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Monday, November 23, 2015

Cargo Packing ~ how 24 pc dinner set was delivered by Tesco !

Marine Cargo Insurance offers protection for goods that are being moved from place to place.  There is the Consignor, Consignee and the transporter – the mode through which the transportation takes place. 

For a Cargo Insurer, the subject matter of insurance, the origin and destination involved, and the way the goods are packed are all of significance.  Goods are packed [and that includes no packing !] – when there is movement of goods, the primary aspect is of packing is  to enable them transportable. Though there are various functions of packaging – it can broadly be classified as : Primary, secondary and tertiary.  From transportation perspective,  the ease of handling and lesser the volume it would occupy are important.  From an insurance perspective, the  protective function is of utmost importance i.e.,  Packaging must protect the goods from loss, damage and theft and should be convenient to handle.

Often when information is sought, the answer could be : Standard and customary. English definition of Customary : - Customary is used to describe things that people usually do in a particular society or in particular circumstances; 0r what is generally used by the industry as a practice.

In our day to day life, we come across so many packing types – simple one is the ‘rice in bags’, the conventional ones. As you could easily discern, they are conventionally standardized ones – i.e., 50 kg bags when bought in rice market and in small quantities of 5/10/15/20 kgs for invidiuals. When rice and other similar products are to be transported to far off places, that too in huge quantities, they are loaded in containers or simply sent in bulk. 

Getting back to packing, the  protective function essentially involves protecting the contents from the environment, hazards they are exposed during the transit.  The inward protective function is intended to ensure full retention of the utility value of the packaged goods. In addition, packaging must also reliably be able to withstand the many different static and dynamic forces to which it is subjected during transport, handling and storage operations. The goods frequently also require protection from climatic conditions, such as temperature, humidity, precipitation and solar radiation, which may require "inward packaging measures" in addition to any "outward packaging measures".

Packing is an important exculpatory exclusion in Institute Cargo Clauses [1982] which reads : Loss, damage or expense caused by insufficiency or unsuitability of packing or preperation of the subject matter insured (for the purpose of this Clause 4.3, packing shall be deemed to include stowage in a container or lift van but only when such stowage is carried out prior to attachment of this insurance or by the insured or their servants).

So the packing must be sufficient.  Sufficient packing is normal or customary packing in the trade. Such packing should permit the goods to withstand the normal hazards likely to be encountered on the specific voyage contemplated and to prevent all but the most minor damage under normal conditions of care and carriage.  There of course cannot be an all encompassing single criterion determining ‘insufficiency of packing’. 

While protective packing is required for withstanding normal hazards of transit – the goods have to remain saleable and the Promotional packing would attract the buyers enabling faster sale.  If one were to seek Marine insurance for ‘dinner set’ – the Marine Insurer might think that this is a fragile item, prone to breakage and hence packing is very important.  If you are a Marine Insurer, how would you respond to a proposal of 24 piece dinner set ordered from Tesco, coming as they did with every single item packaged in two individual boxes – individual packing for every piece, that too, two boxes – excellent one might scream – not Joanne and Billy Murphy, from Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, who  ordered this a 24-piece dinner set from Tesco.

They were stunned when it arrived after 14 days and every single item had been packaged in two individual boxes ! Once all the pieces had been unwrapped from the £50 delivery they could not see the floor of their living room.  MailOnline reports that Joanne and Billy Murphy were mystified as to why every plate, bowl and mug they had ordered from Tesco was packed in its own individual box and then placed inside a second bigger box.

The pile of boxes took up so much space the family could not see their living room floor once they had unwrapped all the items from the 24-piece dinner set ~ and  despite the careful packing, four bowls and a mug were smashed in the delivery.  Mrs Murphy, 39, a mother-of-two,  thought the delivery process was 'ridiculous and 'laughable' as everything was double boxed; and was annoyed Tesco had initially ignored her requests to help her clear away the piles of cardboard.

She was already irritated at having to wait 14 days for the £50 delivery to arrive.  She said: 'The ironic thing is despite all the packaging, they still managed to break five items. 'The first two bowls came in a separate delivery. I thought it was pretty bad they came in their own boxes so I rang Tesco to complain. 'I thought that would be a one-off. I never expected the whole order to be like that. 'The driver knocked on our door and asked if I was expecting a big delivery. I said not really, just some kitchen stuff, but his entire van was full of it. 'He was astonished as we were. Nobody could understand why there were so many boxes. 'Every plate, bowl and mug came in two boxes. It was laughable.

'I think it's ridiculous and I was even more annoyed when they ignored me after I asked them to come and clear it up. 'After everything was unwrapped we couldn't even see the floor.' Mrs Murphy and husband Billy, 38, a railway engineer, pay £6 a month as part of the Tesco Delivery Saver as they regularly use the company for their grocery shopping.  When the couple finally opened the boxes there was also a huge amount of paper inside which added to the clutter.

She rang Tesco to complain but the store initially only wanted to deal with the broken items. They have now collected the packaging. The full-time mother, who lives in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, said she had concerns about the environment impact of the cardboard overload but could also see the funny side.  'For the kids it was like Christmas Day. They were making dens and turned some of the boxes into an indoor skate park', she said. 

Tesco, which used delivery firm Yodel to distribute Mrs Murphy's order, said the amount of packaging was a blunder.  A spokesman told MailOnline: 'We aim to use the minimum packaging possible while ensuring our products are properly protected from damage. Clearly we’ve made a mistake on this occasion.  'We have apologised to Mrs Murphy, will replace the damaged items and have collected the excess packaging from her house so it can be recycled'.

Interesting !!
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Nov. 2015.

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