment on a cargo-only plane took to the skies over a century ago in 1910. A US department store decided to fly 200Ibs of silk the 65 miles from Dayton to Columbus. The Model B plane, invented by the famous Wright Brothers, raced against an express train to see which was faster. The plane won and clearly demonstrated to the world that air freight could be a viable transport option.

With a recorded journey time of 57 minutes, the first cargo-only air freight shipment broke the world speed record.

1911 – Air mail

air freight diversified in 1911. Air mail demonstrations were held in both India and the UK. In the UK, a month-long airmail service ran as part of the Coronation celebrations for King George V. Moving mail by air the 21-mile distance from London to Windsor.

The UK airmail experiment was terminated after just 16 flights due to constant and severe bad weather delays. Those early planes just weren’t built to withstand the temperamental British weather – even during the relatively mild month of September!

1920s – Cargo & passenger transport combined

Undeterred, aviation and the air freight industry continued to grow. With increasingly reliable planes transporting on the same aircraft both passengers and goods. As technology advanced and the confidence in air transport improved planes ventured further and crossed water.

1939 – 45 World War II and the history of air freight

During the war effort there was considerable investment in aircraft technology. Planes were essential in transporting troops, Weapons and supplies over long distances.

At the end of the war the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was formed. This was also the period where All-Cargo airlines started to emerge. It was in 1968, some two decades later that the air-cargo industry had it’s plane. The launch of the Boeing 747 could carry over 100 Tonnes of cargo on full aircraft pallets. Cargo versions had a nose-loading door which allowed larger cargo to be carried.

1990s – The integrators arrive and the express parcel.

Fedex, DHL & UPS are names synonymous around the world with small parcels. Integrators whom carry small parcels on their own dedicated aircraft. Specialists in 32 Kilos or less in 2-3 days, not possible without all-cargo aircraft. With the rise of the internet and global players like Amazon / Alibaba and Ebay these small parcels continue to grow this market.

Present Day – a global market place

The history of air freight has changed considerably over the 20th Century. The start of the 21st century though has seen air freight continue to develop.

The internet has truly opened the world to a global market place. It has never been easier to import or export goods. Air freight offers a quick way to move goods from Manufacture worldwide.

Specialist air freight forwarders like Connaught can provide consol cargo rates alongside more specialist project cargo rates. Sea freight for heavy cargo is still cheaper and we can offer this. Box rates can provide considerable cost savings but the negatives of speed and risk are greater. Our air freight offering though cannot be beaten.


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