General Average is declared when a sacrifice is taken to save a vessel from total loss (e.g. when the captain makes a decision to lose some containers in order to save the vessel).

It is based on the idea that the sacrifice made for the common good should be shared proportionately among all parties involved, including shipowners, cargo owners, and insurers.

In the case of general average customers will have to share the financial burden of the loss even if their goods were not damaged and without cargo insurance they may be liable for a substantial out-of-pocket cash amount.

Recent Examples of General Average:

Maersk Honam (Fire). In March 2018, the vessel caught fire while sailing in the Arabian Sea carrying nearly 8,000 containers.The General Average declared for cargo owners with cargo aboard the Maersk Honam was 54% – meaning for every $100,000 of cargo on board, cargo owners would have to pay $54,000 to have their goods released.

Ever Given (Suez Canal). In March 2021, the large container vessel ran aground while transiting the Suez Canal. The Ever Given was stuck in the canal for six days, and the effort to get it moving again resulted in Egyptian authorities seeking compensation of close to $2 billion.Whilst General Average is still being finalised, cargo owners are expecting to face charges upwards of 20% of the cargo value they had aboard the vessel.

MS Dali (Baltimore Bridge). In March 2024, the 9,000 TEU capacity vessel struck the Baltimore Bridge, which subsequently collapsed on top of the bow of the vessel. Whilst the salvage operation is expected to last months, General Average was declared mid April meaning cargo owners face large costs to recover their cargo on board. Read more about this incident from the Loadster.com

Need a quotation or ready to book a job?

Simply add your insurance requirements in our online quote, or call us to discuss further:

+44 (0) 1709 610 000

IMPORTANT INSURANCE NOTICE – Please note…

IFS and our partners take a great deal of care when arranging the shipping of your goods, however, loss and damage do sometimes happen and it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you have the benefit of cargo insurance.

In the event of loss/damage drivers, transport depots and shipping lines will either severely limit their liability to a very small amount, or make no payment at all. If you do not have your own cargo insurance we can arrange it for you. Please advise the value of your goods and we will provide a quotation. Thank you.

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