TT Talk - The influence of CINS

TT Talk - The influence of CINS

The energy devoted by CINS members coming together to share good operational practice, highlight risks and increase safety is bringing benefit to the entire unit load industry.

TT Club has long recognised the critical importance of sharing causal information relating to incidents. Analysis and consideration of what goes wrong is a fundamental part of promoting loss prevention and developing good practice; at its roots, the ability to learn from problems and avoid recurrence will fundamentally enhance operational profitability and reduce costs to a business.

Liner shipping engagement
Thus, it was easy for TT Club to embrace the founding by five of the top 20 liner operators of an organisation aiming to capture key incident data in order to provide an early warning of worrying trends, whether relating to cargoes that display dangerous characteristics or unsafe practices in the container supply chain. Now, some five years later, the CINS Organisation has grown its membership to include some 16 liner operators, representing over 70% of container slot capacity. While structural changes and consolidation in the industry may have an impact, the likelihood is that the penetration across the industry will continue to grow – not least because the value proposition is continually strengthening.

“the value proposition is continually strengthening”

At its core, CINS facilitates the capture by liner operators of structured key causal information relating to cargo and container incidents. This information capture explicitly excludes any shipper data in order to preclude any anti-trust concerns. The objective of the organisation is to highlight the risks posed by certain cargoes and/or packing failures in order to improve safety through the supply chain and specifically on board ships. The aspiration is that all significant incidents relating to injury or loss of life, environmental concerns, or damage to cargo and assets and caused by the cargo itself or the container equipment should be reported, together with investigation conclusions that identify causation.

Good practice guidance
The last year has seen important developments for CINS. Not only has the membership continued to grow on the strength of the demonstrable results, but analyses of the database, together with member meetings, have led to initiatives to improve safety and strengthen focus on good practice across the industry. As previously identified, TT Club worked with CINS to update and expand its guidance in relation to safe transport of coiled materials, a non-regulated cargo that has led to numerous problems on board ship and on land. Additionally, following a spate of fires involving a self-reactive cargo, Calcium Hypochlorite, CINS collaborated with the IGP&I (International Group of P&I Clubs) to update and clarify the guidance that had last been revised in 2011. A broad range of stakeholders (including TT Club), compiled revised guidelines intended to be acceptable across the container shipping industry and for related insurers; these have recently undergone further revision.

These two initiatives to put out good practice guidance for shippers and packers demonstrate the range of matters that give rise to concern through the container supply chain. Experience from the reported incidents is a key driver for the collation of guidance materials; the problems that have arisen during the last year alone are motivating further working groups on topics for both regulated cargo, such as charcoal (see also ‘Charcoal conundrum’ TT Talk 222), as well as non-regulated, such as the issues arising in packing and carriage of wet hides. Thus, while the common perception may be that those cargoes designated as ‘dangerous’ give rise to the greatest disruption, general poorly packaged or packed cargoes have also proved problematic.

“while the common perception may be that those cargoes designated as ‘dangerous’ give rise to the greatest disruption, general poorly packaged or packed cargoes have also proved problematic”

Furthermore, the drive to set out good practice guidance inevitably extends beyond simply engendering good packing practices, as exemplified by the CINS’ work with the Container Owners Association (COA) and TT Club to identify the specific risks relating to using non-operating reefer containers to carry cargo that does not require temperature control. Such practice brings benefits to the shipping stakeholders, but needs to account for the differences and sensitivities of such units.

Mis-declaration still extant
However, one of the more disturbing and persistent challenges apparent from the reports is the level of mis-declaration of shipments, whether through ignorance, error or fraud. Shockingly, many shipments that are identified as wrongly declared in the booking process will be cancelled prior to loading on board, merely exposing another – less vigilant – carrier to the problem. This matter alone is a reason to engage with CINS and its database.

We hope that you have found the above interesting. If you would like further information, or have any comments, please email us, or take this opportunity to forward to any colleagues who you may feel would be interested.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Peregrine Storrs-Fox
Risk Management Director, TT Club

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