Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
New safety guidance for the stowage of classified dangerous goods on board containerships has been published by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS).
The new publication entitled: Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships can be downloaded from the CINS website here: www.cinsnet.com
This guidance has been prepared by CINS, the international container shipping line organisation, established with the remit of increasing safety in the supply chain, reducing the number of cargo incidents on-board ships and highlighting the risks caused both by certain cargoes and by packing failures.
These industry-developed safety considerations represent the first in a series of initiatives undertaken both by ship operators and by regulators specifically aimed at enhancing safety on board container ships.
The publication has been created in response to a number of serious fire incidents in recent years, often caused by deficiencies in cargo declaration and cargo packing. It both recognises and takes into account the significant complexities involved in achieving effective and compliant stowage of containers on board ships.
Prepared by a work group comprising CINS shipping line members, together with representatives of classification societies and insurance organisations, these safety considerations are intended to be used by ship operators, cargo carriers, and port personnel. They provide a risk-based dangerous goods stowage strategy, applying to all sizes of containerships.
New safety considerations within the publication complement, but do not replace, existing measures already developed and implemented by ship operators for the carriage of properly declared dangerous goods. Likewise, they do not replace the SOLAS and IMDG requirements for stowage and segregation, In fact, they will enhance requirements of these regulations.
Commenting on the significance of this new publication, CINS Chairman Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen notes: ‘Cargo-related incidents which result in fire and explosions are rooted in cargo problems. Subsequent investigations demonstrate a wide range of deficiencies relating to cargo presented for shipment. These deficiencies include erroneous classification and declaration; packing, segregation and securing not complying with IMDG or not following the CTU Code1; and packaging not complying with IMDG.
‘This new best-practice guidance for DG stowage is intended to help improve fire safety in our industry.’
The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) is a shipping line organisation launched in 2011. Its aim is to increase safety in the supply chain, reduce the number of cargo incidents on board ships and highlight the risks caused by certain cargoes and/or packing failures.
CINS’s board comprises five of the world’s largest container shipping lines: Maersk Line, Hapag Lloyd, MSC, CMA CGM and Evergreen Line together with three Advisory Board Members (the International Group of P&I Clubs, TT Club and Exis Technologies).
Membership of CINS comprises over 85% of the world’s container slot capacity.
1 See here:
UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2014/wp24/CTU_Code_January_2014.pdf
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.
Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’
IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.
‘These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’
On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire. The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.
Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.