The most frequent instructions for a CJA’a cargo surveyor is to inspect and assess the extent of loss/damage to all kind of bulk, break-bulk or general cargo transported by sea, road or air. Contamination, particular and general average. Investigation into the cause of damage. Loss control surveys
Attending to a cargo survey does not mean that a surveyor may just simply equip himself with a camera, click a few photographs and easily reach a mutual agreement with the opposite party in respect to liability and quantum of claim. Indeed, it is often of dire consequences for the instructing party should he be unfortunate enough to encounter such a surveyor to represent his interest. By the time claim handlers receive the survey report, which could be a mere regurgitation of the opposite party’s findings or worse yet, investigations not thoroughly carried out which then result in unfounded / incorrect or baseless findings, the damage done has already reached its peak of malignancy. Claim handlers who are usually desk bound are dependent on the appointed surveyors to not only be their eyes and ears, but, knowledgeable in the task defined as well as the mouthpiece of the Principals’ interest.
At CJA, we view our Principal’s interest to be of paramount importance. Minimizing the loss and scaling down the value of claim is what we do best and through our concerted efforts, our Principal has been spared hefty sums of money on many occasions. Indeed, this is certainly one of the most gratifying part of our job.
It is cardinal that no evidence is to be destroyed, tampered with or disposed of. Photographs can be extremely valuable evidence so the appointed surveyor should make sure that these are accompanied by a proper description of the subject matter, location, date and time.
Analysis results should not be agreed without the Principal’s approval.
At CJA our appointed surveyor do not generally share his survey findings with cargo interests/their surveyors or agree to cargo interests/their surveyors’ findings unless approved by the Principal. In very general terms, this includes nature, cause & extent of damage/loss, sound values, depreciations, losses, costs/expenses. This does not mean however that all relevant interests/surveyors should not work together to identify cargo that is damaged. It may therefore be communicated to cargo interests/their surveyors that the appointed surveyor is prepared to recommend a joint determination of the nature and extent of damage. If cargo interests/their surveyors propose a course of action to mitigate a loss/damage, the appointed surveyor may agree to that course of action if urgent action is necessary and instructions cannot be obtained from the Principal. If the appointed surveyor has his own proposals to mitigate loss/damage these may be shared with cargo interests/their surveyors on an entirely without prejudice basis. If the appointed surveyor is uncertain that a course of mitigation is the correct one, this should be reported to the Principal before agreeing such action. Needless to say we have a wealth of experience in this area.