Top safety hazards from mishandled goods

Two thirds of cargo damage are caused by poor practices at the time of packing goods into a freight container.

International freight transport and logistics insurer TT Club wants cargo owners to be more aware of safety issues arising from poorly packed containers and misdeclared goods, and urging them to make good practice in the supply chain part of their ESG (environmental, social and governance) policies.

TT Club’s analyses consistently indicate 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 multimillion-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.

Cargo interests, whether retailers, manufacturers, traders, exporters and particularly importers, which rely 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.

“The dangers are not just restricted to chemical cargoes, such as those used in paints, cosmetics, cleaning products, fertilizers, weedkillers and aerosols of all types. 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,” comments Michael Yarwood, Managing Director, Loss Prevention at TT Club. 

“The list is long and often surprising – BBQ charcoal, battery powered electronic devices, fireworks, hand sanitizer, wool, cotton, vegetable fibers, 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.”

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