Customised concept for avoiding transport loss

A leading Swiss transport insurer we have been associated with for years approached us for assistance in 2006 as a division of a globally active holding company they served had suffered three unusual losses in the high six-figure range within a one-year period. The losses related to overseas shipments to India and North America by a German manufacturer of high-end metal processing machinery which was world-famous in its sector.

The design and construction of the machines meant that the shipping crates were up to 9 m long, over 3 m wide and also up to 4.25 m high, with a weight of up to 33 tons. Given the lack of conventional loading options, sea transport was only possible on flat rack containers (which were also extra wide and extra high).

The problem with the losses, as subsequent investigations showed, was not inevitably due to the dimensions and weight of the transport crates, but rather to the fact that the crates were extremely at risk of tipping because of a centre of gravity which was very high and off centre as a result of the necessary construction.

It was only a matter of time before the crates were improperly and in part negligently handled during reloading in the port of arrival, despite instructions to the contrary, and duly tipped over. It is easy to understand that this ultimately resulted in total loss, since the precision CNC machines transshipment in the region of a tenth of a millimetre.

Die Konstruktion und Bauart der Maschinen führte dazu, dass die entsprechenden Transportkisten zwischenzeitlich bis zu 9 m Länge, bis über 3 m Breite und außerdem bis zu 4,25 m Höhe erreicht hatten, und das bei einem Gewicht von bis zu 33 Tonnen. Die Seetransporte konnten daher, in Ermangelung von konventionellen Verlademöglichkeiten, nur auf Flat-Rack-Containern (mit Überbreiten und Überhöhen) erfolgen.

Die Problematik der Schäden lag aber, wie spätere Ermittlungen ergaben, nicht unvermeidlich bei den Abmessungen und Gewichten der Transportkisten, sondern vielmehr in dem Umstand, dass die Kisten auf Grund eines konstruktionsbedingten, sehr hohen und außermittigen Schwerpunktes der beinhalteten Maschine äußerst kippgefährdet waren.

Es war nur eine Frage der Zeit, dass die Kisten bei Umschlagsarbeiten in den Empfangshäfen, trotz gegenteiliger Anweisungen unsachgemäß und zum Teil fahrlässig behandelt wurden und infolgedessen umstürzten. Dass es in diesen Fällen letztlich zu Totalschäden kam, ist unter Berücksichtigung der Tatsache, dass diese Präzisions-CNC-Maschinen im Zehntel Millimeterbereich arbeiten, nicht unverständlich.


Mechanical engineering



„Loss ratio virtually zero – an argument several of our principals have successfully used for sales in discussions with their clients.“

Franz Kasten
Managing Partner, Reck & Co.

Our Approach:

After investigating and analysing the circumstances and facts responsible for the loss, we worked in close consultation with insurers, manufacturers, packers and service providers involved in the transport chain (forwarding agents, carriers, transshippers etc) to develop a customised information and monitoring system which applies fundamental planning, inspection and selection criteria directly at critical points.

  • production of the machinery (provision/installation of anchorage points for subsequent secure loading, options for partial assembly and/or separate shipment etc
  • design and manufacturer of the packaging (consulting and control of packing, marking and handling instructions etc)
  • selection and commissioning of carriers (specialist knowledge and experience in handling special goods, reliability and experience of drivers, state and availability of rolling stock etc)
  • selection and commissioning of TransTexT at sea ports (prompt timing of transshipping work, advance planning of necessary equipment, selection of usable flat racks and lifting equipment with necessary lashing and securing materials etc), instruction and training of loading personnel etc.

The above processes have been subject to ongoing further development for years through constant comparison of information between the parties involved and adaptation to new requirements in the production and shipping area, including with regular local working groups.

The same applies analogously for equipment and handling of flat racks and machines at what are now well over 60 destination ports on six continents. There, highly qualified experts selected by us work under our instruction and supervision and in accordance with our guidelines and requirements on loading, securing loads and in some cases oversee direct delivery and erection of the machines at the final client’s works and at international trade fairs and exhibitions.

The result:

since our involvement in loss prevention, almost 900 highly-sensitive and high-end special machines have been transported from the manufacturer’s plant in Germany to the furthest ends of the earth. Except for a couple of isolated machines which fortunately suffered repairable damage from unforeseeable risks such as force majeure, all the other machines were delivered in perfect conditions to the final recipients. Thanks to the intensive preparation and supervision, the loss ratio for these shipments is virtually zero – an argument which the manufacturer is also successfully using in sales talks with its clients.


Years since the company’s formation




Cases per year


Reck & Co. draws on its comprehensive experience in the field of loss adjustment to offer you an optimal solution in the quickest and most straightforward way possible.



We are partners in the world’s leading networks of Lloyd’s Agency, AIMU and CESAM.

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