Engineering Design & Testing Corp. (ED&T) provides technical consultation services to those involved in the handling of losses relating to the marine environment, including cargo and stock throughput. ED&T’s staff of professional engineers are equipped with industry-based knowledge, project management skills, and analysis experience. These skills are applied to assist in the understanding of damage. Our scope of services ranges from identifying the cause and sequence of damage to expert testimony in the courtroom.


Origin & Cause

The endeavor to move goods around the globe is a sophisticated enterprise. Some of the elements that can influence marine and cargo interests include weather, logistics, big ships, busy ports, storage, heavy equipment, nonstandard loads, and labor. When a loss results in damage to marine facilities or to cargo, engineering analysis can assist in the understanding of contributing factors and affected parties. In certain cases, technical reconstruction can make clear the timeline of events leading up to a loss.

Damage or Loss Concerns:

• Fires and explosions
• Materials handling
• Electrical, machinery, and piping systems
• Chemical leaks
• Confined space access
• Cargo handling gear and equipment
• Maintenance
• Gangways, scaffolding, and work surfaces
• Buildings, canals, docks, bridges, piers, and wharfs


Damage Assessment, Segregation and Cost Estimation

Engineering examination of shipyard machinery and equipment, storage facilities, or products goes beyond confirming whether or not damage occurred. Rather, damage assessment begins with detailed documentation of physical damage. Efforts are also made to pinpoint when the damage occurred. In addition, technical expertise is applied to address the cost alternatives of repair, replacement, or salvage.

Many of the issues:

• Identification of the undamaged as well as the damaged
• Pre-existing damage
• Confirmation and documentation of product and property
• Repair versus replacement
• Identification of damage resulting from multiple incidents
• Distinction of obligations among multiple parties having an interest in the outcome


Valuation

A marine terminal is damaged by seawater during a hurricane. New equipment is put in its place, but the new equipment is not the same.
Product being stored in a warehouse is damaged by a roof that falls due to snow loads.
A locomotive, a pier, and a crane are damaged during a lift operation.

These scenarios and many more point to a need for an independent estimate of a loss. Here is where having both engineering and project management experience makes a difference.

Valuation involves many tasks:

• Providing a preliminary estimate (Loss Reserve)
• Assessing and segregating damage (See Damage Assessment)
• Developing cost comparisons
• Researching the means for expediting the repair
• Determining actual cash value/replacement cost
• And more


Repair/Rebuild Monitoring

Engineering participation in the repair of damaged equipment or goods requires familiarity with the technology involved and an ability to manage logistics and costs of the repair/rebuild process. Depending on the nature of the assignment, the process can be expected to include certain considerations:

• Agreement of all involved parties as to the monitoring needs
• Awareness of the results of the damage assessment process
• Awareness of baseline repair/rebuild estimates
• Recurring comparisons with the claim estimate
• Continuous versus intermittent site presence
• Recognition that the monitoring function may last for an extended time period

And, above all, prevailing trust in the monitoring entity.


Litigation Support

The import and export of goods is supported by a network of international systems and agreements established between different countries, directed by maritime law. When a loss results in disputes between obligations of shippers and receivers, or
an incident results in injury to people or damage to equipment, cargo or stock, objective engineering analysis can assist in delineating the nature and extent of responsibility.

When it comes to technical consultation, expert testimony hinges upon:

• Education
• Certifications
• Experience
• Objectivity
• Resources
• Presentation Style
• Determination
• An ability to remain resolute in the face of adversity

The environment:

• Maritime law
• Shipyard and marine terminal operations/procedures
• Standard practices for handling and securing cargo
• OSHA maritime standards