Ahead of IMO's meeting of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) in London this week, TT Club is calling for more urgent action on issues regarding the safety of container transport.
TT Club is mainly concerned about mis-declared dangerous goods, as some sources suggest that container fires take place on a weekly basis and that a major container cargo fire engulfs a ship at sea on average once every 60 days.
"Such incidents are costing seafarer lives, result in loss and damage to goods and ships running into hundreds of millions of dollars, impact the environment and are significantly disrupting supply chains serving markets throughout the world."
After analyzing data regarding such loses, the Club contributed to help inform the cargo handling trade association. Namely, in these submissions there are issues intended to urge the committee members to propose positive action.
As TT Club’s Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox Storrs-Fox emphasised, there are two urgent initiatives. Specifically, reports by IMO member states of container inspections are few, with just seven countries submitting reports this year. What is more, 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.
Moreover, there is a need for increased regulatory coordination and harmonisation. The TT Club and ICHCA submission recognises the need for greater collaboration by all stakeholders in industry and government to ensure consistency in the guidelines that may follow and promote greater safety in transporting cargoes around the world.
Peregrine Storrs-Fox added:
"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 ... 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."