TT Talk is our regular e-newsletter providing current information on legal and risk issues impacting the transport and logistics sector.

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The most recent articles are listed below however you should also visit our 'Knowledge Store' to search our library for relevant articles and publications.

Articles are provided in English and Chinese.

03/03/2015
Over the past year much has been written about changes to Maritime legislation to improve safety and to minimise the risk of containers being damaged or lost at sea.  There is also work on amendments to international standards concerning containers. What’s the impact?

03/03/2015
When one looks at Road and Rail Risks in North America, there are many different regulations and time limits to be aware of depending on the type and location of transport.

03/03/2015
Cargo fraud and theft impacts everyone in the international supply chain. A buyer of cargo needs the same assurances as the provider of logistics services, who relies on others for contract fulfilment. These risks consistently are amongst the top five incidents seen by the TT Club that collectively account for about 2/3 of claims through the supply chain. 

03/02/2015
The ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland are jammed with ships waiting to unload containers. The US Coast Guard warned shipping lines 10 days ago that they should be prepared to make alternate mooring arrangements or expect that the ship will need to remain at sea until safe anchorage space becomes available. There are currently some 19 container ships in the Long Beach harbour waiting for a berth. 

03/02/2015
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.

03/02/2015
The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code governs the processes by which classified cargoes may be transported by sea. It is updated every two years and each amendment may, effectively, be used for a maximum period of three years. All amendments prior to Amendment 36-12 are no longer valid – if you are using an older amendment, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade to Amendment 37-14 which entered transitional effect on 1 January 2015.

02/01/2015
Despite, or perhaps connected with, an historically long run of relatively benign North Atlantic hurricane seasons, most people now accept that climate change is happening.  Severe windstorms are being seen in locations they have seldom occurred before. As a result, TT Club is urging ports and terminals globally to establish sound practice systems, procedures and equipment to withstand severe storms.

02/01/2015
A fundamental building block for safety at any site is enforcing good site induction procedures. No visitor should enter a facility without receiving a proper safety induction. Further, employees and contractors deserve parallel safety treatment and enforcement. Following on from TT Talk 186  on this topic, one port here recounts its experience. The TT Club welcomes this contributed article from Port Otago Limited, who have insured with the Club for three decades.

02/01/2015
Now in the sixth decade of modern container handling, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation. Ever larger ships, triple lift container spreaders, moves towards full automation on container terminals and 10 high stacks on deck to name some! However, throughout all of this impressive innovation, the human interface for handling twistlocks and lashing rods has remained stubbornly present. This needs to be addressed.

02/12/2014
As consumerised societies around the globe rushed to take advantage of discounts on the day after Thanksgiving in the United States it may be appropriate to highlight the recurring issue of shipments that are wrongly released. In view of a spate of mis-delivery incidents, here is a reminder of advice previously provided. It is always preferable for cargo to be released to the correct person, once all amounts due have been settled…

02/12/2014
Freight containers are remarkably simple in concept – a structure whose strength is fundamentally retained in the framework and the capability of corner fittings to enable a designated gross mass to be lifted or held in place. Some of the components are defined as ‘structurally sensitive’, while others may be more relevant to the protection of cargo. All require attention to ensure that the supply chain process is successful and safe. 

02/12/2014
The introduction of the freight container revolutionised the carriage of cargo in the supply chain, permitting large volumes of cargo to be lifted from ships without the need for slings, nets or platforms. But the container brought its own problems that did not at first manifest themselves. The system is fundamentally reliant on the integrity of parts that may not regularly be scrutinised in operation.

04/11/2014
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) could be rightly proud that it has navigated through to amend the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require verification of container weight and approve the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code). These are important steps to improve the integrity of cargo movement in the maritime mode and throughout the supply chain. As larger container tonnage becomes commonplace, is it time to check lashing and securing?

04/11/2014
As container manufacture is apparently a boom industry in 2014, it is worthy of some risk analysis to consider whether or by what method those who are commissioning such construction can be confident that all their requirements are being met consistently throughout the production series. While it is difficult to gather empirical evidence, the importance of container integrity is clear.

04/11/2014
When building containers, the buyer is fundamentally seeking conformance to a series of requirements, although the focus may be on the detail of the product to be built, rather than defining the measure of quality. According to some experts, quality is a state of mind, which involves preventing errors from entering the manufacturing process, improving them as required and getting it right first time.  In the container industry, can we see these basic requirements?

07/10/2014
Adoption of Standard Trading Conditions (STCs) can be an effective short-cut for parties involved in the movement of goods, both nationally and internationally, as part of the fabric that gives certainty in dealings. However, for STCs to reach ‘first base’, allowing a party to rely on them, they must be incorporated in a way that courts generally recognise.

07/10/2014
The transport supply chain is designed to bring together one party that requires a service with another who offers to provide that service – generally many times over. In all scenarios, there is some form of contract that ensues (whether written or oral), which not only outlines the nature of what will be done but also defines the obligations between the parties. Such contracts are essential and at least a basic understanding is required by all.

03/09/2014
The use of flexitanks for transporting bulk liquid cargo has grown rapidly over the last decade, and this has been projected to continue with perhaps 15% per annum, reaching 1 million shipments in 2018. Products carried include wine and other foodstuffs, traditionally supplemented by latex and dispersions. The latter, together with newer products such as  base oils, edible oils and chemicals,  can cause problems if a failure occurs in the supply chain and regulators are concerned.

03/09/2014
The carriage of bulk liquids in general purpose (GP) containers is increasing in volume, with 650,000 shipments projected for 2014, up from about 100,000 in 2005.  Attention has been focused on the two issues that plagued early designs – damage to container walls and cargo leakage – exacerbated by the proliferation of manufacturers and service providers. The diverse stakeholders have collaborated to improve standards, under the auspices of the Container Owners Association (COA).

05/08/2014
Scarcely a week goes by without media highlighting some element of cyber risk. Focus is generally given either to ‘national security’ issues or scams impacting personal financial matters. While businesses are revealed as vulnerable to breach of data for these purposes, there may be complacency concerning thorough risk assessment and mitigation programmes, particularly in industries – such as the international supply chain – where the customer and supplier relationship is historically more secure.

05/08/2014
An increase in both the sophistication and frequency of cargo thefts in 2013 has been highlighted in statistics released by TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association). Interestingly – and in line with general expectation – the average value of reported cargo thefts continues to rise globally, notably in excess of US$300,000 in the EMEA region. This would suggest that the trend of highly targeted efforts by organised criminals continues, systematically identifying higher value cargoes. Unsurprisingly, the results in 2014 continue on the upward trend.

03/07/2014
On Monday, 26 May 2014 three crewmen on board a general cargo ship were killed after entering the ship’s hold. The ship was carrying a seemingly harmless cargo of sawn timber. During the passage the oxygen in the hold had been significantly depleted. This is a stark reminder of the need for thorough risk assessment, vigilance and, arguably, personal oxygen meters.    

03/07/2014
Proposals put forward by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), aimed at improving the prevention of food safety problems through the food supply chain within the US, could have significant ramifications for operations within the transport and logistics industry, including those initiating a move into the US from elsewhere in the world. The time period for submission of written or electronic comments has been extended to 31 July 2014.

03/06/2014
For the unit load industry, the IMO’s twin approval of amendments to Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) for the verification of gross mass of containers and the IMO/ILO/UNECE* Code of Practice for packing cargo transport units (CTU Code) are welcome and important; the next mountaintop is now in sight.

03/06/2014
At the recent Multimodal event in Birmingham, UK, an interesting round table discussion entitled ‘Correct packing and accurate weighing – towards safer container transport’ considered the amendments to SOLAS concerning the mandatory supply of the verified gross mass of containers and the impact of the introduction of the IMO/ILO/UNECE* Code of Practice for packing cargo transport units (CTU Code).

12/05/2014
Having experienced the consequences of mis-declaration, and poor and incorrect cargo packing throughout its history, the TT Club thoroughly welcomes the international attention towards improving practice through the supply chain.

12/05/2014
Shipping Containers have been the target of thieves since they first started circling the globe with many shipping lines conceding through gritted teeth that an amount of ‘natural wastage’ or ‘mysterious disappearance’ is an inevitable part of doing business in certain areas of the world.

02/05/2014
Returning to the topic of trade terms covered in TT Talk 178 in September 2013, this article aims to clarify the concepts of risk and property (or title to the goods) and explain how the use of the Incoterms® affects the transfer of risk and property. Further, the article sets out how the transfer of risk in intrinsically linked to the issue of who can sue for loss or damage to goods.

02/05/2014
News of settlement of a particularly nasty road accident in the US is a timely reminder that ship operators continue to be exposed to extreme liabilities, even where they have largely divested themselves of chassis fleets.

31/03/2014
As the container capacity of ships increases, it is time to consider the resultant volume of ship’s gear (lashing bars and twistlocks), and how they are handled and stored. Commonly, the operation for fitting twistlocks has moved from the container top to the quayside, necessitating the transfer of the requisite gear from the ship to the quayside before discharging or loading can commence.

See our latest reports on Cyber risks

Cyber identity – what you see may not be what you get

Increasing cyber risks through the supply chain

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