How to Deal With Defrost Containers?

Cargo transportation by sea involves various risks, including temperature fluctuations that can affect frozen products. To address these risks, shipping lines and insurance companies have specific procedures in place to handle customer Defrost Containers claims related to temperature damages. This article outlines the key steps and documents required when filing a claim for compensation.

Marine Insurance Coverage for Temperature Damages

Ocean Treasure containers used for cargo shipments are typically covered by marine insurance, providing coverage for various risks associated with frozen products. Marine insurance policies include provisions specifically related to frozen products and encompass all risks. However, it’s important to note that compensation is only applicable if the cargo has been affected by temperature changes resulting in specific issues such as defrosting, bad smell, or re-freezing.

Important Information and Procedures

–      Promptly Report Damages: As soon as damages to your cargo are discovered, it is crucial to contact the shipping line immediately. Failure to do so may jeopardize your right to compensation. It is recommended to provide written notice of damages or loss, even if you have already contacted the shipping line by telephone.

–      Inform Cargo Insurance Underwriter: Alongside contacting the shipping line, it is essential to inform your cargo insurance underwriter about the damages. This step ensures that the insurance company is aware of the situation and can initiate the claims process.

–      Take Photos and call for Joint Survey Shipping line, Insurance company customs: Request a joint survey with the shipping line, insurance company, and customs authorities, immediately. It is best to identify and document the damage at the port without moving the cargo. If feasible, keep the cargo in the container and unload it under the supervision and inspection of the surveyors. An official damage report, based on the joint survey findings, is a crucial document for compensation.

–      Separate Damaged Cargo: If some portion of the cargo remains usable, it should be separated from the damaged goods. Salvaging any salvageable items and taking necessary steps to minimize the loss is the responsibility of the consignee, both for the insurance claim and according to the bill of lading contract.

Required Documents for Filing a Claim

To expedite the claims process, claimants must provide the necessary documentation. The documents listed below should be in English or translated into English. Items in bold are particularly important:

 ·Formal notice of claim that is detailed and itemized.

·Copy of the shipping line bill of lading, both front and back.

·Certified commercial invoice of what your cost is of the damaged cargo

·Packing list

·Joint survey report with color photos of damaged cargo

·Proof of loss (as much as pictures and videos)

·Customs inspection documents (if have)

·Temperature recorder records (it is best to have shipping line temperature data, if not have, use Ocean treasure`s temperature recorder data)

·EIR report at discharging port. (if have)

·Customs declaration ·Delivery receipt

·Warehouse receiving records

·Salvage receipts or Certificate of destruction

·Proof of ownership

·Authorization letter if claimant is other than consignee on the shipping line B/L

·Container stuffing date

·Loading photos

·Any other documents that will substantiate your claim.

 Once all the required documents have been compiled, the claim file should be sent to both the shipping line and the insurance company. It is important to follow up closely with both parties to ensure the smooth progress of the claim.

General Procedure Overview

1) Client finds goods damaged in port) Leave the goods at the port

3) Contact both the shipping line and insurance company immediately

4) Shipping line &insurance company (with or without customs) to do the joint survey

5) Push for the joint report and ask the insurance company to compensate.

Important Notes to Consider

–      Temperature Recorder Data: During the joint survey conducted by the shipping line and insurance company, it is crucial to retrieve the temperature recorder. Typically, the recorder provided by Ocean Treasure can be found on a carton in the last few rows of the container. This data serves as strong evidence to support the claim for compensation.

–      Minimizing Loss and Providing Proof: Following the joint survey report, the insurance company may request the consignee to take steps to minimize the loss. It is advisable to issue a contract with a discounted price as evidence of the consignee’s efforts. The discount price should be reasonable as it will be reviewed by the insurance surveyor.

–      Damage Discovered after Discharge: If the goods are found to be damaged after the cargo has been discharged at the warehouse, it is still essential to follow the aforementioned procedures. However, it is important to note that obtaining compensation from the insurance company might be more challenging in such cases


When encountering temperature-related damages to cargo, it is vitally important to keep calm and collected, contact the cargo insurance underwriter, and initiate the claims process. By adhering to the outlined procedures and providing the required documentation, claimants can maximize their chances of receiving compensation. Remember to closely follow up with both the shipping line and insurance company throughout the process.

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