Monday, December 5, 2022

Hazardous Goods

Regulation and improving fire-fighting techniques have proven inadequate to stem the tide of serious incidents costing lives, significant cargo losses, and ship damage - TT Club TT Club, the market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related...
The mortal remains of two more bodies have been recovered from Sitakunda's BM Container Depot in Bangladesh where a series of explosions lead to a fire on the 4th of June killing more than 41 people...

Devastating fire in Chattogram container depot in Bangladesh claims 49 lives

In a shocking incident, at least 49 people are reported to have been killed with more than 200 people including police and firemen, injured...

ZIM Kingston container loss and container fire onboard – UPDATE

Further to the incident of ZIM Kingston losing containers overboard and container fire on board, today’s update is that the fire is reported to have been controlled but the vessel is still smoldering as of Sunday afternoon.

The ZIM Kingston has been anchored at Constance Bank since the night of 22nd October after it lost 40 containers about 12 nautical miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Bamfield, while navigating rough seas.

It is understood that the ship will remain at Constance Bank alongside emergency tow vessels and the Canadian Coast Guard who will be monitoring the vessel due to the storm expected to move through the region.

ZIM Kingston on fire off the Canadian coast after losing 40 containers at sea

ZIM Kingston a 4253 TEU capacity container ship built in 2008 flying the Maltese flag is on fire off the coast of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. As per CBC News, 6 containers are on fire on board the ship which is said to be carrying 52,000 kg of Xanthates which are chemicals used in the mining industry. Xanthates fall under Class 4.2 of the IMDG code which is the classification for "Substances liable to spontaneous combustion" and is said to include Potassium Amylxanthate which is considered an environmental hazard.

33% of hazardous cargo misdeclarations are willful

The meaning of Declare (verb) is to make known or state clearly, especially in explicit or formal terms; to announce officially; proclaim; to state emphatically; to manifest; reveal; show; When none of the above happens, it is...

Cause and effect of incorrect hazardous declaration and what needs to be done to avoid it

In the IMDG Code, many actions are listed but the responsibility to carry out that action may not be specifically assigned to any particular person. The IMDG Code does however assign responsibilities to named persons or entities in certain cases, such as;
  1. Shipper: for classification, assigning proper shipping name, packaging, marking, labelling, placarding, dangerous goods declaration
  2. Packer: for packing of CTU and related responsibilities.
  3. Master: of the vessel- responsibilities under SOLAS Chapter VII Part A & MARPOL Annex III
  4. Competent Authorities: for granting exemptions and approvals
No one knows what is inside the box; everyone depends on the dangerous goods declaration.

ONE Apus – Container stack collapse – Update – 7th Dec

Latest update on the situation of the ONE Apus which encountered heavy weather on the way from China to Los Angeles resulting in the collapse of 1,816 containers on board and over board..

This update provides information about the hazardous contents that was on the ship when the collapse happened..

Thousands of containers overboard in worst containership disaster-ONE Apus

The year 2020 has been disastrous to many in so many many ways with the whole world in a crazy tizz due to the COVID-19 pandemic.. The pandemic aside, even as we hit the last month of the year, 2020 looks like it is still not done with maritime disasters..

In the latest edition of maritime disasters, the ONE APUS a 14,052 TEU containership built in 2019 and operating on Ocean Network Express’s (ONE) Far East Pacific 2 (FP2) Service suffered multiple stack collapse on board due to severe weather conditions while the vessel was enroute from Yantian in China to Long Beach in USA..

Transnet procedures for hazardous cargoes in South African ports

As has been covered across various articles on this site, the process of hazardous cargo approval, acceptance and shipment is quite complex and ALL stakeholders involved in the shipment of this highly specialised cargo must be fully aware of the requirements..

This cannot be repeated enough..

From pre-shipment approval, approval of shipment, movement to port of load, loading on board, precautions while at sea, discharge at destination, movement to place of delivery, every process required to be followed by the IMDG Code must be followed at all times..

Seemingly there are several cases of non-compliance and non-adherence in this regard, based on which, Transnet, the State Owned Enterprise in South Africa responsible for all port operations has amended its Handling and Transport of Dangerous Cargoes National Procedures..

Transnet shares concerns on incorrect labelling of hazardous containers

Undeclared or misdeclared hazardous goods (Dangerous Goods) have been the bane of many vessel operators and shipping lines since the start of carriage of hazardous goods on ships..

The incidents created due to this issue has been increasing over the years with 9 major maritime disasters recorded in 2019 alone and as per TT Club, a containership is involved in a major fire every 60 days..

As per a statement issued by the Office of the Chief Harbour Master, Transnet National Ports Authority has identified the following risks and challenges that have emerged in the past years which requires immediate attention..

The hazards of Ammonium Nitrate and 100 years of related disasters

On the 4th of August 2020, a devastating explosion ripped through the port of Beirut killing more than 135 people and injuring at least 4,000+..

As per news reports, the explosion is said to have originated from a storage facility which was storing about 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (NH4NO3)..

This article highlights the characteristics of Ammonium Nitrate and the disasters that this chemical has caused over the last 100 years..

Findings of the Maersk Honam fire by TSIB – what really happened..

On the 6th of March 2018, Maersk Honam, one of Maersk’s ultra-large containerships caught fire in the Arabian Sea while en-route from Singapore to Egypt..

The Singapore registered container ship which was carrying 7860 containers encountered a severe fire that started from no.3 cargo hold about 900 nautical miles west of the coast of India..

Five crew members eventually perished in this incident which was one of several containership disasters that have happened in recent history..

The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore (TSIB) conducted the investigation into the fire on board the Maersk Honam and here is what they found..

A day in the life of a Dangerous Goods (DG) Approver

"A day in the life of....." is a series of posts which covers activities that happens in a typical day in the life of one of the many on shore and off shore personnel in the shipping and freight industry..

In this post, we look at the typical workflow and how "A day in the life of a DG Approver (DG Desk)" progresses.. 

Global groups to collaborate on container safety improvements

Five international freight transport and cargo handling organisations are collaborating on the production of new guidance on packing standards for freight containers and other...

What is Dangerous Goods Declaration and who should submit it..??

The safe carriage of Dangerous Goods requires several considerations, processes of approval, acceptance, carriage protocols and documentation..

For the shipping line/carriers, while containerisation brought along ease of handling cargo, it also brought about the headache of not knowing WHAT IS INSIDE THE CONTAINER..

Carriers have no way of knowing what is inside the container and depend on the STC and SLAC information provided by the shipper..

For dangerous goods, this cargo information is provided to the carrier in the form of the Dangerous Goods Declaration..

Tracking hazardous cargo misdeclarations in real time

Cargo misdeclaration is nothing new to shipping and has been continuing for years especially in containerised shipments for various reasons..

Apart from the loss of millions of dollars worth of goods and assets, such misdeclarations also result in maritime disasters which have a huge impact on the environment and the loss of life (human or otherwise)..

There are enough examples of the consequences due to misdeclarations both in misdeclaration in weight and/or misdeclaration of hazardous content..

To tackle the scourge of weight misdeclaration, IMO and other stakeholders imposed the requirement of SOLAS VGM which came into effect in July 2016..

While life after SOLAS VGM seems to be hunky-dory and no major incidents have directly attributed to weight misdeclarations, hazardous cargo misdeclaration still seems to be rampant and several shipping lines are "gatvol" of these misdeclarations and have imposed severe financial penalties on the defaulters..

ZIM recently developed and implemented an innovative AI-based screening software to detect and identify incidents of misdeclared hazardous cargo before loading to vessel..

What are the major reasons for misdeclared or undeclared dangerous goods?

In the past few years, we have seen a large number of maritime disasters such as catastrophic fires onboard ships mostly due to misdeclared and undeclared dangerous goods.

Some of the vessels which had major fires in the year 2019 are Yantian Express, APL Vancouver, E.R. Kobe, Grande America, KMTC Hong Kong, APL Le Havre.

Most of the cases involving leakage, fires, cargo damage is linked to undeclared, misdeclared or poorly packed containers.

Shipping lines get tough on dangerous goods misdeclaration

Gatvol (ˈxʌtˌfɒl) is a commonly used South African term meaning "fed up" or "I have had it up to here".. This is seems to be the mood in the Hapag Lloyd camp as they recently announced hefty fines for misdeclaration of dangerous goods..

Undeclared hazardous goods said to be the cause of KMTC HongKong fire

On the 25th of May 2019, a fire broke out on board the KMTC HongKong, at the Laem Chabang port in Thailand.. It was reported that 35 containers were on board when the ship caught fire..

Thailand Port Authority has been quoted as saying that undeclared hazardous cargo is the cause of the fire on board the KMTC HongKong..

Oops it happened again – another container ship on fire..!!

2019 seems to be fast becoming the year of maritime disasters.. There have been several maritime disasters one after the other in the recent years, especially in 2019.. In the latest incident on the 25th of May, a fire broke out on board a container ship KMTC Hong Kong, at the Laem Chabang port in Thailand..

It has been reported that a fire erupted on the ship triggering a blast which left at least 25 workers suffering from smoke inhalation and other injuries, forcing officials to evacuate workers and temporarily close three piers..

Tips for Safe and Effective Shipping of Potentially Hazardous Materials

Many business owners jump straight into nationwide and international shipments — even with potentially hazardous goods.

Yet, with your venture being liable if things go wrong, it’s necessary to continually look for ways to ensure packages arrive at their destination safely and effectively.

Here are some tips you can follow over the coming months to help you with this.

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