TT Talk - 'No man is an island, entire of itself'
The TT Club places high value not just on its own expertise but also that of those with whom it collaborates across the insurance and transport industries. This symbiotic approach has proven over the years to be mutually beneficial in fostering supply chain efficiency and safety.
The TT Club has built an enviable reputation in both the insurance and transport industries as an organisation that seeks, not simply to be the best worldwide in its market segment, but also to ‘team’ with others to ensure that there is an ever-increasing understanding of the risks that are faced, and opportunities to improve performance and safety.
The Club’s interests span the entire transport and logistics industry – being all those who take responsibility to handle and carry cargo in international trade. The way in which all types of cargo that the supply chain exists to expedite is prepared, marked, declared, documented, packed, handled and conveyed is hugely important; few globally are as integrally involved.
Any ‘team’ relationship thrives best when the participants habitually seek to ‘complete’ one another’s perspective and experience. The Club has developed many mechanisms to identify and assess risks, efficiently and supportively handle claims as they arise, and thereafter to analyse all available data in order to understand key risk areas, trends and emerging risks. The Club’s priority of seeking to reduce exposure to unnecessary risk and to claims incidence has proved to be well-matched with partners who also focus on safety and security throughout the supply chain.
While the Club is pleased to work with a number of experts, as well as industry organisations such as the COA (Container Owners Association) and PEMA (the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association), the supply chain span of ICHCA International (www.ichca.com) has proved to be similar to the Club’s. It is the only international body concerned with cargo operations and cargo handling, ‘dedicated to the promotion of safety and efficiency in the handling and movement of goods by all modes and during all phases of both national and international transport chains’. The two organisations have collaborated for many years on a range of issues, including the production of a number of joint publications.
The membership of ICHCA includes ports, terminals, shipping lines, transport and logistics companies, and other groups associated with cargo handling and movement, including national and international governmental bodies. The value – and complexity – of this diversity has been seen in the IMO debate on the verification of container weight. ICHCA, which enjoys NGO status with a number of inter-governmental bodies, has consulted broadly amongst its membership on the impact and concerns that arise through the proposed change in SOLAS to forbid loading of containers on board ships unless the weight has been verified. While the TT Club has formulated a position supporting this change, it has been valuable to engage in the debate with ICHCA, including at a joint workshop in May 2012 hosted by the Club. Other similarly important current debates include those concerning liquefaction of certain cargoes carried in bulk, and the inspection and maintenance of ships’ lifting appliances, both of which are important to the TT Club.
In a similar fashion, ICHCA has been at the heart of the ILO work to update the guidance and produce a Code of Practice for packing cargo transport units, which includes various sectors in the supply chain, such as shipping lines, ports, road and rail operators, shippers, freight forwarders and insurers, alongside representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations. The Club has advantaged here by participating in the correspondence group.
ICHCA also draws together, through its Technical Advisor (Richard Brough) and the Expert Panel, a formidable cross-section of senior experts and professionals from all sectors of the cargo transport industry globally. This panel meets three times a year but also maintains active correspondence relating to on-going topics of interest, as well as specific technical matters and good practice advice. Over the last two decades the panel has developed authoritative guidance on matters concerning safety and health in cargo operations, leading to the publication of briefing pamphlets, research papers, technical and operational advice, and safety and security cards. Because the Club is a licensed member of ICHCA, this library of advisory material is available in the private section of the TT Club website (‘My TT Club’). Direct members of ICHCA – which is encouraged – are able to seek advice from the Technical Advisor and also participate with similar entities in debates of importance both locally and globally.
The TT Club has found that its contribution to the global supply chain is far more than insurance; it is ‘part of the main… involved in mankind’ (John Donne) and it enriches the industry interactions with the expertise and perspective it brings and is itself strengthened by others.