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Maersk moves on container safety

Pilot project will inspect containers to verify content declarations and correct cargo loading.

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Maersk Line has announced that it and other carriers are taking steps to “improve safety and reliability in the Containerised Maritime Supply Chain” with a pilot project to inspect containers for correctly declared contents and proper loading at four US ports.


The project, called the “Physical Container Inspection Pilot” will open and inspect both import and export containers at Newark Berth 88, Houston Bayport, Miami POMTOC and New Orleans Ceres terminals.


“The data collected through this pilot may be used to develop procedures that better ensure the accuracy of cargo descriptions provided to Maersk, as well as improve the use of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code),” Maersk stated.


The randomly selected containers will be inspected by the NCB (National Cargo Bureau Inc.), and the cost for this inspection will be paid for by Maersk. The NCB is a non-profit organisation that has been assigned the power by the US Coast Guard to issue certificates of compliance under the Dangerous Cargo Act and the Rules and Regulations for Bulk Grain Cargo.


Maersk has advised that it will endeavour to keep any disruptions from the inspections to a minimum, but corrective actions may be necessary if cargo is miss-declared or inadequately stuffed, lashed and secured inside the containers. “Such corrective actions may involve reworking the container to ensure it is compliant with given regulations. The cost for such reworking actions to resume transport of the container will be charged to the Shipper / Consignee (depending on direction of the container). Since the inspections are being performed in the United States, a container that has already made sea transit may be selected for inspection. Containers that have already undergone inspections at the loading port may also be selected, as selections are being made at random”.


Miss-declared and incorrectly and/or poorly loaded containers are a continuing problem for the industry, and Maersk hopes its inspection pilot project will “remove some of the risk from mis-declared or incorrectly stuffed containers for all parties involved in handling and transporting cargo, as well as work towards an overall industry improvement of safety and reliability in the Containerized Maritime Supply Chain.”

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