As ISO 9001 certified companies, Hamburg Süd and Aliança feel a very special commitment to customer service. The reliability of our services and the safety of our shipments are our paramount objectives, and we make every effort to execute orders to the entire satisfaction of our customers. If, despite all our efforts, there should be cause for complaint, inform us as quickly as possible so that we can take efficient remedial action.

1. Registering a complaint or claim

To ensure smooth and speedy handling, we recommend the following course of action in the event of a claim or complaint.

  • Inform the nearest Hamburg Süd / Aliança office immediately.
  • Notify your transport insurance provider. The insurer normally takes care of further handling and will provide you with information on how to proceed.
  • In consultation with your transport insurance provider, commission a surveyor to investigate possible damage, ideally while the cargo is still in the container. This helps to establish the precise cause of damage.
  • Draw the attention of your immediate contact (depot, container terminal, haulier, etc.) to irregularities or possible damage when you take delivery of the container or cargo.
  • In the case of problems with cargo securing / packing (FCL containers), the shipper of the goods should be notified.
  • After discharge, ensure that the goods are stored in a sheltered place and available for any further examination
  • Minimise any further loss by disposing of damaged or unserviceable merchandise

2. Documenting a complaint or claim

If financial damage or loss has been incurred, full documentation is necessary to ensure proper and efficient handling. The following documents should be presented.

  • Bill of lading / sea waybill
  • Commercial invoice covering the goods
  • Packing list of the container
  • Customs declaration
  • Handover certificate of the haulier, Interchange
  • Surveyor’s report, including photographic evidence
  • Calculation of the loss incurred
  • where appropriate, proof of the title to sue
  • Other, important transport documents such as temperature records for reefer containers, veterinary certificates, certificates of destruction for damaged goods, etc.

You can present the documents either at your nearest Hamburg Süd / Aliança office or send them to our central contact point

For matters arising in the United States and Canada, please address to


for matters arising in South America East Coast – e. g. Brazil and Argentina address to

3. Handling a complaint or claim

Upon receipt of your documents we will

  • send you an acknowledgement of receipt;
  • investigate the circumstances and examine whether a claim for damages exists;
  • possibly request further documents
  • inform you of the result of our investigation;
  • where appropriate, make recommendations as to how such an occurrence may be prevented in the future, and
  • review our internal procedures in order to make improvements and eliminate sources of error.
4. Loss prevention

Every negative deviation from the planned transport routine and every loss are always unwelcome and costly. Loss prevention is right at the top of our agenda, and our Cargo Care Management experts (, our specialists for reefer container shipments and loss prevention ( are there to assist you at any time if you have questions on any aspect of your consignment.

You can also help you to avoid claims or losses by:

  • selecting the right type and size of container for your cargo;
  • using only dry, clean, odourless and undamaged containers for loading;
  • ensure that the cargo is properly packed to satisfy transport requirements, including carriage by sea, and is secured against slippage in the container or on the flatrack,
  • use the appropriate temperature and air-circulation settings for temperature-controlled cargo,
  • ensure that the container shows the settings you have chosen,
  • ensure that temperature-controlled cargo is properly pre-cooled and correctly loaded into the container,
  • temperature-controlled containers are loaded only up to the load limit marked in red,
  • in the case of hazardous material, ensure that both container and packages are labelled in line with the regulations,
  • duly lock all containers after loading and seal them with DIN / PAS 17712 bolt seals
  • returning empty containers to us promptly, clean and undamaged.