On 10 April 2013 the freight forwarding company Interfreight with the support of the Dnepropetrovsk Chamber of Commerce brought together more than 15 companies and entities that provide transportation and customs brokerage services to participate in a round table meeting on the topic: “Challenges and solutions in freight forwarding activities in case of fraud.”

Each participant was provided with printed materials, about detailed descriptions of fraudulent schemes in the field of transportations and universal safety rules that must be followed when ordering a vehicle for transportation.

The relevance of the topic was confirmed by engagement of all the participants of the meeting (CEOs and private enterprises) to an active discussion. Each speaker talked about the problem from his own experience, voicing the specific situations and the actions that were taken to solve the problem. Most speakers confirmed that they experienced a lot of cases when the services had not been paid, and they shared options how to solve that issue and to compensate their material and reputational damage.

Igor Chiger, Yunis LTD: “Among the mandatory security measures I recommend to google about a carrier company and check whether it is blacklisted on Lardi-trans, to check its tax number and registration. It is necessary to check whether the registration plates of cars correspond to the regions of Ukraine where a company has its seat. For example, what if a carrier has Donetsk registration plate and his company is registered in Vinnitsa region?! How could this happen? Then ask for a registration certificate, check in the database and see whether it is a VAT payer! In any case, one should not rush foolish to the “bait”.

Igor Marinkevich, Alaves Dnepr LTD: “If you find yourself in a situation that the customer does not want to pay for the service provided without a reason, then you need to sue. This refund procedure (involving amounts more than UAH 20.000) is not fast, but effective. However, from my experience, entities (especially industrial, manufacturing etc) mainly pay in the course of time. Successful actions are supposed to be establishing strong relationships with carriers and receipt of advanced payment.”

Lyubov Zima, Winter & Winter LTD: “Debt recovery is really possible even without litigation with the help of the systematic daily calls to debtors and the highest possible polite and correct treatment in a good tone. If there is a system and diplomacy, the debtor realizes that he has been understood, but still is asked to do the payment. Another scheme that actually works: writing a complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to the head of the tax office at the place of the customer’s registration about a suspected fraud (failure to pay for the services) and officially register the incoming number of the application. Law enforcement agencies have to start proceedings which usually end with the implementation of the nonpayer’s or cheater’s obligations and penalties to the state authorities.”

Sergey Lukashevich, Info LTD.: “Yes, we had a similar situation. We have been blackmailed with the car breakdown. A fake car, as we at once realized. We solved the problem as follows: we called to the local office of Ministry of Internal Affairs according the car’s location. We found its police office centre contact phone number. We filled a written application, faxed it. We recorded the incoming registration number of the application and described the whole situation. And within 20 minutes law enforcement officers arrived at the point of discharge, and as a result - the car was discharged.”

Vitaliy Demidov, Vitotrans LTD: “As a carrier I’d say honestly, we have a great responsibility for the goods, we are not insured against theft and actually not protected legally. How is a carrier supposed to survive in this world? I hope that in the near future everybody will return to the licensed freight forwarding companies and the state will create the Association of carriers. Then there will be fewer swindlers.”

Olga Gaydar, Autotrans-Dnepr, Private Enterprise: “We have come across the following type of fraud: registration certificates were different from the actual ones with the font size, or there were only initials instead of the full name of the entrepreneur- carrier on the stamp, on the application and on the contract. There was a case when the driver accidentally saw in the documents that he was going in the direction which differed from the negotiated one. Attentiveness rescued the driver from danger. Now we no longer use the services of carriers that offer a lower price – they are possible swindlers. I consider initiating a company's security service to be a successful action. Thank you for inviting on such a topical issue.”

Tatyana Lebed, private entrepreneur: “We have seen some cases where the goods were taken from the car right on the road while driving. Then it was very difficult to prove something, to find something. We pay attention to the routes of transportation and try to avoid routes where such cases are not rare or we warn the carriers.”

Timofey Kurochkin, Info LTD.: “Fraud problems are solved by creation and usage your own personal database of customers and carriers, as well as cargo insurance, including all weather conditions.”

Tatyana Pushkina, moderator of the round table, the founder of Interfreight: “Let me share my experience: we were planning a major international transportation for 25 cars. During the confirmation of the application and contract, representatives of foreign transport companies, which had offered pretty favourable terms, didn’t answer all the questions immediately, sent confirmations after a day. It alerted us and after careful examination we found out that such an office (branch) of the carrier’s company did not exist. Strong control and monitoring of all the data are considered to be a successful action.”

The presented quotations from the discussion at the round table and the testimonials from the participants clearly indicate that such meetings are useful and necessary for entrepreneurs, because their priority is the main objective of the round table hosts (freight forwarding company Interfreight), which is similar to the goals of their main activity: “To contribute to the success and growth of customer’s business, providing exceptional quality of services in the field of transport logistics.

Press office of Interfreight