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Cargo theft and liability: Fujitsu v Schenker

26 August 2020
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South Africa is no stranger to cargo theft. In their latest “Cargo Theft Report”, co-authors TT Club and BSI state that in 2019, South Africa accounted for 54% of all cargo theft in the Middle East and Africa, followed by Kenya at 14%. Unsurprisingly, the top commodities stolen are food and beverages, metals and electronics. Given that much of the theft is carried out by organised syndicates, which are typically aided by inside information or collaboration, successful prosecutions are rare and a significant proportion of the financial burden is shouldered by cargo owners and their underwriters, which are left to obtain recovery as best they can.

It is against this background that the Johannesburg High Court’s recent decision in Fujitsu Siemens Core (Pty) Ltd v Schenker South Africa (Pty) Ltd places the legal liability issues arising from cargo theft sharply into focus. Read more here