Ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) latest meeting of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), TT Club has called for urgent action on the safety of container transport.
According to a statement by the freight insurance specialist, the shipping industry and regulators must work to ensure ‘Cargo Integrity’: the safe, secure and environmentally sound packing, handling and transport of all goods in containers.
One of TT Club’s primary concerns is the problem of mis-declared dangerous goods, with some sources suggesting that container fires occur on a weekly basis.
These incidents are not only responsible for loss and damage to goods and ships, as well as harm to the environment, but can also cost the lives of seafarers as well.
In addition, a fire on board the 9,000 TEU ‘COSCO Shipping Thames’, on August 23, 2018, caused delays which disrupted the supply chain and forced a port destination to be bypassed.
Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s Risk Management Director, commented: “Achieving such Cargo Integrity across the complex web of the international freight supply chain is a big ask and we are in little doubt that a comprehensive result will take time to achieve.
Laurence Jones, of TT Club, discusses the heightened risk of ship berthing incidents in a recent Port Technology technical paper
“However many industry bodies are making significant strides, particularly in the areas of dangerous goods identification, declaration and handling as well as container weighing and packing.
“We are calling on the regulators, in this case the IMO, to assist in taking action to identify appropriate legislative and behavioural change that will improve safety and certainty of outcome.”
TT Club has analysed the data of the companies it insures, including carriers, forwarders, terminals and cargo owners, to help inform the cargo handling trade association ICHCA in its submissions to CCC.
The TT Club/ICHCA submission recognises the need for greater collaboration to promote greater safety in transporting cargoes around the world.