Business, Freight News, Logistics, Sea

TT Club: 45 years of insuring the world’s containers

[ June 7, 2013   //   ]

Container freight insurer TT Club is celebrating 45 years of service to the transport and logistics sector. The club, then known as the Through Transit Club was formed in 1968, the same year that the first purpose-built cellular container ship took to the high seas.

The onset of containerisation revolutionised international freight transport and also changed shipowner’s insurance requirements. Whereas before they only needed insurance cover ‘port to port,’ they began to assume responsibility for the transportation of the container, and the cargo inside, from ‘door to door’.

At the time, the P&I Clubs decided to remain water borne insurers and were not prepared to cover the containers ashore. They also avoided insuring the ‘hulls’ of containers as this would have been viewed as an intrusion into the hull market and a breach of the informal agreement between the hull market in Lloyd’s and the P&I market, whereby Lloyd’s did not become involved in liability insurance and the P&I Clubs stayed away from hull insurance.
Faced with more or less a closed door from the P&I Clubs, shipowners who were going into containerisation on the Atlantic trade were faced with either obtaining insurance from the commercial market or creating a mutual alternative. So the TT Club was established as a mutual non-profit insurer, similar to the P&I Clubs, using all premiums and investment income for paying claims, administration costs and building up reserves. There were originally three joint managers all drawn from the P&I sector, although Thomas Miller assumed sole responsibility and remains the management company today.

The TT Club is now the leading provider of insurance and related risk management services for the international transport and logistics industry specialising in the insurance of liabilities, property and equipment for intermodal operators. It is estimated that the Club insures over 80% of all maritime containers, nearly 45% of the top 100 container liners and has an insurable interest in nearly half of the top 100 ports in the world.