Hamburg, Germany — Hapag-Lloyd is the winner of this year’s “Gefahr/gut” innovation prize. The trade magazine of the same name recognized the shipping company for its “Cargo Patrol” safety program, which has detected more than 11,000 incorrectly declared bookings in the last three years and prevented them from being shipped. The system thereby provides more security—not only for the environment, but also for seafarers, vessels and customers’ cargo.
The software ensures a real-time scan of more than 5,000 search terms based on 15,000 rules. The program, which was developed by Hapag-Lloyd, automatically identifies the suspicious bookings. “For example, these are bookings in which synonyms or brand names have been used instead of the correct designations,” explains Ken Rohlmann, Senior Director Dangerous Goods at Hapag-Lloyd. “When, say, hazardous ammonium nitrate is identified as a ‘growth regulator for plants,’ our system recognizes that.” Moreover, combinations of certain kinds of cargo and countries of origin as well as plainly falsified attached documents are also suspicious.
The IT company IBM will now make the Hapag-Lloyd-developed program available to other market players, as well. “Incorrectly declared cargo is a problem affecting the entire transport industry,” says Rohlmann. “For this reason, we decided to allow the program to be offered industry-wide.” There is a high degree of interest in the program on the part of the transport industry.
Current Hapag-Lloyd projections indicate that roughly 0.059 percent of all containers are declared harmless each year even though they contain hazardous materials or other sensitive cargo. This is equivalent to over 18,000 containers per year in the Port of Singapore, or more than 5,000 containers each year in Hamburg.
The “Gefahr/gut” innovation prize was awarded to Hapag-Lloyd on May 22 as part of the 27th “Münchner Gefahrgut-Tage” (Munich Dangerous Goods Days). Since 2003, the editorial department of “Gefahr/gut” has awarded the prize each year to a company that has developed an innovative technical or logistical solution which has proven to be effective in practice and which contributes to increasing the safety of handling dangerous goods. Winners of the prize are selected by the magazine’s advisory board, which is made up of 15 experts drawn from all fields involved in the handling of dangerous goods—such as chemistry, transport, training, consulting, trade, associations and government agencies.