Container Loss Becomes Concerning

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Recently the UK P&I Club conducted a webinar to discuss key issues that are affecting the shipping market now. Here’s what Viswa Group wants to highlight from that webinar.

The webinar hosted by UK P&I club & TT club had 255 attendees.

Key Points

  • Loss of containers becomes more and more concerning: primarily because of environment – dangerous good & plastics
  • Existing data:

    Very difficult to establish what is the cause of container losses:
    • Data is aggregated
    • Not suitable for causation analysis
    • Most casualties relate to extreme weather conditions (in North Atlantic or in Pacific during tropical storms)
    • There is no trend, and risk is evenly distributed across vessel types.
  • Failures in the following are the most common reasons of container loss:
    • Cargo packing
    • Container structure
    • Stowage planning & implementation
    • Lashings
    • Routing
    • Seamanship
    • Naval architecture & dynamic forces

What is being done about it?

      • Some areas see more action than others
      • Some of the actions taken:
        • [email protected]” Seminal research by MARIN reported to IMO in Sep 2010
        • Verified Gross Mass mandatory Jul 2016 (SOLAS Chapter VI, Part A, Regulation 2)
        • ISO review / update of container standards
        • SOLAS & CSS Code on-going review
  • The actions which the panel believes would have the largest impact:
    • Neil Gardiner:
      • Include vessel movement (bending and twisting) into calculation of lashing forces.
    • Tom Starr:
      • Rewrite design criteria as they are outdated and developed for the ships of the size that they were 10 years ago.
      • Conduct a research equivalent to MARIN’s one back in 2010.

Questions from the audience:

Q: Cargo planners often partially load the ship which results in high GM values and a “stiff ship”, i.e. short rolling period, which increases the risk of container loss. Are there any suggestions as to how this might be avoided?

A (Neil Gardiner): Re-stowing will have to be a part of any solution, so there is no cheap option.

Q: Is there difference in failure of loose lashings with fixed deck arrangements?

A (Neil Gardiner): Haven’t been observed. Both take similar working loads and have similar problems. Preventative maintenance is the key.

Q: During managing casualties, what is the advice in dealing with authorities?

A (Neil Gardiner):  They try to be helpful, but resources they involve in the matter are very limited. As a result, quality of produced reports is not perfect, carriers often spend a lot of time fixing their misjudgment.

Q: What is the most difficult part in managing disputes and preparing for litigation after the loss of cargo?

A (Tom Starr): Number of parties involved and them being scattered around jurisdictions.

Q: What is being done with mis-declared dangerous goods cargo?

A (Neil Gardiner): First of all deliberate mis-declared happens just as often as simply mistakes. Trust plays a large role in the process. Currently it relies largely on the ability of lines to identify that.

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Source: Viswa Group

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