Incorrect Container Packing Leads to 65 Percent of Damaged Cargo
Voluntary International Code Attempts to Address the Issue
An analysis of TT Club’s insurance claims records suggests that 65 percent of damages to cargo result from poorly packed, blocked, or secured cargo in freight containers.
The importance of awareness across the entire supply chain of these dangers is a point emphasized by Chris Welsh MBE, Secretary General of the Global Shippers Forum. “The responsibility of all those working in the supply chain, shippers, packers, forwarders, warehouse operators and transport providers of all modes and in all countries is clearly set out in the code,” he said referring to the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units, or CTU Code. “This responsibility for the safety of cargo loads and those handling them does not cease when the doors of the trailer or container are closed,” he added.
The 65-percent figure points to only a fraction of the extent of a significant safety problem surrounding poor packing, according to TT Club’s Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox. “TT Club, along with our fellow industry representatives are concerned that preventable incidents, both on land and at sea, arise from badly packed CTUs,” she said. “The safety of workers, particularly those unloading units at destination, is also at considerable risk. Safe industry packing and securing guidance must be disseminated and followed.”
The upcoming Global Shippers Forum will host a seminar, entitled, “Safety in the Intermodal Supply Chain: Promoting IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code). The seminar will endeavor to raise the profile of the issue. “
“It is now over two years since the three UN bodies that sponsored the CTU Code approved its content,” said Captain Richard Brough of the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA). “While a non-mandatory Code of Practice, it is now thoroughly referenced in the IMDG Code. The entire freight industry must recognize that this detailed guidance may now be seen as representing industry best practice.”
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