Abandoned containers may become a burden to the shipping line or freight forwarder. Any container that is not moving leads to a loss of money for one of the parties involved in the process. This is the reason why the shipping lines cannot afford holding containers in the storage for a long time.
In such cases, the shipping company will try to get rid of the cargo and avoid additional expenses. Thus, the companies hold abandoned cargo auctions.
When the cargo is abandoned, the shipping company has a right to:
Unpack the cargo from containers;
Place the cargo into a bonded store;
Sell the cargo;
Offset all costs incurred from the proceeds of the sale;
Take legal action to recover the difference between the sale price and costs incurred;
If the sale price does not cover the costs incurred by the shipping company, then there is a provision in international law for action to be taken against the shipper.
In cases of containers abandoning, the freight forwarders most likely will decide to dispose of the content through an auction. Shipping line may sell the cargo by public or private auction. Customs allows the general public to view the goods and vehicles in advance and, it also announces the abandoned cargo auctions date in the print and broadcasting media.
The list of the goods and vehicles to be sold by the department is also available in different Customs Centers but it all depends on the country. Usually, customs are not giving any guarantee on the condition, quality or quantity of the goods sold at the abandoned cargo auctions.