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Abandoned cargo – freight that is rejected by the intended recipient or otherwise not accepted and paid for – is becoming a source of increasing concern for freight brokers. The reasons that cargo may go uncollected cargo vary, depending on the situation. It could be due to an issue at customs, incorrect paperwork, the inability of the consignees to claim their goods, or an ongoing dispute with the shipper.

Handling abandoned cargo can be expensive and risky. Here are some tips from that can help freight brokers avoid getting stuck with unclaimed cargo:

Study your terms and conditions

You have certain responsibilities as a freight broker, but you don’t want to risk losing money because other people didn’t live up to their parts of the agreement. Invest in professional legal advice from someone who knows contracts and ask him or her to review your standard agreements. Look for an attorney who has experience in the trucking business so that you are better protected in the event of abandoned cargo.

Take immediate action

Some freight brokers may want to lean back and wait for the shippers and consignee to sort through the task of clearing and collecting cargo, but the unclaimed freight is still your responsibility at this point, so you need to get involved quickly. If you receive an accepting merchant’s reassurance or a notice from your carrier, you need to act as quickly as possible. Leaving abandoned cargo too long will make it harder to collect it.

Keep a close eye on containers in a holding pattern

Make sure that you, or someone in your business, is paying attention to overdue containers that are accumulating charges, because this will become your problem to sort out. The costs will continue to escalate so don’t adopt a “wait and see” approach.

Look at the paperwork

Be cautious of how you are named in the documents. As a freight broker, you should try to avoid being named the “shipper” or “consignee” as this will expose you to even more responsibilities.

The website provides a wealth of resources for freight brokers, including this advice on avoiding abandoned cargo. Visit and click on “Blog.” If you haven’t registered, now is a good time – it just takes a minute and it’s completely free. If you’re looking to join the world’s largest load board, then register on this FREE Load Board today.

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