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Property in Transit

By Chris Eldrege - May 25, 2018

In today’s global economy many, if not most, companies have raw materials coming from a foreign point of origin.  In addition, most companies sell their products all over world.  This raises two fundamental risk management questions.  Are my imported raw materials covered in the event of loss?  Also, when my products (inventory) leave my manufacturing / processing facility are they covered until they are accepted by my customers?

To address these questions and the associated risks more and more companies are purchasing a Stock Throughput Policy (STP).  In addition to providing coverage for the above scenarios the products can also be covered while in process.  This policy can provide more comprehensive coverage throughout the supply chain as compared to a traditional transit or cargo policy.  Arguably the highest risk of loss to inventory within the supply chain is when it is between transit and storage or being loaded / off loaded.  Coverage needs to be designed to explicitly cover this scenario to avoid needless time delays and frustration in the event of a loss.   
Supply chains are infinitely more complex and volatile today than in past and include evolving dynamics such as software and equipment failures, economic impairments, government and associated regulatory delays.  Proactive and thoughtful management of your distribution channel strategy is fundamental to mitigating the risks of goods in transit.

A well designed STP will provide protection for the three evident property in transit risks, namely, while the property is moving on the ocean, on the land and while it is in storage.  It should also specifically include coverage for the full spectrum of the supply chain process such as raw materials, work in process and finished goods.  An important provision to confirm is the process clause or coverage for goods while within the manufacturing cycle. 
If you are importing raw materials, exporting goods in process or shipping finished goods and are concerned about this property while it is in transit a STP is something you should evaluate and potentially integrate into your overall risk management program.