We recently shipped a small LCL consignment to an IAM in Asia.
Very soon after the delivery our client contacted us in some distress to say that the delivery crew had stolen a substantial amount of money from a drawer in the bedroom. We advised the client to contact the police immediately, which they did. A member of the delivery crew then didn't show up for work and we understand was arrested, bailed and will go to court in the next few months. The police confirmed that there was indeed a theft as obviously we wanted to confirm that the money existed.
There are many unanswered questions as to why but we are now dealing with a client that expects us to refund the money as a member of a company we sub-contracted was responsible for the loss (if found guilty).
Have any members experienced this situation before and how much responsibility did they take and how much did they expect from the local partner?
Trust is a fundamental part of our business. Thankfully in more than 30 years I have never experienced this issue so would appreciate comments.
Head of International Partner Relations
Niemi Palvelut Oy – Niemi Services Ltd
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Ideally this should not happen with reputed companies who do due diligence and back ground checks of the crew they use
This is where we feel the correct choice of partners comes in, may be high priced but guarantee the integrity all the way
Ideally in this situation while the legal system is doing their work, the money reimbursement should come from the destination partner who serviced and owns this crew and not you
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Thank you for bringing this to the association attention. This is really interesting. We completely agree with Ray Dasilva on this topic. Another point to consider in regards to Destination Services is the fact that we may have an angry customer due to the amount of money he had to pay for concept of Taxes and Port Charges just to be able to import his household goods. They may understand it was not fair what they had to pay just because they compare with previous experiences they had in other countries, or they may think the demurrage is not their fault, or whatever. And they need someone to blame.
So, in cases like this, as bookers we must listen to the customer claim, give it the right consideration, but grant the destination agent the benefit of the doubt and allow them to initiate an investigation, most of all if you are working with IAM, FIDI, OMNI or LACMA members and you are noticing they are being supportive with the case and giving it the right concern, and afterwards, once we know all the facts, provided the DA briefed us accordingly, arrive to conclusions. The Destination Agent may sub-contract an investigation company with top notch technologies to know if a packer is guilty or not: these companies may use something as an Eye-detect tool or run an specific polygraph test or an integrity test, a body language test or whatever. There are modern tools for this. It all depends on the case and the objects or money being claimed.
We have had cases in which after performing the right investigation both the origin agent (or booker) and us agreed the whole case have been created by the customer trying to get a forced and no viable refund for the Port Charges and Taxes he had to pay during his Custom Clearance process. Unfortunately, some customers may lie and in those cases we must stand up for our crews.
Fernando A. García H.
INTERNATIONAL PACKERS, SRL
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