In the freight industry, poorly organized documentation can have a significant negative impact on the movement of goods and increase shipping risks, costs, time, and penalties. Now more than ever, freight and cargo companies are turning to paperless means of managing documents in an effort to achieve higher rates of efficiency and proactivity and to mitigate risks.

Typically, large shipping companies must face the daily responsibility of handling hundreds of documents to clear customs and take the delivery of goods from bill of lading, commercial invoice and certificate of origin, to cargo insurance certificate, export license and packing lists. And if that wasn’t complicated enough, shipping companies must also deal with a multitude of contacts from trading and logistics companies to various international agencies and authorities.

Misplaced, incorrect or tardy documentation has the potential to seriously delay shipment time, add costs and incur harsh penalties. In this article we will look at how the freight industry can leverage the power of document management software (DMS) to efficiently organize and manage cargo insurance certificates to increase productivity, maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.


The Importance of Managing Cargo Insurance Certificates

Cargo insurance certificates are one of the most important documents in the shipping industry as they inherently carry the most risk. A cargo insurance certificate is a document that indicates the type and amount of insurance coverage in force on a given item. It is used to assure the consignee that insurance is provided to cover loss or damage to cargo during the shipment process.

Insurance certificates usually include the following information:

  • Conditions of the insurance coverage
  • Shipping information
  • Additional/special conditions of coverage
  • Instructions or actions to be taken in the event of lost or damaged cargo
  • Settlement agent contact information
  • Liability of carriers, bailees, or other third parties

Below are some of the reasons why insurance certificates must be properly managed:



Proper management of insurance certificates is essential in understanding the financial requirements of both the shipping company and the consignee. Proper management of insurance certificates can help detect errors made on documents and help companies rectify them during shipment transactions.


Penalties or Fines

Errors in insurance certification documents can result in penalties and fines depending on the provisions of the agreement. Efficient management of insurance certificates can help to avoid these consequences and in turn result in smoother business transactions.



Efficient insurance certificate management can help cargo companies monitor  their own insurance requirements and the extent to which each company can engage in transactions. Furthermore, additional scrutiny of potential business partners and clients’ insurance requirements help to plan for future transactions.


The Benefits of Document Management Software in Managing Insurance Certificates

The benefits of using document management software (DMS) such as eFileCabinet to manage insurance certificates are numerous. They hold a significant advantage over traditional paper-based processes and have the potential to increase efficiency and profitability.


Going Paperless

Handling hundreds or even thousands of insurance certificates and other documentation can become increasingly overwhelming. Additionally, paper-based documents require physical filing space which normally entails the use filling cabinets and drawers. This can have a negative effect on productivity as filing cabinets take up valuable space and can result in unnecessary clutter. This in turn can lead to decreased employee productivity and reduced efficiency as retrieval of files becomes increasingly difficult.

In eFileCabinet’s online paperless document management system, all documents are digitized and subsequently processed and distributed electronically almost instantaneously. By adopting a paperless approach, shipping companies can eliminate the manual handling of insurance certificates and other documents and reduce costs, overheads, risks and delays.


Eliminate Manual Data Entry

eFileCabinet Zonal Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology can be used to automatically scan and upload insurance certificate forms to an organization’s database. OCR capabilities can save shipping companies valuable time and money by replacing onerous manual data entry.


File Certificates in a Centralized Database

With eFileCabinet, online documents and corresponding insurance data are stored on a secure, Cloud-based environment. Files stored online can be easily accessed by users with appropriate login permissions anywhere an internet connection is available. Insurance certificates can be accessed by consignees or business partners on the go via mobile access with eFileCabinet’s Online Mobile App.


Data Security and Privacy

Insurance certificates and other associated documents are kept safe and secure, ensuring that data is only available to those with authorized access. System administrators can set specific rules to limit user access on a need-to-know basis. Files are also kept away from hackers with eFileCabinet’s heavy 256-bit encryption, SSL certificates and a number of other physical barriers and intrusion protection systems.

These are just a few of the ways eFileCabinet’s document management solutions can benefit the freight industry with respect to managing insurance certificates. If you would like to know more about how eFileCabinet can be a boon to your organization, please fill out the form provided for a free 15-minute demo.