TT Talk - CINS raises its voice


The founding vision for the CINS Organisation, to highlight risks posed by certain cargoes and packing failures in order to improve safety in the liner shipping industry, has continued to demonstrate value through 2014. The last year has proved to be one of substantial consolidation of the data capture capability, increasing the authority with which the organisation can address issues arising in the industry.

Founded by five of the top 20 liner operators in order to capture key incident data, participants in the CINS Organisation during 2014 numbered 12 lines and accounted for 61% of container slot capacity (see www.cinsnet.com). CINS facilitates the capture by liner operators of structured key causal information relating to cargo and container incidents. The information capture explicitly excludes any shipper data in order to preclude any anti-trust concerns. The information gathered provides an early warning of worrying trends, whether relating to cargoes that display dangerous characteristics or unsafe practices in the container supply chain.

CINS represents a unique co-operation between container lines to promote safety in the maritime supply chain; its Board is comprised of representatives from the five founding lines, being CMA-CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line and MSC.

“CINS represents a unique co-operation between container lines to promote safety in the maritime supply chain”

As with so much in life, as the participating lines have recorded more information, so they have derived greater value. A number of the lines have incorporated review of the database into their regular cargo management meetings. By doing this, they integrate awareness of any emerging trends and are able to correlate problems seen in the broader industry with those identified within their own settings.

The presenting issues
Throughout it relatively short history, the CINS Organisation has repeatedly identified cargo leakage as a major area of concern; see Chart 1. If anything, the last year has intensified this concern. It has become particularly apparent that the incidents relating to leakage not infrequently concern bulk solid cargoes – not simply liquids – often where the lining or packaging has been inappropriate. Furthermore, unpackaged cargoes, such as hides and waste, have also proved problematic.

Chart 1 - Analysis of Incident type (2013-2014)

Amongst the liquid cargoes, badly packed drums and jerricans have contributed to the leakages, along with flexitanks – although it should be recognised that it is mostly modest volumes of cargo that are spilled. Perhaps surprisingly in view of the nature of cargo carried and generally heightened controls, ISO tank containers also feature in the leakage statistics.

Disturbingly, however, many shipments that are detected as being mis-declared prior to loading on board are cancelled, exposing another carrier to the problem, which is a general challenge for the industry.

As the database matures, the lines are devoting more energy towards detecting the root cause of incidents. The result is not comforting. As Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s Risk Management Director comments, ‘The approval of the CTU Code in 2014 has not come a moment too soon, but effective awareness and competence training through the packed community is now critical.’

“the lines are devoting more energy towards detecting the root cause of incidents. The result is not comforting”

One of the common assumptions about the CINS initiative is that it is concerned with classified dangerous goods alone. See Chart 2, This could not be further from the truth. Almost 75% of the incidents recorded in the last two years relate to cargoes that would generally be described as ‘inert’. Nevertheless, it is clear that there is also a greater risk exposure – particularly whilst containers are stowed on board – when the cargo concerned is flammable or corrosive. This is a very real concern to the lines, since one in five of the incidents involve cargoes classified in these ways.

Chart 2 - Analysis by Substance type (2013-2014)

Detection to action
Poor packing, which includes blocking and securing, was identified as a root cause in 50% of the incidents in 2014; see Chart 3. Aggregating this with mis-declaration and incorrect packing, the proportion amounts to more than 80%; these are to a large measure the ills that the CTU Code is seeking to address. For its own part, the CINS Organisation, through its participating lines, is collaborating in compiling good practice guidance for packers of certain problematic cargoes, such as steel coils. Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen, Chairman of CINS and head of Cargo Management at Maersk Line says, ‘It is extremely important  for carriers to produce guidance for our shipper customers, particularly for cargoes that are less easy to pack safely and securely – at the end of the day, we share in a common venture.'

Chart 3 - Analysis by Detected cause (2013-2014)

Strengthening its position
Experience since the outset in late 2011 has led participants to agree certain modifications to the database, aimed at strengthening the integrity of the data, easing data capture and improving analysis. These modifications are seen as consistent with and enhancing the founding aims of the organisation, and will support it in providing increasingly valuable analysis to the shipping world. At the heart of the CINS initiative is a quest for quality improvements – fundamentally to promote safety to protect human lives, the environment and property, but also ensuring that cargo is carried in a way that delivers it in sound condition, and all supply chain stakeholders fulfil their obligations.

As a result of the developments through 2014, the CINS Organisation has determined, with the blessing of the COA (Container Owners Association), to establish its own identity from 1 January 2015. Ernst-Frederiksen, expresses his gratitude for the support of the COA from the outset and explains, ‘The CINS Organisation has developed strongly and can now justify a separate existence, which will help to build profile both amongst the liner shipping industry, and with national and  international maritime authorities. While containerisation is thoroughly multimodal, governance in the maritime mode is fundamentally served by the granular experience that CINS is able to articulate.’

“While containerisation is thoroughly multimodal, governance in the maritime mode is fundamentally served by the granular experience that CINS is able to articulate”

We hope that you have found the above interesting. If you would like further information, or have any comments, please email us, or take this opportunity to forward to any colleagues who you may feel would be interested.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Peregrine Storrs-Fox
Risk Management Director, TT Club


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