Containers falling off ships while at sea – who is responsible..??

containers falling

2019 was quite the year for maritime disasters with ships on fire, containers falling off ships etc.. 2020 seems to be hitting the industry in other ways which could also be considered a kind of maritime disaster..

But in what may be the first reported case of containers falling off ships in 2020, the APL England a 5,780 TEU capacity containership lost around 40 containers off the coast of New South Wales in Australia.. It has also been reported that around 74 containers are lying in a collapsed state within the stacks on board the ship..

Such incidents bring to the fore the question whether the ship register or ship registry is liable for containers falling off a ship and who is really responsible..

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Don’t be caught out with an unseaworthy container – follow this checklist and avoid cargo damage

unseaworthy container

There are several reasons that cargo inside a container could damaged. It could be due to improper packing of cargo inside a container, incorrect container used for the cargo carried, but one of the main reasons for cargo damage inside a container is the condition of the container itself.

  • Wet damage due water ingress (rain, seawater etc) into the container ;
  • Wet damage due to condensation inside the container when an incorrect type of container is used like using a normal container instead of a ventilated container ;
  • Contamination due to adjacency risk or odor transfer ;
  • Infestation damage

are some of the common types of damages reported on cargoes that are packed in containers.

As a general rule, shipping lines reject these claims confirming that the gate out documents of the containers were clean at the time of release to the shipper. Insurance companies use Unseaworthiness and Unfitness Exclusion Clause stated in ICC (A) not to cover similar claims either, unless the insured can prove that he was not aware of the condition of the container at the time of loading.

Obviously, this situation causes a lot of frustration, feelings of injustice, and could result in absorbed losses among shippers globally.

So should the shipper simply accept this rejection of claims and move on?

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How shipping containers can help in tackling COVID-19

shipping and freight news

Hospitals made from shipping containers could help tackle COVID-19

  • Architects have designed intensive care units built inside shipping containers.
  • These mobile hospitals could help ease pressure on health systems.
  • The team behind CURA wants to scale rapidly to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

An Italian design company has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create prefabricated intensive care units (ICUs), to deal with escalating numbers of coronavirus patients around the world.

Coronavirus patients with access to hospital equipment, in particular ICU beds, have a much greater chance of survival. With 377,431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 24 March, health systems around the world are groaning under the strain.

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Don’t wait for a smart container – make your container’s trip smart

An increasing need for container tracking

In today’s global trade, handling of container transport and supply chain is not that easy and comes with a plethora of problems. Lack of visibility is one of the main problems that customers face.

Lack of visibility of a shipping container’s location and its condition during a trip may lead not only to unexpected delays but also to possible theft and deterioration of goods especially if these problems are noticed far too late.

In many situations, it is also difficult to ascertain and be assured that the goods have traveled in the optimal condition especially with perishable cargo or hazardous cargo shipments.

Without visibility, shippers cannot expect the fastest, safest and importantly, the most ecological routes for their shipments.

Time saving and product quality are key factors in a well functioning supply chain, and more and more companies are looking to choose solutions that provides visibility of their shipments.

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Precautions to take against loss due to abandoned cargo

I dont want you anymore

Abandoned cargo could be quite stressful for shipping lines, shippers, port authorities and forwarders alike and is considered to be a big headache for everyone concerned..

When a cargo is abandoned it causes severe financial losses to all parties concerned – seller, buyer, shipping line, freight forwarder, transporters, banks, Government etc etc..

It could also cause a rift in business relationships between a shipping line and their customer – whether it is an importer or a freight forwarder because it could create a blemish in the customer’s record with the shipping line..

When is a cargo considered to be Abandoned Cargo..??

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Why is there a difference in transit time between FCL and LCL cargo to the same destination..??

featured image for reader question

Why is there a difference in transit time between FCL and LCL cargo to the same destination..??

If it doesn’t make sense, there is a reason why this difference exists.. Read the full article to know why..

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Pitfalls of digitalisation in shipping and freight

Opinion Piece

Digitisation, Digitalisation, Digital Transformation are some buzz words that have recently taken the shipping and freight industry by storm..

Let’s take a quick look at what these terms mean and what it is all about..

While Digitalisation is inevitable in the industry, there are also some pitfalls and you can read about the pitfalls and how to avoid it here..

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Executive Insights – Michael Hohndorf – CAI International

Executive Insights - Shipping and Freight Resource

Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides ongoing insights, enriching the knowledge of the readers with what is happening in the shipping, freight, maritime, logistics and supply chain industry and providing thoughtful analysis..

Executive Insights is also a chance to pick the brains of industry veterans, leaders and enablers..

In this edition of Executive Insights, we caught up with Michael Hohndorf, Vice President of Technical Services for CAI International, one of the leading container leasing companies in the world and their position in the market..

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Scale-less weighing of containers for SOLAS VGM

scale-less weighing

SOLAS VGM – probably a term which may have slipped many people’s minds as it seems to have successfully integrated itself into the mainstream container shipping process since its mandatory implementation in July 2016.. Now it seems to be back, but in a good way though..

In July 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a mandatory requirement which required all shipping containers to be weighed and the weight information (Verified Gross Mass) be provided to the shipping lines as part of the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea convention) Chapter VI Regulation 2..

This requirement came on the back of continued misdeclaration of weights by shippers many of which resulted in incidents at sea causing loss of property and/or lives..

The regulation allowed shippers to provide the VGM to the carriers using two different methods

  1. Weigh the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment like a weighbridge to get the VGM
  2. Weigh the cargo, dunnage, lashing material and add the tare weight of the container to get the VGM

Although there has not been any real comments or incidents relating to the misdeclaration of weights after the implementation of the SOLAS VGM regulation in 2016, it has been reported that shipping industry has been struggling with Method 1, as physically weighing every shipping container requires significant efforts and costly, space-consuming scales..

Well, it seems there is a solution for that..

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Why Demurrage & Detention fees are killing ocean shippers

Shipping and Freight Resource Press Release

International trade continues to experience growing pains related to demurrage and detention charges.

Unfortunately, global transport interpretations result in an assumption that these terms are interchangeable.

Depending on the origin and destination, they have different meanings, especially in the U.S. In fact, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) took the exuberant step to eliminate confusion and streamline port management.

While beneficial, the new interpretive rule still leaves room for error, notes FleetOwner, lacking the force of legally bound duties.

To avoid an assumption of decreased demurrage and detention fees and keep ocean freight spend under control, shippers need to understand their real impacts and how these fees amount to significant issues in the global supply chain.

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