Soft commodities

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Soft commodities

Cargo insurance surveys on soft commodities like groundnuts, treenuts, cocoa, spices, coffee, rice and beans are part of our daily work. We have seen many of these cargoes arriving with condensation, cargo sweat, (the resulting) moulds, infestation, taint damages and various other problems that often happen with soft commodities during container shipment.

We have been involved in many break bulk cargo claims until the 90's, where wrong ventilation of the product, but also the inherent moisture properties, caused large shipments to arrive with cargo damages.

Nowadays most soft commodities are shipped in containers, sometimes still in regular jute bags, but even more often in other packing types, such as paper or polywoven packing, vacuum bags, big bags and sometimes in bulk containers. All these different kinds of packaging and shipping conditions require specialist knowledge and years of experience in the field.

We have extensive knowledge about various spices and herbs, each with their specific characteristics. We have seen many cargoes of pepper, nutmeg, mace, cassia ginger, etc, arriving with all kinds of specific problems that can be related to the properties of these products, combined with the transport or storage conditions they were exposed to.


We are members of the European Nut Association (ENA) and the Dutch Spice Trade Association.

Especially the last 10 years we have been involved in many surveys on organic products, which products are often sensitive for infestation.

Besides the surveys on rice we attend ourselves, we have been involved in monitoring of rice shipments to East and especially West Africa. Serious risks on shortweights and mould can be controlled better when the situation is monitored as from the moment of departure of a vessel until final delivery from the warehouses or terminals.