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Three major new shipping fires in 2019 set to increase the heat on non-compliant shipments

We’ve recently reported how major fires aboard container ships have revealed huge shortcomings in both shipping insurance and inspection regimes. Three subsequent fires on container vessels in the past three months will only serve to reinforce shipping lines’ determination to address the size of these threats to their businesses and reputations. The APL Vancouver caught fire of the coast of Vietnam in the early hours of January 31st while, on January 3rd, Hapag-Lloyd’s Yantian Express suffered a serious blaze, off the coast of Canada, that took weeks to extinguish. Most recently, the Grande America sank in the Bay of Biscay on March 13th and owners, Grimaldi, have already confirmed that the fire started in a container on the deck.

As with the Maersk Honam, earlier in 2018, the sheer scale of the first two of these salvage claims has led to general average being declared, placing significant liabilities with the cargo owners. Once again, it is anticipated that this will reveal a proportion of uninsured cargos that may be as high as 50%. These, uninsured, costs will greatly ramp up the pressure on other shipping lines to follow Maersk’s lead in building insurance products into their offering and to implementing spot checks to identify rogue shipments.

Maersk have been widely lauded for this initiative and have explained that their goal was to improve the accuracy of cargo descriptions and to improve understanding and use of the International Maritime Organization’s Code of Practice Code of Cargo Units.

These new developments are a timely reminder of just how important it is to protect all your containerized cargos to the very highest standards of compliance. Cordstrap have worked closely with the world’s major regulatory bodies to develop protection systems and methods of securing cargos that achieve the exemplary standards laid down by both insurers and shipping organizations. As a result, our innovative and efficient cargo protection solutions are backed by certification from all major regulatory bodies including Germanischer Lloyd, the IMO and Mariterm AB. Cordstrap’s solutions have also been fully approved to the exceptional standards required by the American Association of Railroads, to qualify for their own insurance schemes.

To find out more about how Cordstrap cargo protection solutions can reduce both your risk of rejection and your insurance costs, contact one of our global experts. Our unrivalled network means there’ll be one near you wherever you are in the world.

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