What Happens to My Rolled Cargo

What Happens to My Rolled Cargo?

If you’re reading this post, we’re assuming you’ve encountered a rolled cargo scenario… And we’re sorry. It’s a huge bummer that no shipper ever wants to deal with. Rolled cargo costs time, money, and resources and often leaves shippers confused regarding what to do.

Rolled cargo is confusing – you got the notification and you’re frustrated, but what happen next? If you are looking for direction on how to handle your rolled cargo and are wondering how it will be handle, read on.

What Happens to My Rolled Cargo?

If you’re nervous about what will happen next to your rolled cargo, you are not alone. But don’t worry – rolled cargo is kind of a rare occurrence, and it is in everyone’s best interest to keep your cargo moving along. While it is a temporary inconvenience, it should be solved relatively quickly. Here is what you can expect to happen to your rolled cargo:

Sail on the Next Available Vessel

Rolling cargo isn’t an arbitrary decision on the part of a carrier. It often happens due to mechanical failures, route cancellations, or overbooking of vessels. Of course, most of these factors hurt the carrier inadvertently as well. It is in their best interest to get your cargo shipped immediately.

You can generally expect your rolled cargo to be scheduled on the next available vessel in route to your destination.

Your freight forwarder should be keeping you up to date on the status of your cargo, and if they’re not, it may be time to start looking for a new one. Reach out and make sure you are completely in-the-know on which vessels are available for cargo transfer and when you can expect your cargo to depart.

Cargo May Be Rolled Again

Ok…Bad news, but occasionally it happens.

This is a pretty rare instance, however, not unheard of. Keep in mind – rolled cargo is not usually the fault of you or your forwarder. It is often due to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances on the part of the carrier (the steamship line). In rare instances, these may stack up and result in bad news for you and your cargo.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, once your cargo has been rolled, there’s nothing you can do to “fix” the situation. However, you can be proactive in taking steps to reduce the impact on your business. Get details from your forwarder regarding why it happened. If it was a factor that is entirely out of both your and your forwarder’s control, it’s simply a matter of bad luck. However, if it was due to your timing with bookings and quote requests, or your forwarder’s fault due to documentation filing issues, it might be time to change your process a bit. Maybe that warrants a new quote request process, or maybe it warrants searching for a new freight forwarder. Whatever it is, if it was a controllable factor that caused your cargo to get rolled, change needs to happen.

To reduce the chances of your cargo being rolled, you should always book shipments and request quotes several weeks in advance to the cargo’s ready date. The most common reason for rolling cargo is overbooked vessels, and this operates on a first-come-first-serve basis. Be in communication with your freight forwarder as early as possible regarding vessel bookings to ensure that you get a spot.

If you need help with a rolled cargo situation or would just like advice from those of us who have seen it happen many times, please reach out to us. We have sympathy for the situation, and we know how bad it sucks. We would love to offer any advice we can to get you back on track with your shipping transaction. We look forward to hearing from you!


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