TT Club, International freight transport and logistics insurer, warns cargo owners to be aware of the safety issues around the poorly packed containers and misdeclared goods, urging them to make good practice within the supply chain part of their ESG (environmental, social and governance) policies.
Specifically, the Club highlights that although container loss impact on the environment remains on the spotlight, what seems to be unnoticed are the risks of supply chain dereliction; Mishandling of cargoes can result in unacceptable danger to those employed in their movement, to the environment, the general public, and not insignificantly to brand reputations.
Michael Yarwood, Managing Director, Loss Prevention at TT Club, stresses that chemical cargoes, such as those used in paints, cosmetics, cleaning products, fertilisers, weedkillers and aerosols of all types are not the only danger for the environment. On the contrary, it is highlighted that a wide variety of consumer goods, as well as components used in the manufacture of industrial products, domestics white goods and automobiles, if incorrectly handled in transit can cause major disasters.
Goods posing a risk to the environment are:
- BBQ charcoal
- battery powered electronic devices
- hand sanitiser
- vegetable fibres
- granite and other building materials
- seed cake.
In addition, the concerns arising within the container industry include:
- Packaging and dunnaging, which need to comply with safety and environmental standards, but there are increasing demands around recyclable and biodegradable materials.
- International attention that is being directed urgently at phytosanitary risks – the avoidance of visible pest contamination in the movement of freight.
The Club comments that
Since not every responsible actor will physically see the potential contaminants, it is a matter of considering the origin of the goods being sourced, the location for packing, the season and biology of pests (when eggs or seeds are most likely), the compliance of the required packaging and the prevailing conditions at the time of packing the container(s).
The complexity of supply chain relationships is not an easy thing to change when it comes to behaviour and practice. According to the Club, it is recognized that beneficial cargo owners, and in particular buyers and retailers, often hold an influential position in the supply chain and can exercise control on the way that specifications and contracts are drawn up between entities. They are regarded as vital in disseminating good practice information and insisting on compliance by those suppliers of goods and services who they employ either directly or indirectly.
The Global Shippers Forum (GSF), James Hookham, Secretary General, highlights the crucial role cargo owners have in promoting high standards of safe and ecologically-responsible container packing, commnenting, “In addition to the serious health and safety risks already described, poorly packed containers can also cause damage to adjacent cargoes in the event of incident and have been a cause of major consequential losses for shippers. GSF played a leading role in the development of the advice in the CTU Code and contributed to the writing of the ‘Quick Guide’ and the Container Packing Checklist.”
Concluding, TT Club published in September 2020 a useful guide concerning safe container packing.