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Continued ship fires have triggered increased hazardous cargo inspections. Will your cargo get to its destination if inspected?

Following a series of serious and extremely costly ship fires, it was inevitable that shipments would come under much more intense scrutiny and that those found to contain misdeclared hazardous cargo will be severely penalized. Earlier this year, we reported on Maersk’s carrot approach to the volumes of uninsured cargo. However, since then a number of other major shipping lines have reacted more sternly to the fact that investigations have revealed that large numbers of hazardous shipments are misdeclared or incorrectly packed.

Currently between 5 and 10% of shipments are declared as dangerous cargo but insurance company, TT Club, have revealed that they believe that up to 20% of them could be misdeclared. Their risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs Fox told the Loadstar: “We have been collaborating with stakeholders to highlight ongoing risks arising from poorly packed and misdeclared cargo.” TT Club estimate that a fire breaks out in a ship every 60 days and we predicted that the number of ship fires in the first months of 2019 would lead to more stringent controls.

Evergreen were first to announce new fines ranging from $4,000 to $35,000 for misdeclared cargo and Hapag Lloyd and OOCL were quick to follow suit. Hapag Lloyd, whose Yantian Express suffered an intense fire in January this year believed to have started in a single container containing undeclared hazardous cargo, have announced fines of $15,000 per misdeclared container. Hong Kong-based OOCL, have declared that they will be undertaking a much more rigorous inspection approach involving random spot checks and that “Any inconsistencies between the declared cargo in the documents and what is physically inside the container will result in a hazardous cargo misdeclaration fee.”

The new inspection regimes, that will accompany the penalties that have been announced, reinforce the importance of working with a cargo protection partner who can ensure that all your shipments are secured and packed to meet the regulatory requirements around the world. Shipments that are found to be incorrectly packed are likely to suffer delay and potentially rejection whether the cargo is hazardous or not and this represents a real risk to your business. Repacking is time consuming and expensive especially if the resulting delay damages the trust you have built up with the customer awaiting delivery.

Cordstrap are the world’s leading cargo protection specialists. Their innovatively engineered cargo protection solutions are fully CTU code compliant and have won approval from all the world’s major regulatory and insurance bodies including the IMO, Germanischer Lloyd, Mariterm AB and the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Our market-leading cargo container portfolio was recently extended with the launch of AnchorLash HD. These solutions have been engineered not only to deliver unrivalled security but also to take less time and labor to apply, reducing operational costs and making them easier and faster to redeploy in the event of a detailed inspection.

We’re also the only cargo protection company offering a truly global support network with teams working out of over 50 countries. This not only gives us unrivalled expertise on key local and international cargo securing regulations but also means we can work right across your supply chain to ensure consistent best practice. To find out how Cordstrap can help you navigate the new regulatory pitfalls and streamline your supply chain, contact your local expert.

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