As a shipper, it’s not entirely uncommon for your container to get rolled. When an ocean freight cargo is said to have been ‘rolled’, it means it has not been loaded onto the vessel it was meant to sail on. There are various reasons for a container getting rolled, including but not restricted to:
This tends to happen more to shipments requiring a transshipment or with end destinations at lesser-known ports. This is because they’ll need to be loaded onto different vessels various times, which heightens their risk of getting rolled and missing a connecting vessel.
Although some of the above-mentioned reasons such as overbooking and vessel mechanical issues are beyond your control as a shipper, there are certain preventive measures you can and should take from your end to increase the chances of your shipment making the sail.
If your cargo is rolled because of a carrier issue, the carrier will automatically rescheduled your shipment and place it onto its next-departing vessel. Any extra charges involved will be covered by the carrier.
However, should your cargo get rolled due to missing paperwork or customs problems or failure to comply with certain requirements, you will be charged for the roll over. Note that roll overs often cost more than the ocean freight price itself.
In the unfortunate scenario that your cargo gets rolled, the carriers will inform the booking party. If it’s due to a carrier issue, the booking party will also receive an updated booking confirmation with new details. If you’ve booked through a freight forwarder, your freight forwarder will be the one to receive this information from the carriers and relay it to you.
It’s never any fun to hear that your container hasn’t made the vessel. Now, you’re rushing to inform your fellow supply chain partners, update your accounts, editing spreadsheets, and basically trying to clean up as much as possible and rectify what went wrong on your end, if any at all. Whether or not it was an error on your part, there are still tons of accounting for to do, not to mention the potential delays your supply chain now faces.
The first thing you should do upon hearing that your container has been rolled is to find out why. If it’s a problem such as overbooking or vessel omission, there’s pretty much nothing you can do besides wait for the next sail and sort out your supply chain. You may want to always have a contingency plan in place should this occur.
If it’s a problem with paperwork or missed cut-off or customs inspection, make sure to resolve the problem before the next sail date to reduce further delays. Speak to your freight forwarder who can better advise you.
There’s unfortunately no sure way to guarantee that your cargo will not get rolled. But there are several tricks you can do to lessen the likelihood and manage the chaos in the event it does happen.
If you have a booking with iContainers that has been rolled, our operations team will get in touch with you as soon as we verify why it has happened and looked at all the available options in order to provide you with the best possible solution.
"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers