Speaking at the TOC ‘Container Supply Chain’ conference in Rotterdam last week, freight insurance specialist TT Club’s Kevin King called for all parties to take responsibility for minimising the risks inherent in container freight transportation.
PTI previously reported on an analysis, provided by TT Club, which stated that around 82% of accidents occurring in the port and terminal environment are caused by human error.
In Rotterdam last week, Kevin King, the Club’s Regional Director EMEA took the opportunity to address an audience of container operators, port and terminal executives and logistics professionals to highlight the crucial importance of an underlying principle of best practice, which would improve the industry’s safety record.
Kevin King said: “As articulated in the UK MAIB’s report into the loss of MSC Napoli, safety margins are being eroded or eliminated. In the context of international trade, all should take up their responsibilities and perhaps abide by the legal doctrine known as ‘utmost good faith’, meaning that all parties must make a full declaration of the material facts.”
King’s speech detailed the issues that impinge on container safety and that are currently being addressed in various ways by regulatory bodies and the industry as a whole.
The Code of Practice for Packing Cargo Transport Units (CTUs), which was prepared by three UN bodies and approved by the IMO at the end of 2014, provides guidelines for all aspects of loading and securing CTUs.
Although the code doesn’t have the force of law at this point it can be brought into litigation as describing industry good practice.
Kind said: “Once a unit is packed there is less scope to correct things. It is to be noted that if the ship or terminal loads a container without having required a verified gross mass, they assume the liability in addition to the shipper.”
King concluded: “Bringing all issues together concerning the interactions between ship, lashing, container and cargo are vital for safety and profitability in the maritime supply chain and help enhance the understanding of the responsibilities held by all parties in that supply chain.
“Whatever is in the box, how it has been placed there and how it is handled on its journey is so much a matter of trust – each party must act with utmost good faith.”