Over the past months we have been studying our portfolio to determine some of the causes of rejections of fruit cargo claims recoveries.

What was immediately apparent to us was that the leading reason for rejecting fruit cargo claims was lack of supporting documents. So action needs to be taken and taken fast.
There are a few behavioural changes that have to be made by international traders of fruits and marine cargo insurers to help improve on recovery outcomes. The below list is not conclusive. As international trade evolves, new risks may arise.


Collect meticulous details on the quality and handling of the cargo from farm to port. Record harvest dates, keep cold storage receipts, record firm stack dates etc

  • Take photographs, a lot! Take photographs depicting
  • Fruit external quality
  • Where temptales are placed in the reefer containers
  • External condition containers
  • Confirming the presence of scrubbers or not


  • Take pictures of the external conditions of the container before opening it.
  • During discharge, take pictures confirming the locations of temptales before removing them.
  • Keep meticulous details of
    • Damaged fruits
    • Salvage sale accounts and receipts
    • Destruction certificates

Marine Cargo Insurers

  • Instruct recovery experts contemporaneously with appointing surveyors for inspection.
  • Ensure all relevant documents are collected from consignee before claim payment
  • Update insureds on risk mitigation strategies
  • Recoveries is not an afterthought. Do not treat it like one.

We cannot overemphasise the importance of being to demonstrate that the claimant (insurer, exporter or importer) holds the rights to claim. So do well to collect all contracting documents early enough to avoid jeopardising the outcome of the claim in future.

Ship safe!

*This study was conducted exclusively on the StilFresh claims portfolio. This varies from quarter to quarter depending on the volume of cases we have received. We endeavour to write regularly as our portfolio changes.