Improper packing practices and not secure loads increase the number of accidents across the supply chain, and have as a result damages, loss and injuries, both on land and at sea.
The fact is that there is a lack of guidance regarding personnel working at the cargo handling industry. That is where the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU) comes in to address this matter. The CTU provides information regarding packing cargo in containers, in order to comply with the requirements of sea and land transport modes.
In order to ensure the safe packaging and transportation of goods, the UK P&I Club provides the following steps:
- Classification of dangerous goods: The first key task for an operator is to make sure that the dangerous goods onboard have the correct UN classification.
- Selection of packaging: Operators must ensure that the product is packaged safely and is stable. IMDG 4.1 provides descriptions of packagings.
- Marking and labelling of packages: Appropriate and recognisable warnings on packages help maintain safe transport procedures.
- Preparing the transport document for booking with the shipping line: This indicates the way that information must be presented on the final transport document.
- IMDG segregation: Segregation is the process of keeping dangerous goods apart from other dangerous goods, that if the come in contact may react dangerously. IMDG provides guidance for this process.
- Packing the transport cargo unit: The packer is binded by the law as responsible to ensure that dangerous goods and the cargo unit is safely packed.
- The packing certificate: A certificate must be signed by the packer, saying that all cargo units comply with every IMDG Code requirement.
- Safely loading containers to the ship: The location of where the cargo units will be stowed depends on the ship design and the specific details of the dangerous cargo. Specialists called "cargo planners" decide where each cargo unit will be placed.
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