Episode 24: Avoiding recourse

Container identification | Who is responsible for load securing? | Friction value on the truck | Incoming container inspection

Episode 24: Avoiding recourse

Recourse claims are almost always a vexed issue in a company,
especially when claims cannot be averted.

What are the causes and what could be done about it?

Sigurd Ehringer - SeLogCon

About the author:

In a series of specialist articles from the field, on topics relating to containers and trucks, you will receive first-hand professional knowledge.
How to secure cargo correctly and what are the basics of cargo securing?

They are developed and presented by Sigurd Ehringer, owner of SE-LogCon:

  • VDI certified instructor for load securing
  • Reference book author
  • 8 years Project Manager
  • 12 years with the Bundeswehr (company commander)
  • 20 years of sales experience
  • since 1996 consultant/trainer in logistics
  • 44 years instructor/trainer in various fields

Episode 24: Avoiding recourse


Recourse claims don't just happen, they are caused.

This means that if I know the causes, then I can do something about them. That is the core of the considerations.

So every business owner should consider in their area of responsibility what could trigger recourse claims.

My experiences, which I would like to go into, come from the large area of load securement. However, they can be applied analogously to many other situations.


Let us imagine the following situation:

The company Alpha is a manufacturer of machinery and equipment for energy projects.

A client, the Bravo Company, has a major project in development and has ordered parts from you (company Alpha) fort it. He has agreed with the sales department on a time window for delivery because the follow-up work should follow seamlessly.

Purchasing inquires with several forwarding companies what the transport from A to B should cost and decides on the cheapest provider, the company Charlie. Because the plant is too big and too bulky for the forklift, a crane was ordered at company Delta to lift it onto the truck. A time window of two hours was agreed with the crane company.

The day comes when the parts are to be picked up.

The truck arrives late. The driver does not speak German and the exact cause of the delay cannot be clarified. Everyone tries to load the cargo as quickly as possible so that the truck can leave the yard.

After a few hours, the police call company Alpha and demand the responsible shipper on the phone.

Klaus, the forklift driver, calls in. The police inform him that the truck has been checked on the A9 in the direction of Nuremberg and that further travel has been prohibited.

The load is not adequately secured and the truck has significant damage that affects road safety. The load must be reloaded for onward transport and, in addition, a charge will be filed for violation of §22 StVO.

In addition to the expected fine, further costs are now being incurred.

Another suitable truck with appropriate equipment must be ordered to the highway parking lot on the A9 to which the load can be transferred.

The company Alpha commissions the company Echoto do this, but it is more expensive than the company Charlie. The crane contractor, company Deltais ordered to send a crane with sufficient lifting power to the parking lot as well. In addition, a team from company Alphaconsisting of 4 men plus a logistics manager, is dispatched to the highway parking lot. A few hours later, the project manager of company Bravo contacts the sales department of company Alpha and asks where the parts are.

Project progress falls behind schedule, which could result in contract penalties if necessary.

So much for the situation. Now we need to clarify what went wrong and what should have been done better/differently.

  1. With a transport order, not only the costs must be clarified, but also and above all:
    a) What kind of vehicle is necessary
    b) What means of security are required
    c) Who must procure the necessary exemptions
    d) Who pays for the costs if a, b and c do not comply with the regulations
  2. The loading must be integrated into an appropriate organization. For this purpose, a responsible person must be appointed. The person responsible to the legislator is the entrepreneur/managing director. If there is a logistics manager (or comparable), the responsibility should be transferred to him by order. In any case, the forklift driver Klaus cannot be the responsible person representing the managing director. There must also be a loading instruction that specifies the method and type of load securing. It must be designed in such a way that the expected forces, as specified in VDI-2700/EN-12195-1, are compensated. A calculation to prove the considerations would also be useful. There should also be a record of this in case the transport insurance company had any questions. It may also be expedient to make a photo documentation.
  3. When the truck arrives, an incoming inspection must be carried out to see whether the vehicle meets the requirements. For this purpose, it is useful to have a checklist in which all inspection points are included. If there are relevant negative points, the loading must be rejected and the carrier/forwarder must procure a replacement vehicle at his own expense.
  4. An exit inspection must ensure that the transport does not leave the factory premises until it complies with the regulations in every detail.
  5. At what point could Recourse claims arise?
    1. The transport company, Charlie, could claim its additional costs because the actual requirement profile was not known or was not expressed clearly enough.
    2. The crane company, Delta, could charge for the time that was wasted.
    3. The customer, Bravo, could pass on the penalty to the supplier, Alpha.

The experience of more than 25 years in this environment shows that in most companies, regardless of the industry, the biggest problems can be found in the point "organization".

One of the legal bases is the §Section 130 of the German Administrative Offenses Act (OWiG) "Violation of supervisory duties in companies and enterprises"..

Court rulings, which by their very nature are not always published, contain indications of possible solutions. A search term in the Internet browser is "organizational culpability.

Here you can find a lot of information that can be reduced to a common denominator.

This common denominator is called:

The Supervision duty is fulfilled through

- Creation of a suitable operational organization through task definition,

- Assignment of tasks to suitable persons,

- proper guidance of the instruction recipient as well as

- appropriate follow-up and

- Monitoring of delegation recipients.

All steps, including monitoring, must be documented to make life easy for the person concerned and his defense counsel in the event of a case.

(Source: Decision of the OLG Jena of 02 November 2005 - 1 Ss 242/05 Source: NStZ 2006, 533 noted by Frank, UmwStr-012 - 01/07)

In the ruling, the BGH "1. BGH 25.03.04 - I ZR 205/01 - transpR 04,309" also made interesting statements on this subject. When reading judgments, it is always important to filter the essential statements and apply them to one's own situation, regardless of the specific occasion.

I would like to recommend these thoughts to every person in a responsible position, regardless of the organizational level.

Your Sigurd Ehringer.

Logistics centerLogistics at Rothschenk - G&H GmbH Rothschenk

Picture company building Rothschenk
An employee of G&H GmbH Rothschenk sews a webbing strap to a dunnage bag.

On our own account:
Rothschenk. That's us.

Rothschenk is a manufacturer of load securing equipment for overseas containers. In the tranquil town of Aub in central Franconia, we develop, test and sell our own load securing equipment such as dunnage bags/padding, Lashing restraint systems, Edge Protectors, Anti-slip Mats, Lashing Straps and drum securement. You can get a small insight into our product world in our Online Shop: [R] SHOP24.

We develop for our customers, to whom also large corporations e.g. from the CHEMICALS-, BEVERAGES- and Automotive industry belong, individual load securing. Therefore we are used to come up with new products and solutions in our own research and test department.

We stand for quality "Made in Germany‚Äě. Not only in development, but also in production. Because we are the only manufacturer for load securing with our own production site in Germany. Real "Made in Germany" even.

>> Please use the comment function below for suggestions, additions and also for further questions.

We will, of course, respond promptly and professionally. Your Rothschenk Team

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