Growing pains on the waterfront spell danger, says TT Club
2 May 2007
The inability of ports in Europe, the US and elsewhere to keep pace with the relentless growth in Asian, especially China's, shipping facilities and overseas trade is already leading to increased personal injury and handling equipment incidents, the TT Club has warned. The specialist transport insurer, which provides property and liability cover for over 2,000 port and terminal facilities worldwide, fears an ever-growing number of accidents, some fatal, that will blight Western waterfronts unless ports can adapt to unprecedented change.
Speaking as moderator at Containerisation International's Global Liner Shipping Conference in London in April, TT Club's chief executive Paul Neagle pointed out that, according to a recent International Herald Tribune report, China alone has 639 new deep water berths on the drawing board that will become operational by 2010. In 2006, Chinese exports grew by 27% in volume terms, eclipsing the 20% growth in imports. Logically, he said, this should lead to comparable growth in other regions to handle the additional post-panamax generation of ships that are being ordered to service soaring Chinese exports and imports.
"However, unlike in China," observed Mr Neagle, "in Europe, the United States and Australasia there are a large number of constraints on expansion of port facilities. We have already witnessed examples of this around the world," he said, referring to issues such as congestion, planning permission, dredging and waste disposal that have sunk or stalled proposed expansion plans across the world's consumer economies.
TT Club is predicting that, as long as port and terminal operators are unable to find ways to overcome their capacity expansion difficulties, there will be growing pressure on terminals and their working practices as they struggle to handle, through existing facilities, volumes that are increasing by 10 per cent or more per year.
TT Club has already disclosed that in its 2006 financial year it was hit by a spike of personal injury and handling equipment claims, the great majority of which had the common theme of human error at their core. It warns that inexorably growing volumes on ever-larger ships being handled at capacity-constrained facilities will further intensify the pressure on people and practices and leave operators exposed to significantly higher risks and costs.
In the absence of capacity expansion, the Club says, operators must move risk management even further up the boardroom agenda or expect to suffer a surge in accidents and claims.ENDSNote to Editors:
The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry's leading provider of insurance and related risk management services. Established in 1968, the Club's membership comprises ship operators, ports and terminals, road, rail and airfreight operators, logistics companies and container lessors. As a mutual insurer, the Club exists to provide its policyholders with benefits that include specialist underwriting expertise, a world-wide office network providing claims management services, and first class risk management and loss prevention advice.For further information please contact:
Ian Lush, Marketing Director, TT Club
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7204 2642
Peter Owen, ISIS Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 1737 248300
E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgA full archive of all TT Club news releases and photographs is available from the ISIS Communications Press Room at www.isiscomms.com
You may also be interested in:
The Global Liner Shipping Conference to be held over the next two days in Hamburg provides a good opportunity for international freight transport insurer TT Club to continue with its mission to improve the poor safety conditions presently afflicting the shipping of hazardous materials
A number of container lines have recently announced measures to discourage shippers from mis-declaring hazardous cargoes, which is a practice strongly suspected as being either the cause of, or at least contributory to, the spate of container ship fires in recent months.
Leading Insurance provider to the international freight transport industry, TT Club has published a mid-year trading update for the eight-month period 1 January - 31 August 2015.
Sponsorship of FIATA's Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award is a primary aim of leading international freight insurer, TT Club. This support of FIATA's training and development award is now in its eighteenth year.