Our Transport and Logistics team act for clients across the supply chain.
We recently acted on behalf of a number of leading fresh produce importers and distributors in defence of various claim being pursued by Turkish sellers relating to the shipment of various types of fruit.
The Turkish company alleged that clients had failed to settle various invoices for the product shipped including warehousing costs, demurrage and container detention fees.
Our Transport and Logistics team successfully defended the clients arguing that the standard terms and conditions relied upon by the forwarders were not incorporated into the relevant contracts.
The team further argued that the goods fell below the basic standard implied into every sale contract by the provisions of the Sales of Goods Act 1979, including a condition that the goods are of satisfactory quality meaning that they must meet the meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory taking into account description, price, appearance, finish, freedom from minor defects, safety, durability and fitness for all normal purposes (section 14(2)(A); conform to their description (section 13); and that the goods will be reasonably fit for any purpose expressly or implicitly made known to the seller (section 14(3)).
Our team established a number of issues with the goods. In particular reliance was placed on expert evidence which indicated that temperature of the fruit at the time of loading was the most likely cause of damage. The obligation to pre-cool the products in Turkey was the responsibility of the Turkish claimants and their agents.
Further evidence was obtained which demonstrated that significant delays arose not as a consequence of actions by our client but due to various labelling issues at certain points in the supply chain, again the responsibility of the Turkish claimants.
Counterclaims were raised on behalf of our clients in respect of reduced prices for the sale of the products received, lost sales due to wasted products it was unable to sell, dumping charges, transportation costs, storage costs and survey fees in addition to further consequential damages including loss of profits and reputational loss.