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Global cargo NGO hosting seminar on new packing code of practice


London, UK– ICHCA International, the NGO association for the global cargo handling industry, will be hosting a practical seminar, “Understanding the new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs)”, in London on 22nd October. The one-day event will focus on the new Code’s terms, their potential impact, and how they will be enforced globally.

Developed jointly by the International Maritime Organization, International Labour Organization and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the new Code of Practice will be far more comprehensive than the original 1997 packing guidelines from the three influential organisations. Applicable to all types of cargo moving in containers, trailers, swap bodies and railcars, the Code will provide parties along the supply chain with information about their responsibilities, including details of how to pack and secure packages and cargo items. It also places a responsibility on the shipper to declare correctly the composition of the cargo, as well as the gross mass of the packed CTU.

Insurance company TT Club and the Cargo Incident Notification Service (CINS) recently highlighted that poor CTU loading is responsible for an alarmingly high percentage of incidents along the transport chain, leading to damage, loss, injuries and fatalities. According to the TT Club, which is sponsoring and speaking at the seminar, poor packing and securing of cargoes should now be even more of a concern for members of the supply chain than inaccurate container weighing, an issue that has received much attention of late.

 “TT Club’s own claims experience shows that 65% of all incidents involve loss or damage to cargo and of these, our analysis suggests over one-third result from poor packing,” says the insurer. Recent data from CINS – an incident reporting system set up by members of theContainer Owners Association from five of the top liner shipping companies – reveal that poor or incorrect packaging accounted for almost 40 per cent of incidents over nearly two years.

“Proper packing and securing of cargoes is a matter of universal supply chain concern, and not just in terms of dealing with new global rules,” says ICHCA International Chairman David Bendall.”With the final draft of the new Code being considered at the IMO’s 18th DSC sub-committee meeting this September, this ICHCA seminar will be a first chance to get a detailed look at its contents and bring all the interested parties together to explore the next steps.” 

The seminar will include talks by an expert panel of speakers and professionals from across the cargo chain, including: Bill Brassington, owner of ETS Consulting and consultant for editing the new Code; Chris Welsh, General Secretary of the Global Shippers Forum; Don Armour, Policy Advisor at the Freight Transport Agency; and Keith Bradley, Hazardous Cargoes Advisor at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Brainstorming workgroups will also address key questions around disseminating the Code and training and educating packers.