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Bagged Cargo


Bagged Cargo is a huge trade for many African or South American carriers because this generally involves shipments of Cocoa or Coffee. Often the supply chain is regulated so they have a greater influence on the carriers than say the container trade. Most bagged shipments are normally shipped LCL/LCL so the carrier has a duty/care/responsibility during stuffing. This normally leads to a lot of small, but eventually costly claims although precautions can be taken.


Torn and Slack

This is an expression to describe shortage arising from damaged bags and whilst there will be a small amount of sweepings, this is legitimate nonetheless. To avoid such claims, it is important to ensure:

  • New or good quality jute bags are used.

  • Ensure and inspect the stitching on the bags.

  • Encourage sweepings and adequate re-bagging facilities at destination.


Whilst theft may occur, the common cause of shortage is poor tallying or mis-placing the bags during warehousing. To avoid such claims, it is important to ensure:

  • Time and expense are provided to tallying.

  • Have dedicated warehousing or special care to avoid mixing.

Wet Damage

Most bagged cargo are hydroscopic, so moisture is a huge problem. Ventilation is crucial and so is the use of desiccator bags to absorb moisture. It is important to:

  • Avoid loading in the rain.

  • Check moisture contents and return if not in limits.

  • Carry light hole checks if shipped in containers.

  • Ensure full ventilation (use of vents or doors open) and use of desiccator bags.


Naturally, infestation is a problem due to the consumable nature of most bagged cargo. This may add to further problems with wet damage/caking but also contamination or third-party damage. Keep in mind to:

  • Ensure fumigation is carried out just prior to shipment.

  • Do not place fumigated cargo close to non-fumigated cargo.

  • Carriers will generally refute fumigation claims.

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