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.

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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.

31/03/2014
The ‘safety first’ message seems to be getting through. At industry conferences, TT Club has often felt alone speaking about safety – and the subject itself has frequently been accommodated at the end of the schedule. In that context at least, safety definitely did not come first. Happily, the culture in operations and at conferences seems to have changed.

04/03/2014
While attention, not unreasonably, has centred on the number of containers that fell overboard from 'Svendborg Maersk' during extremely heavy weather, it should be recognised that identical forces were exerted on the cargo packed within the containers that remained on board. ICHCA, supported by the TT Club, is launching an awareness campaign under the slogan ‘PACK IT IN’.  

04/03/2014
The full adoption of the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of practice for packing cargo transport units (CTU Code) took a massive step forwards as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) moved to protect the lives and safety of both workers and the general public by endorsing the draft document without amendment at its session 25-17 February 2014. It is expected that the competent bodies within IMO and ILO will similarly endorse the CTU Code during the course of 2014.

04/02/2014
TT Club would like to highlight a recent preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the case of Nipponkoa Insurance v. Inter-Zuid Transport (Judgment 19 December 2013). Its importance is that German courts cannot now ignore declaratory proceedings made by courts in other EU Member States.

04/02/2014
The use of unsuitable or unsafe ships’ gear for cargo handling risks death or serious injury to those using it and damage to the lifting gear itself, other parts of the ship and/or to the cargo being handled. Incidents have arisen through lack of maintenance or repair, and unsafe and unfit conditions for use. Who should do what?

04/02/2014
All cargo ships, without exception, have some form of gear and equipment on board. Incidents have highlighted the need for greater clarity over the inspection and maintenance regime internationally. Here, we explore the background and proposals.  

31/12/2013
Help define how loss prevention information can be delivered or modified for your operations to match your work practices and advancing technology. The TT Club, together with ICHCA International, invite you to complete a quick four question survey. Your feedback will greatly help us develop loss prevention solutions in 2014 that better support sound operational decisions and augment on-going training.

31/12/2013
It is inevitable that everything that is transported by sea starts and ends on land. As a result, the TT Club lobbied for training of shore side personnel in the requirements of the IMDG Code. While the United Nations continues to seek harmonisation across the different modes, it is necessary to be competent in handling dangerous goods throughout the anticipated transport chain. Good tools and training options are available, but is more required to ensure safety?

31/12/2013
Anecdotal information suggests that some in the maritime supply chain are using out of date dangerous goods data. Inspections evidence that non-compliance continues to be too high. Incidents demonstrate the results. TT Club recommends a New Year resolution: implement the new IMDG amendment and ensure that goods are properly classified, marked, packed and declared.

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