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aba Group Advises Businesses on Precautions to Take with Cargo and Shipping this Holiday Season

Cargo security and safeguards have always been a point of focus, but after 9/11, it gained renewed focus. Despite this it was reported that large scale heists of currency and jewels occurred. aba outlines precautions to take with cargo this season


Cargo security and safeguards have always been a point of focus, but after the tragedy that was 9/11, it gained renewed focus. Despite this, over the years 2000 and 2001 it was reported that large scale, albeit unpublicized heists of jewels and currency had plagued two major European airports, whilst Africa was the victim of an armed robbery of diamonds and bank notes towards the end of 2001 according to a report compiled by Chubb in 2002.
As a result, security measures have improved significantly which is a relief to shippers and insurers; what hope is there, if high profile cargoes cannot be protected?
Then in October 2010, two cargo shipping planes were found to be carrying bombs and detonating mechanisms where one was due to stop in the UK and the other in Dubai. The plot was foiled, but the safeguards that were in place did not prevent the devices from being planted in the first place.
Graham Webster, Managing Director of the Bolton-based insurer aba Group explains:
“These events present challenges to shippers worldwide as well as to those providing Cargo Insurance Cover, but they also offer an opportunity for these shippers to understand where they’re vulnerable so that they can improve their security measures. One of the first things we tell people is that they ought to know where their cargo is at all times, when it is moving, when it isn’t… They also need to know when it arrives at the final destination, so that if it doesn’t, they can start asking questions immediately”
One of the problems with shipping is that, although cargo may depart by sea freight and may arrive by the same mode of transport, there can often be air cargo intervention, where the cargo changes hands. It is important therefore that shippers do not accept any sub-contracting without knowing that security standards will be unaffected. Some sub-contractors can then sub-contract the work themselves to a point where you have no control over your cargo security and this can have implications for their Cargo Insurance Coverage.
“It is important for shippers to document the minimum expected security standards from each approved carrier, you have to make them sign off on your requirements so that they are responsible for any deviations from your standards. It is also important for shippers to inspect any third party storage facilities, checking that those people who look after the warehouses have adequate current liability insurance in place” adds Mr Webster.
In the run up to the Christmas season, more and more shippers will be moving goods in preparation for Christmas sales and so more than ever, it is a vital time to remain vigilant and to ensure that your Cargo Insurance Policy still meets your needs. Ensure that staff background checks are undertaken, references are acquired and unexplained gaps in employment are explained.
“The reason for this is that many organized cargo criminals will seek inside help when planning an attack on your cargo, so make sure your computer network is secure from hacking attempts and ensure that confidential information is stored securely. You can also ward off would-be attackers by providing enhanced security for consignments of high value items such as laptops and high tech items, branded fashion wear, jewels and precious metals; any shipments that might be more likely targets. Ensuring these items are packaged discreetly will also help.
“Demonstrating that you take losses seriously, by following up and investigating the incidents thoroughly can help. Cataloguing these incidents and looking for trends can be a good way to spot vulnerabilities so that safeguards can be implemented. Here at aba Group, we’re happy to offer businesses help and advice to ensure that they meet the requirements of their Marine Cargo Insurance policy whilst avoiding cargo losses”
states Mr Webster.
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About aba Group:
aba Group has been operating in Bolton for years, headed by Managing Director Graham Webster and fellow Director Lynne Eckersley, they have 70 years’ experience in the industry between them. Their specialist insurance coverage spans schools and academies, directors, officers, contractors, engineers, landlords and a whole host of other professional roles and activities; which has seen them become the go-to business insurance brokers locally.
For further information contact:


 Marine Cargo Insurance
 Cargo Insurance Coverage
 Cargo Insurance Policy
 Cargo Insurance Cover
 Business Insurance Broker

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