Shipping & Logistics

Lufthansa Cargo sues Nairobi company over damaged goods

Lufthansa crew is welcomed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Lufthansa crew is welcomed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

German freight firm Lufthansa Cargo Aktiengesellschaft has sued Nairobi-based Transglobal Cargo Centre Limited for damage to consignments caused by floods between 2011 and 2012 that saw it pay claims lodged by its customers.

Lufthansa claims that the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-based Transglobal Cargo Centre (TCC) was negligent in ensuring that its warehouses were up to standard, which led to the damage of goods through three flooding incidents within 14 months.

The German firm adds that it was forced to pay claims totaling $141,937 (Sh14.6 million) to Multichoice Kenya, Surgipharm Limited, Nakoda & Matsumara Law Offices and Prestamarine for damaged goods.

The TCC however denies that it stored Lufthansa’s consignments in a warehouse known to be susceptible to flooding, and has told the German firm to prove otherwise.

The TCC adds that it cannot be condemned to refund Lufthansa as the flooding incidents were unforeseen and beyond its control.

“Lufthansa avers that the TCC acted negligently with regard to the manner of storing Lufthansa’s consignment and failing to prevent flooding of the TCC’s premises, thereby causing Lufthansa to suffer loss and damage,” the German freight firm says.

“As a result of the flooding of the warehouse, Lufthansa’s consignments were severely damaged and were then assessed by professional assessors to have been irreversibly damaged. Consequently, the consignees submitted claims against Lufthansa for damage of their goods. This led to Lufthansa having to incur costs to ameliorate the damage and meet its customers’ claims,” Lufthansa adds.

The German firm holds that the TCC did not have safe systems to ensure that cargo would be safe in any circumstances. It further holds that the poor drainage around the warehouses was something within the TCC’s control.

Lufthansa’s consignments had been stored at the TCC as they were awaiting clearance before being delivered to the various consignees.

The German firm’s cargo handling supervisor says inspection of the warehouses in 2012 revealed that water levels rose to at least one metre inside the buildings.