Following the path of the transport revolution
In 1956, the first strengthened containers were loaded onto a spar deck of the converted tanker, Ideal X. This marked the fulfilment of a dream for American trucker, Malcom McLean, who had, since 1937, been working on how to reduce the long hours for dockers waiting to stow or unload their vehicles on or off ships. The container age was quietly born.
It was McLean's significant involvement that set the wheels in motion to put containerisation into practice, but it was not until 1968 that the first purpose-built cellular container ship took to the high seas.
This revolution in international freight transport forever changed shipowner’s insurance requirements. Whereas before they only needed insurance cover ‘port to port,’ they began to assume responsibility for the transportation of the container, and the cargo inside, from ‘door to door’.
The P&I Clubs who traditionally covered ship’s cargo at sea made a policy decision at the time that they were going to remain water borne insurers and therefore they were not prepared to cover the containers ashore, either for the risks of cargo liability or third party damage. Additionally, they also avoided insuring the ‘hulls’ of containers.
Shipowners who were going into containerisation on the Atlantic trade were faced with either obtaining insurance from the commercial market or creating a mutual alternative. So the 'Through Transit Club', shortened to the 'TT Club', was formed with the principle purpose of providing shipowners with insurance protection for damage to the containers on both land and sea.
TT Club was established as a mutual non-profit insurer, similar to the P&I Clubs, using all premiums and investment income for paying claims, administration costs and building up reserves with the Board of Directors drawn from the Club’s membership. There were originally three joint managers all drawn from the P&I sector, although Thomas Miller assumed sole responsibility and remains the management company today.
TT Club over the years
The TT Club has maintained its tradition of responding to industry developments and customers' requirements.
- 1969 we expanded our initial insurance offering and introduced cover for container terminals
- 1976 we opened an office in Sydney
- 1977 we opened offices in New York and Hong Kong
- 1988 we launched our Port Authority product to cover the landlord and non-operational risks
- 1995 we opened offices in Genoa and Antwerp
- 1996 we created ClaimsTracTM, enabling the progress of individual claims to be monitored online
- 1997 Singapore office opens
- 1998 offices opened in Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan
- 2005, in response to the lengthening global supply chain and changing role of freight forwarders, we launched our Logistics Operator cover
- 2010 we launched our Cargo Product enabling freight forwarders to offer instant cover for their customer's cargo.