The insurance company TT Club is asking parties to "redouble efforts to formulate an acceptable global regulation on container weight verification."
Efforts to create container weight regulations at the International Maritime Organization failed to move forward last week
"As a leading provider of insurance to the international transport and logistics sector, TT both recognizes and supports the ground-swell of opinion in favor of a mandatory verification process and recommends all those involved in container operations to prepare for such regulatory change. All sides of the argument recognize that weight misdeclaration has been identified in a number of high-profile cases, such as MSC Napoli, Riverdance and Husky Racer,
yet the debate continues for the 50 year-old unit load industry," said TT Club in a press release.
Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s risk management director, said his company "is in a unique position to speak on this issue, insuring not only something in excess of 80 percent of all maritime containers but also with an insurable interest in ports handling around 50 percent of the world’s containerized freight. TT also insures hundreds of freight forwarders, consolidators and NVOCCs. While the immediate debate is only part of an overall ‘cargo integrity’ matrix that demands our attention, the club has noted numerous accidents both at sea and on land, where weight misdeclaration is a material root cause.”
Storrs-Fox was part of a delegation that met at the IMO last week and said "further delay in this modest legal change is frustrating, particularly since there was substantial consensus concerning acceptable ways to ensure that weight declarations are accurate.
"It is, however, valuable that IMO recognized that this is but one of the safety issues raised in the Lashing@Sea
report by MARIN (Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands), as well as within the existing IMO/ILO (International Labor Organization)/UN ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) initiative to produce a Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs). The direction seems clear, and the delay will be insubstantial, so we are urging shippers, forwarders, freight consolidators and terminals to start planning for this reality,” he added.
TT Club said it "is committed to continue working with its members, other marine insurance associations and cargo handling organizations to maintain the positive initiatives already underway to avoid incidents caused by misdeclaration of weight and cargo resulting in claims costs for ship casualties, train derailments, and accidents or injuries on roads and in terminal facilities." - Chris Dupin