TT Club emphasizes need for cargo integrity

International freight insurer TT Club has called for urgent action on issues pertaining to the safety of container transport. Ahead of The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) latest meeting of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), which is taking place in London this week, the Club said that for some time it had been drawing both industry and regulators’ attention to the need for greater ‘Cargo Integrity’ – the safe, secure and environmentally sound packing, handling and transport of all goods in containers and other transport units, in compliance with the relevant conventions.

TT Club Risk Management Director Peregrine Storrs-Fox said that “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. 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 said that a primary concern was the problem of misdeclared dangerous goods, with some sources suggesting that container fires were occurring on a weekly basis and that a major container cargo fire was engulfing a ship at sea on average once every 60 days.

The Club said that these incidents cost seafarer lives, resulted in loss and damage to goods and ships running into hundreds of millions of dollars, impacted the environment and were significantly disrupting supply chains serving markets throughout the world.

TT Club analysed data pertaining to such losses and contributed the aggregated experiences of those it insures (carriers, forwarders, ports, terminals and cargo owners) to help inform the cargo handling trade association, ICHCA, which benefits from consultative status at IMO, in its submissions to CCC sitting this week.

Both general and specific issues were addressed in these submissions. Storrs-Fox said that “reports by IMO member states of container inspections are woefully few; just seven countries submitting reports this year. Furthermore, TT Club and ICHCA have submitted details of the Top 10 commodities that may lead or have led to incidents – not all of which are classified as dangerous goods. Understanding in detail the parameters in force for the various stakeholders involved with such cargoes should inform how advances in safety can be achieved.”

The TT Club/ICHCA submission recognizes the need for greater collaboration by all stakeholders in industry and government to engender consistency in the guidelines that all may follow and promote greater safety in transporting cargoes around the world.,5UAVG,9G2UR,MTRKN,1%20