Using blockchain to mitigate risk in container operations – a researcher’s perspective

Opinion Piece

The theory is that an adopter of technology will not be eager to join in because the technology looks fancy. A difficulty that Blockchain is struggling to address is that its true potential might only be realized when everyone is on board, but the benefits it brings back might not be visible to all or is not tangible.

The managing board expects the providers to show them how their solution would help them make money while ensuring an acceptable level of risk, not how much they have to pay to join in another platform that they have to add to their collection of systems to be maintained.

The role of CIOs and CTOs is therefore critical to make his/her company become an educated buyer in this emerging market.

A recent study by Son Nguyen, Peggy Shu-Ling Chen, and Bill Yuquan Du at Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Australia revealed the potential of the increasing complexity of system management and the emerging of multiple-event risk scenarios originated from the information flow of the industry.

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If a bill of lading is an evidence of contract of carriage, then what is a contract of carriage..??

types of bill of lading - shipping and freight resource

A Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents in the shipping cycle and comes in different forms such as Negotiable or Order Bill of Lading, Seaway Bill of Lading or Express Bill of Lading and Straight Bill of Lading with further permutations and combinations such as Port to Port Bill of Lading, Combined Transport Bill of Lading or Multimodal Bill of Lading and Through Bill of Lading ..

As most of you may know by now, a Bill of Lading has 3 basic purposes or roles..

  1. Evidence of Contract of Carriage;
  2. Receipt of Goods; and
  3. Document of Title to the goods

In its role as Evidence of Contract of Carriage, the emphasis is on the term “Evidence” because contrary to popular belief, a Bill of Lading is neither

  1. a contract between the Seller and the Buyer nor
  2. a contract of carriage between the Carrier and Shipper

So if the bill of lading is the evidence of the contract of carriage, then what is the contract of carriage..??

This is the question in the minds of many in the industry and I will try to shed some light on this issue here..

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Make your supply chains efficient and responsive during and after COVID-19

Shipping and Freight Resource Press Release

The sheer magnitude and unpredictable nature of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has put even the best, most established businesses on shaky ground.

All the best laid plans have had to be revisited and brought back to the drawing board. Businesses have had to adopt a ‘reactive’ approach and go into fire-fighting mode to stay afloat.

There have been questions like “How can supply chain performance be improved in order to ensure that it is responsive and efficient in meeting the needs of final consumers during the pandemic“.

So, what are the lessons that have been learnt? Are we wiser from our experience of this kind of disruption and can we use these learnings to make our supply chains more resilient?

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Importance of proper lashing of containers on board ships

lashing containers

Since the inception of containerisation, the shipping container has been used to ship various products around the world.. An estimated 793.26 million TEUs were handled in container ports worldwide in 2019.. As of this article, 23.8 million TEUs are being shipped around the world in 6,136 active container ships.. These containers are being carried on container ships that are increasing in size and capacity year after year..

Naturally, there is increased concern and focus on the safety of the ship, its crew due to the number of containers being carried onboard especially because there have been several maritime disasters in the last few years, some of which have been reported in detail on this site..

A few of the incidents that involved containers falling of a ship have been attributed to the lashing of containers onboard or lack thereof..

We look at the importance of proper lashing of containers onboard ships..

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What does it take to be profitable in Freight Forwarding

My Opinion

Achieving and maintaining profitability has been one of the serious problems faced by many freight forwarders and more so, in these trying times..

A Freight Forwarder is a multi-function agent/operator who undertakes to handle the movement of goods from point to point on behalf of the cargo owner and the essence of freight forwarding is to ensure that the cargo is collected from the seller and delivered to the buyer at the required place, at the right price and in the same condition that it is picked up from origin using the most suitable and optimal resources and routing possible..

While reducing costs, keeping costs low or maintaining the costs over a period of time is key to achieving profitability in freight forwarding, there are also other ways to be profitable in freight forwarding..

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Seafarers as Key Workers, but more importantly, Human Beings

day of the seafarer

On International Day of the Seafarer, while it is imperative to designate seafarers as key workers, it is equally, if not more important, to recognise them as human beings with real needs.

Here is a touching tribute to the trials and tribulations that the seafarers go through on a day to day basis..

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Should ship Captains be personally responsible for the safety of cargo on board..??

what is your opinion

The Master of the APL England was charged for offences relating to pollution and/or damage of the Australian marine environment as a result of poor cargo loading but has been allowed return home on certain bail conditions while the ship is still detained in Brisbane..

A look at some of the comments from some Captains, seafarers and industry experts on whether ship Captains be personally responsible for the safety of cargo on board..??

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The feel of the ship – Have you felt it..??

Opinion Piece

I am not a seafarer, but I have had the privilege of being onboard different types of ships when I was handling them operationally many years ago..

There is something about some of the ships that I have worked on that has given me a sense of comfort and made me feel at home like I belonged there..

I said “some” ships because some ships didn’t give me that feeling and gave me a sense of uneasiness and I have felt like wanting to get out of there ASAP..

Mind you, I am talking about the “ship” and not about the people onboard the ship..

Well, it turns out that not just me or the ship’s crew that have a connection with the ship, but also Marine Pilots have or get this “feel of the ship” which they are navigating in and out of ports and it is quite important for them to get the feel of the ship..

I found this out when I got talking to Capt.Roberto Caballero Vega a Panama Canal Pilot of over 25 years who very kindly allowed me to reproduce his article about “The feel of the ship: The essence of Piloting” below..

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Guidelines for claims handling and submission

cargo damage

For obvious reasons, no one wants to receive cargo claims. More so, carriers who carry the cargo from A to B. It could possibly be the reason why there is a lot of misunderstanding among BCOs and OTIs about which documents are really necessary to submit and which are completely irrelevant in the process of claims recovery.

Below are some simple guidelines for claims handling and submissions. I hope this will help to make the claim submission process as efficient and as simple as possible for you.

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The beginning of the end for the Paper Bill of Lading

My Opinion

Many things have changed in the last 30 years in shipping and freight..

Many positive new developments have taken place with things from the vintage days of shipping either obsolete to almost obsolete now..

If you look at many of the news items about the industry recently, there has been a certain buzz and intensity around the electronic bill of lading..

I am fairly confident that people entering the shipping and freight industry in the next decade will be told that 2020 was the year that saw the beginning of the end for the paper “Bill of Lading” and the year in which the switch to “Electronic Bill of Lading” (eBL) began in earnest..

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4 industry executives look into the future of global supply chains

Webinar

COVID-19 is probably the world’s most disliked word currently due to the rampant economic disruption it has wreaked on the world. All countries and all businesses around the world have been affected by this pandemic.

The supply chain industry is one industry that has also been affected severely. The industry has seen a massive drop in volumes, congestion both on land and at sea, job losses etc, although ironically this is one of the industries that has and is helping to fight this pandemic through its movement of essential goods like medical supplies, food and PPE.

At the end of March 2020, we set up a short survey sponsored by Ocean Insights to analyse the impact of the pandemic on the industry and its preparedness.

12,000 clicks of that survey and the analysis and a 95% engagement rate told us that in times of strife, people want to come together, understand what is going on and help each other out of this situation.

So, we got together a team of executives to discuss these issues in a webinar moderated by an equally celebrated and astute industry journalist.

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