ICHCA Packaged Dangerous Goods Seminar and ISP 77


Monday 6 March 2017 | TT Club | London

On 12 August 2015, a series of huge chemical explosions at a container storage facility in the Port of Tianjin, China killed over 170 people, injured several hundreds and caused an estimated $9 billion in damages, claims and global supply chain costs. The official investigation concluded that an overheated container of nitrocellulose, a film-forming polymer commonly used in lacquers and explosives, was the cause of the initial explosion, leading to a second much larger blast when around 800 tons of ammonium nitrate – a fertiliser and commercial explosives component – detonated.

Tianjin disaster served as a tragic demonstration of the potential deadly consequences when packaged dangerous goods are not handled, shipped and stored correctly, whether through criminal negligence or blind ignorance. It also highlighted the increased risks posed by greater scale, concentration and complexity in today’s international supply chains, both at sea on larger ships and ashore as port facilities and logistics operations deal with ever increasing cargo peaks.  

With dangerous goods making up an estimated 10% of all containerised shipments worldwide it is imperative that all the stakeholders work together to safeguard people, cargo, assets, infrastructure and the environment from the inherent risks as chemicals and other hazardous materials move through the supply chain.  

Proper classification, declaration, packing, securing, stowage, storage and handling are all critical considerations, as laid down in safety regulations, recommendations and guidance, including the IMO’s International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) and IMO Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Cargoes and Related Activities in Port Areas. 

Yet despite the extensive rules and guidance available from regulators and industry bodies, global container trade continues to witness far too many incidents with dangerous goods. This includes a recent spate of serious fires and explosions onboard ships and in ports. Even cargoes some might not consider dangerous, for example charcoal, can pose a serious threat if not packed and handled properly. 

Misdeclaration and non-declaration, plus poor packing and securing inside containers, are two of the greatest risks to safe management of packaged dangerous goods, both afloat and ashore. German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd registered a 65% increase in incorrectly declared dangerous goods during 2015, identifying over 236,000 suspicious cases. Data from CINS Organisation, the shipping industry’s cargo incident notification initiative, also shows that 76% of all recorded incidents for the 36 months to the end of 2015 were due to poor packing processes, including dangerous goods.  

Improving the management of dangerous goods in and around container ports and terminals worldwide is also a top priority. Incorrect segregation and storage, lack of emergency response facilities, lack of training  and poor liaison with local fire and emergency services are some of the pressing issues. With so many parties and activities involved, effective controls, checks, processes and information flows are critical to ensure the safety of the whole port community. 
How can industry, legislators, policy makers and enforcing authorities work together to tackle the current wholly unacceptable situation? This focused one-day seminar from ICHCA International will review the most pressing challenges and map out priority actions and initiatives to address the key risks. For everyone involved in the movement and handling of containerised dangerous goods, this is an opportunity to:
  • Understand, define and assess the risks of dangerous goods in the modern container supply chain
  • Identify increased cooperation, information sharing and reporting mechanisms to ensure compliance and improve the whole industry’s safety performance
  • Discuss how to disseminate and implement good practice, guidance and training throughout the supply chain
  • Review the relationship between regulators, enforcing authorities and industry to proactively address the issues and understand key roles and responsibilities
Hosted by the TT Club at its London headquarters, the day will include a mix of presentations and panel discussions, with views from cargo interests, ocean carriers, ports and terminals, insurers, regulators, policy makers, enforcing bodies, legal experts and technology providers.
We hope that you will be able to join us on 6 March for a valuable day of education, debate, information exchange and networking with our expert panel of speakers and with fellow industry professionals. 

View the full programme

As the leading NGO association representing the interests of the global cargo handling industry, ICHCA International is pleased to once bring all the interested industry parties together to share the latest insights and explore pragmatic responses.

We hope that you will be able to join us this March for a valuable day of education, debate, information exchange and networking with our expert panel of speakers and with fellow industry professionals.

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