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Maritime court records surge in cargo disputes

The number of multi-modal cargo damage dispute cases has increased significantly in the Yangtze River Delta region over the past two years, said Shanghai Maritime Court in an annual report.

From 2017 to 2018, the court handled 10,002 cases from Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui provinces and Shanghai, accounting for 91.94 percent of all its cases. The cases involved claims of various types worth more than 10.18 billion yuan (US$1.44 billion).

The majority of cases involving the Yangtze River Delta region were about maritime freight contract disputes, accounting for 73.1 percent of all cases from the area.

Wang Tong, chief justice of the court, said the number of cases involving freight transportation reflected the rapid development of the industry, but it also exposes many problems with shipping practices.

The court pointed out that false declarations of dangerous goods transported by sea is an issue that deserves urgent attention. Such goods, if not properly declared, could lead to disputes and create risks for navigation safety.

Damage to automobile products manufactured and shipped in the delta area was also a growing source of dispute.

Based on experiences from these cases, the court has released guidelines and suggestions for cargo transportation in the region.