The commercial maritime shipping industry is dynamic, and the variables at play as vessels and freight move from port to port change constantly. It’s critical for stakeholders across the deal chain to make decisions that reflect each voyage’s changing circumstances and realities. Those decisions can directly impact the cost of every shipment and voyage.

But, what about late, damaged, or missing cargo? The claims process is a pivotal point for profit and loss, no matter the stakeholder in question. For owners and operators, mishandled or poorly negotiated claims can be detrimental to long-standing relationships and the organization’s bottom line. For tonnage charterers and commodities traders, the timeliness of freight is integral to organizational success, so mitigating and resolving claims in a timely fashion is critical.

Here, we will explore how a robust commercial solution can ensure that they’re efficiently and effectively managed, tracked, and resolved.

For owner-operators, commodities traders, and tonnage charterers, claim types can run a full range of mishaps, some of which are cargo-specific. Some of the most common faced by stakeholders include damage, loss, shortage, and demurrage.

Claims happen—they are an unavoidable part of the maritime shipping industry. How organizations handle and manage claims, however, can vary dramatically. An organization with a dynamic and integrated commercial solution will be better positioned than one relying on manual, disparate methods to manage, negotiate, and resolve the full diversity of complex claims. There are three primary ways that a digital solution can help you re-claim your claims management process:

1. Catch Claims

The timely resolution of claims matters to everyone connected to the commercial maritime shipping contract. A digital solution is designed to standardize and centralize the claims management process, moving beyond unwieldy email and disconnected spreadsheets. In addition to centralizing the management of claims details and windows, the right commercial solution can also help claims professionals prioritize actions, particularly when dealing with a large volume of claims. Through integrated tasks and alerts, a dynamic commercial solution will help ensure the claims windows never close unaddressed and direct stakeholders’ attention to the areas in which action is most urgently needed.

2. Support Informed Negotiations

When it comes time to negotiate a claim, whether damage, loss, shortage, or demurrage, both parties benefit from having as much relevant data on hand as possible. For stakeholders using disparate or manual processes for claims management, maintaining comprehensive and timely documentation can be all but impossible. In the negotiation phase of the claims process, these organizations lack the insight they need to substantiate their position with confidence. With a dynamic commercial solution, however, stakeholders can definitively reference the chain of events in a system directly integrated with voyage data. This integrated visibility helps to bring contextual advantage to claims negotiations.

3. Better Anticipate Laytime

In the commercial maritime shipping ecosystem, demurrage is the single most costly claim type, both in direct costs and in detrimental delays. Often, demurrage is entirely unanticipated, leading to a significant delta between planned and actual costs. The right commercial solution can help proactively anticipate demurrage, providing key stakeholders the opportunity to mitigate demurrage wherever possible. When demurrage occurs, the solution can enable key stakeholders to manage demurrage invoicing and processing in an automated and highly efficient way.

Empower Dynamic Claims Management

As a dynamic platform for the commercial management of marine cargoes and fleets, the Veson IMOS Platform (VIP) provides a suite of flexible tools that key stakeholders on both sides of the marine contract can utilize to make informed, proactive decisions. With VIP Claims, users can bring new visibility, efficiency, and contextual advantage to the voyage claims management process through comprehensive tracking and alerts, integrated laytime calculations, and superior documentation for a full range of claims types. Learn more about VIP Claims and the Veson IMOS Platform below.