Professional or substitute?

Professional or substitute?

Jan 06 2015

professional or substitute

Do you hire the Heavy-lift professional or his bulk experienced substitute?

When sending people to the other end of the world for a supercargo or a survey job, the travelling costs are most of the time an issue for the client. Understandable. These days we have to look at every penny, dollar or euro in order to make some profit. Some clients start looking for locals abroad who can attend their load-outs and focus only on the expenses, instead of the quality of the people they hire.

Closer to home are the larger survey companies with employees who are specialised in claim, damages, bulk, liquids, steel, or project cargo. Very seldom there are employees who are specialised in all topics, which is understandable, you cannot do it all. But when this company has two simultaneous jobs in project cargo and both men who are specialised are sent to these jobs, the third job will be difficult to cover with a specialist. Very often, the steel, bulk or liquid expert covers the third job as the two actual experts are already in the field.

When the clients requests a specialist, is it in your opinion correct to send a substitute?

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1 Comment on "Professional or substitute?"


Capt. Gwilym Rees
January 11, 2015

In my opinion, it is absolutely wrong to send a substitute. I have spent more than 20 years travelling around the world for project clients. I have had frequent experience where I have encountered “non-experts” attending on vessels where they clearly don’t know the first thing about heavy lifts. This cannot be in the client’s best interests but this is only demonstrated when things go wrong and the surveyor / supercargo is unable to anticipate the problem or to prevent it from arising. Moreover, in South Africa, most surveyors don’t even carry liability insurance! Those who do, find that their fee rate is not competitive because of the high cost of liability insurance premiums. Unfortunately, in South Africa, anyone can purport to be an “expert” in the heavy lift field. Most of them, however, are general surveyors who undercut the expert’s rates and deliver a risky, second-rate job