International freight transport and logistics insurer TT Club has urged owners to step up their awareness of safety issues arising from poorly packed containers and misdeclared goods.
It also called on owners to make good practice in the supply chain part of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, noting that two thirds of incidents related to cargo damage are caused or exacerbated by poor practices at the time of packing goods into a freight container.
"Such supply chain malpractice results in multi-million dollar losses, including tragic containership fires with loss of seafarers lives and significant delays. Extrapolating known figures, all such incidents are estimated to result in economic losses exceeding US$6 billion per year," TT Club said in a statement.
The insurer said stakeholders who rely so heavily on the global supply chains that transit thousands of miles of ocean and land transport need to take responsibility to ensure the risks are mitigated.
Michael Yarwood, managing director, loss prevention at TT Club said the dangers were not just restricted to chemical cargoes. "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."
Some of the consumer products include BBQ charcoal, battery powered electronic devices, fireworks, hand sanitizer, wool, cotton, vegetable fibres, marble, granite and other building materials, fishmeal, seed cake and many more.
"Those involved in sourcing, importing, storing, supplying or selling such commodities should ensure their procurement and logistics standards are of the highest level," Mr Yarwood added.
Source: Shipping Gazette