Marine cargo insurance – into Mogadishu

Bellwood Prestbury are well known for providing marine cargo insurance for high-risk areas. It doesn’t get much higher risk than shipping millions of gallons of flammable fuels into Mogadishu, Somalia.

The brief was to provide marine cargo insurance for a shipment of jet aircraft fuel being transported from Dubai to Mogadishu. As well as the usual risks involved in transporting highly flammable fuels in rough seas and high temperatures, this shipment would have to navigate pirate infested waters, before docking and discharging its cargo in one of the most hostile cities on the planet. The cargo was worth over US$2m.

This kind of operation is not only risky, it is highly confidential. For Bellwood Prestbury, that means the client can only give a few days notice of the shipment. The client also requires complete flexibility in the period of cover, so that the captain can choose his departure and arrival times to suit the security situation, knowing that the cargo is properly protected throughout.

Given the highly sensitive nature of the operation, the tight timescales and the unusual risks, the only way to get this kind of marine cargo insurance is through Lloyd’s of London. Bellwood Prestbury regularly places this kind of risk and is able to act quickly. Rob Thompson, Director at Bellwood Prestbury  explains: “We set up a framework agreement, with cover called off on a daily basis from whenever the ship leaves port. The insurance cover continues until the cargo is offloaded at the stated destination. This gives the client the flexibility needed and keeps costs down.”

In this case, the voyage was not without incident. The ship came under attack as it began unloading its cargo in Mogadishu and was forced to leave with most of the cargo still onboard. For Rob this required immediate organisation of cover for the return trip. Rob says: “When you deal with this kind of cover, you have to be ready to react immediately to changing circumstances. Once the ship has been identified as carrying valuable cargo, the risk of pirate attack in the waters off East Africa is very real. We acted straight away to ensure that the cargo was properly protected on its return trip.”

If you need marine cargo insurance for high risk cargo, or international cargo insurance for land sea or air into high risk areas, call our specialist team on +44(0)1242 584 558.

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Categories: Goods in transit - cargo

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