What happens when an ocean freight vessel is captured and seized by a Government? And does your ocean freight shipping rate cover any damages or loss of time?
These are all vital questions being asked this week when this very scary scenario became a reality. The Maersk Tigris became the subject of this story after being captured by Iranian Authorities in late April 2015. This capture occurred in the Strait of Hormuz, which is major shipping lane in the Middle East.
The reason that Iranian Authorities captured the Maersk Tigris is because of a dispute that Maersk had 10 years ago with an Iranian company. The dispute began with a $3.6 million fine for non-delivery. After some back and forth time in the courts, the Iranian Authorities issued the capture recently on this ship with over 4,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) onboard.
During the 10-day capture, the USS Farragut, a destroyer, was sent to the region to keep the peace. Finally, after some legal discussions, the Iran Authorities released the Maersk Tigris back to continue their journey from Jeddah to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. The 24 crew members on board were reported to be safe. Meanwhile, Maersk is still working through the legal channels to continue to pay the debt.
As a shipper, can you imagine if your freight never reaches the destination port on time because it was held up for 10 days? That is why it pays to work with a trusted freight forwarder who can provide the best shipping services.