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Interview with Serge Vanderstappen, Chief Broking Officer at Filhet-Allard Maritime

Agri Trade HighlightsStock ManagementNovember 26, 2020

Filhet-Allard is a leading insurance broker in the world's major shipping, trading and manufactured goods markets.​

We spoke to Serge Vanderstappen Chief Broking Officer at Filhet-Allard Maritime to learn more about the company's activities in Africa.

What are the products that you insure in Africa?

We insure all kinds of goods, pre and post shipment, on both short and long-term bases. The main commodities we insure are rice, coffee, sugar, cocoa, grain, frozen goods as well as oil and refined products.

What are the major risks related to the storage of rice in Africa? Can you give us more details about each one?

One of the main risks related to storage is the disappearance and physical damage of cargo.

The causes of disappearance can range from theft by forced entry or burglary to misappropriation.

Besides its legal qualification and the presence of a bailee, misappropriation from theft by its modus operandi, its magnitude (tonnage and value) and the loss occurred, can often spread over time.

Misappropriation can be described as "the illegal use of another's goods for an unauthorized purpose, by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect those assets".

Physical damages may be caused by the condition of the storage facility, the unsuitability of the facility to store and handle the intended cargo or by the duration of the storage.

The exposure to these so-called named perils, such as fire and water ingress can be drastically reduced through careful selection of storage facilities and presence of upscale protective technology.

The African continent is also exposed to CATNAT losses, feared by markets because of risk accumulation and its increased probability due to climate change. Geographical spread of risks (quantities and values) as well as selection of storage facilities are still the most accurate response to this emerging risk.

How SGS helps you mitigate the risk?

Risk prevention and mitigation are still the most appropriate tools to reduce the probability and severity of storage related damage.

Having eyes and ears on the ground is key to guaranteeing a meticulous implementation and monitoring of customized prevention programs. Expertise, track record and familiarity with the country/product are decisive in the selection of a local partner like SGS.

Unequivocal instructions, performance indicators for proper stock management, minimum standards and clear responsibilities of stakeholders in storage operation need to be contractualised. Full compliance will change the risk profile of storage in Africa.

Physical presence aside, do you think digital technologies such as movement detectors and video surveillance could be the solution in the near future?

Absolutely. New technology, when used correctly, creates numerous opportunities to improve performance and change the risk profile of storage in Africa.

Instant data clearance, warehouse movement detectors and access to 24/7 monitoring for all parties involved are great supports but will not replace control, implementation and execution on the ground.

About Filhet Allard

Dedicated to Marine Insurance Brokerage since 1846, FILHET-ALLARD MARITIME (FAM) is a leading Insurance Broker in the world's major shipping, trading and manufactured goods markets.

The company's slogan "At the heart of International Trade, Shipping & Industry" reflects its vision as an internationally recognized specialist in marine and transport risk.

Filhet Allard's technical and logistical platform over 100 employees with offices in: Bordeaux, Geneva, Abidjan and Istanbul. Their expert teams pride themselves on producing innovative, personalized and technically effective solutions to protect, defend and serve the interests of customers around the world.

For inquiries, please contact:

Laurent Paragot
Global Business Manager, Stock Management
t: +41 22 739 93 47

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