Cargo Insurance – Preparing for Every Occasion

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As a shipper or receiver of goods – whether your cargo moves internationally or domestically – regardless of the conveyance, it is natural, and inevitable, that your cargo will at some point sustain damages or losses.

The transportation industry can be cruel. Whether you are shipping teddy bears, fresh flowers, or industrial generators – in a small box or cargo laden in twelve shipping containers – the risk for loss or damage is always real. We all know that cargo endures long voyages and flights, extensive moving and shifting, and the potential for theft and bad weather (to name a few of the many risks). The question therefore becomes how does one mitigate that risk and protect their financial interests? When someone touches your shipment (even mother nature) there is risk – and this is critical to understand. Therefore, to protect your cargo in the broader sense a maritime insurance policy is essential in both domestic and international trade.

We have all seen photos of vessels overturning, trucks being flipped on the side of the road, or aircrafts being involved in serious incidents – these images can be disturbing to see especially considering the risk that is being undertaken by those drivers, aircraft crew, and seafarers to safely transport cargo from one point to another. But as a shipper and/or receiver of goods, it is important to understand why insurance is so crucial in trade as a whole. Therefore, some of the fundamental questions that must be asked include:

  • Is there full insurance coverage on your shipments?
  • What are you shipping? Factors such as commodities, values, destinations, etc. will dictate how effective your policy is.
  • Are you self-insured or do you require your logistics partner to offer coverage? (Trans-Border offers coverage if needed!)
  • Never rely upon limited liability coverage! This form of coverage should never be relied upon.
  • Are your goods packed adequately? Are they crated, or banded and shrink-wrapped? Are their special handling labels affixed? This is the very first step!

Loss or damage to cargo is and will always be a reality. No one likes to see it happen and that is why full insurance is critical. Insurance is there to protect one’s financial interests. Just like you have car, home, and property insurance – cargo insurance is a must. If you trade domestically or internationally, it should be considered a must-have in your portfolio of coverages.

We at Trans-Border are extremely empathetic to these scenarios and will always practice due diligence when moving your cargo. It is also important for us to continuously educate our clients on industry practices to help reduce these common and unwanted situations!

If you have questions about marine insurance or export compliance in general, please contact Yateen Patel at or by calling 800-493-9444.


About the Author:

Yateen “Yatz” Patel serves as Trans-Border’s Director of Export Compliance. Yateen has nearly 20 years of supply chain experience in both the U.S. and U.K. In his current role, Yateen is responsible for Trans-Border’s export law compliance, regulatory affairs, and insurance and risk management.

Contact Yateen at or (518) 785-6000.

Further reading by Yateen:


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