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.

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.

28/11/2013 -
The European Commission estimated that the value of cargo stolen in transit was around EUR8.2 billion per annum. The TT Club has seen an increase in the role fraud is playing in such losses. There is a marked trend in organised crime posing as legitimate operators or using internet cargo clearing sites to facilitate the theft of high value cargo. Perhaps most worrying is that this is global.    

28/11/2013 -
Whilst technological advances undoubtedly provide greater operational efficiencies and opportunities for carriers and operators to mitigate their exposure to theft and fraud, unfortunately they equally benefit organised criminal organisations. As invasive cyber-technology becomes more widely available, the TT Club suggests that what has been observed in recent months could be a significant emerging risk to legitimate trade, exposing the operators in the supply chain to economic and commercial damage. 

05/11/2013 -
Despite significant political, legislative and judicial developments in the two months since Hassan Rouhani was elected President of Iran, the current EU and US sanctions against Iran remain by far the most onerous sanctions. Where sanctions in general are complex and require close attention, any business engaging in any trade which has any connection with Iran has to pay particular attention to the onerous restrictions and recognise the significant ‘teeth’ behind the political positioning.

05/11/2013 -
Freedom in international trade in the 21st century remains littered with obstacles and barriers, most of which will be accommodated in the normal course of business. The political and volatile subject of sanctions presents an extremely important hurdle that every company involved in handling and transporting cargo internationally needs to approach with diligence.

16/10/2013 -
ICHCA International, the NGO association for the global cargo handling industry, will be hosting a practical seminar, ‘Understanding the new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs)’, in London on 22 October. Held aboard HQS Wellington on the River Thames, the one-day event will focus on the new Code’s terms, their potential impact, and how they will be enforced globally. More broadly, the seminar will address how in practical terms the industry can tackle the endemic problems currently caused by poor packing and securing of cargoes in containers, trailers and other transport units.

15/10/2013 -
Concerns over the availability of good quality boards for container flooring are rising. As a result there is increasing need for rigorous compliance with test procedures. There has been much international focus on the accuracy of gross mass of cargo, as well as correct weight distribution in the draft CTU Packing Code. The capability of container floors is a necessary part of the equation.

15/10/2013 -
The Container Owners Association (COA) has now launched its ‘COA Reefer Service Facility Directory’, a database of reefer service companies. Shipping lines would be prudent to ensure that suppliers are properly listed and use those who confirm that they are carrying out gas bottle testing.

26/09/2013 -
One aspect of the container weighing debate has concerned the way in which the port and terminal industry will participate. IAPH supported the proposed amendment to SOLAS, while terminals have sometimes seemed less enthusiastic. As the law comes into focus, what are the possible impacts for container terminals?

25/09/2013 -
On 20 September 2013, the IMO Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) agreed a revision to the SOLAS convention to mandate the verification of gross mass of containers prior to loading on board a ship. The Sub-committee also agreed accompanying guidelines, which cover what have emerged as the difficulties in implementing throughout the industry and the way in which the change can be enforced. This decision marks an important milestone in a debate that has been going on within the industry for many years and at IMO for the last six.

11/09/2013 -
The TT Club has confirmed approval of the IATA electronic air waybill and also followed the International Group of P&I Clubs in covering cargo liabilities arising from the carriage of cargo under the two approved electronic trading systems, Bolero and ESS. Is there a wind of change for electronic trading in the unit load supply chain?

11/09/2013 -
Supply chain management and contracts of carriage are, inevitably, derivations of sale contracts. The interface between the different types of contracts and the parties involved can be critical to keep things moving smoothly and resolve misunderstandings. Incoterms® are important!

23/07/2013 -
International trade in perishable cargo is a growth area for container carriers, now accounting for over 90% of world maritime reefer transport capacity and making inroads to airfreight as well. As ever, reward can be countered by risk.

23/07/2013 -
It is now approaching two years since safety alerts were raised in connection with reefer containers designed for use with R134a refrigerant which were re-gassed with counterfeit refrigerant. Happily, the TT Club is not aware of more explosions or injuries. There is no reason, however, to be complacent.

03/07/2013 -
Flexitanks have been around for decades, but their use has expanded rapidly. The industry has sought to enhance standards over the recent years and currently is developing a standard for manufacturing and testing of single-use flexitanks. Take the opportunity to comment.

03/07/2013 -
Some bulk terminals have contracts which specify a tolerance for the weight of material entering and leaving the terminal. This can result in costly claims for bulk weight discrepancies. It can be best to avoid this – as many terminals do.

03/07/2013 -
People and equipment are not always a safe mix, particularly where procedures to manage the interface are unknown and unenforced. There are a number of issues to be considered carefully by port facilities to mitigate the risks of injury and consequent litigation.

10/06/2013 -
International research has demonstrated that there is little awareness of the international guidelines for packing cargo. The TT Club’s claims statistics demonstrate that there is poor awareness of what good practice is in relation to packing cargo. As various UN Organizations seek to tackle this, the TT Club is hosting a Round Table at the forthcoming TOC Europe Conference to broadcast the debate.

10/06/2013 -
There is general consensus that the inaccuracy of weight declaration in the unit load industry compromises safety and efficiency. There is rather less agreement on how to implement changes that are appropriate and proportionate.

23/05/2013 -
The current marine environmental legislation in relation to ‘garbage’ came into force in January 2013. The ability to comply adequately with these revisions, including its impact on land-based waste management, was reviewed by the relevant IMO sub-committee 13-17 May.

23/05/2013 -
Almost 15 years after revision of its transport legislation, Germany has modernised its law carriage by sea. Here is a review by the TT Club of the principle changes and the potential impact to trade and litigation.

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