Four industry organizations representing different sectors of the supply chain industry in a recent session at the Intermodal Europe Conference in Amsterdam put the spotlight on the need for container owners and operators to provide appropriate equipment for properly packing and shipping cargo, as set by the Cargo Transport Units (CTU) Code. The Global Shippers Forum (GSF), ICHCA International, TT Club, and the World Shipping Council (WSC), according an article in the Maritime Executive, have been working together for some months to improve safety through a focus on cargo integrity. The group’s goal is to bring greater awareness on the use of the IMO-endorsed CTU Code by all those involved in the shipping process.

The CTU Code calls for effective interaction between the shipper, which is responsible for providing requirements on the type of equipment appropriate to carry intended cargo, and the container operator in providing units that satisfy such requirements, meet applicable safety and manufacturing standards, and are clean. Faulty and badly maintained units may have as serious ramifications as incorrect and deficient packing of cargo inside the units.

“Engagement with governments and industry groups representing the diverse mix of supply chain stakeholders is one of our primary goals,” said TT Club’s Peregrine Storrs-Fox. “Through communication and understanding of the safety issues comes a wider implementation of the CTU Code and other best practices aimed at cargo and environmental safety.  To this end we urge regulatory and advisory bodies as well as associations to unite with us in spreading the good word.”

The industry group has been working with the IMO on the CTU Code and other regulatory recommendations, but concerns remain that governments may not effectively be communicating agreed IMO requirements and advisory information within their jurisdictions. “Although the IMO agreed to amend SOLAS to require a verified gross mass of packed containers as a condition for vessel loading, government enforcement of the regulation may be uneven,” explained Lars Kjaer of the WSC, in the Maritime Executive article. “We want to make sure that governments as well as industry are promoting the CTU Code and its best practices to all parties in the CTU supply chain around the globe.”

The group is committed to communicating the need for standard cargo safety standards to all stakeholders involved via governmental and industry events and linking with other organizations that can assist in promoting its widespread adoption.

Roanoke Underwriting specializes in helping agents and brokers secure commercial marine insurance solutions for global trade and logistics risks. For more information about our portfolio of products, please contact us at 1.855.213.4545.

Sources:  Maritime Executive, Dive