Freight News, Sea

IMO adopts weighing and packing measures – but now the hard work begins

[ November 26, 2014   //   ]

Insurers the TT Club have welcomed the adoption by the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee of the amendment to SOLAS (the Convention for Safety of Life at Sea) on verification of gross mass for containers, toll become mandatory in July 2016.

However, it says, much work remains to be done by the authorities worldwide to deliver uniform enforcement. Prior to this, consistent methods must be developed cy of carrying out either of the two methods of weight verification outlined in the amendment and, even more importantly, those contracting to carry or handle container cargo need urgently to identify how each will develop compliance. The IMO’s move has implications for all parties involved in unit load transportation, TT Club adds.

Likewise, TT Club welcomed the approval, with immediate global effect as a non-mandatory Code of Practice, of the CTU Code and its related ‘Informative Material’. While only some jurisdictions may enshrine the code in national legislation, the entire freight industry must recognise that this detailed guidance for the safe packing of unit loads may now be used in litigation to demonstrate good practice.  It said: “The TT Club wishes to stress forcefully that all parties need to develop ways to implement and encourage compliance with the CTU Code.”

TT Club’s risk management director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox asserts: “Increased levels of training of those employed by shippers, consolidators, warehouses and depots to pack containers, road trailers and other transport units is now essential.”

Meanwhile, the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA) will be repeating its CTU Roadshow, first held in Harwich earlier this year, in Hull in the New Year, the date of which will be confirmed shortly.

Exis Technologies was commissioned by TT Club to develop the CTUpack e-learning™ course, launched in January 2014.  This foundation course provides lessons focusing on the issues most relevant to the packers of unit loads, including forces and stresses encountered during transport and how these impinge on the safe packing and securing cargo in a CTU.

Storrs-Fox advises, “Such training is clearly the number one loss prevention measure and, if adopted as a core feature of the operator’s culture, can greatly reduce the number of incidents incurred globally each year throughout the industry.”

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