TT Talk - Code applied - transport of coiled materials

Coiled materials covers a variety of materials of differing densities, but all present the shipper with the fundamental issues of how to ensure that the cargo itself arrives at the destination without damage, at the same time as avoid damage to the cargo transport unit (CTU) and anyone or thing adjacent to it during transit. Improperly secured coil materials can have catastrophic and fatal consequences. New industry guidance is now available.

Experience over the years in relation to the transport of coiled materials has not always been happy, leading many intermodal operators to impose stringent terms relating to their declaration and handling. TT Club has necessarily been involved in many incidents where coils have been improperly packed and insufficiently secured in the CTU, resulting in cargo shifting inside the unit when it was subject to anticipated and unanticipated transit accelerations (braking or turning of the carrying vehicle or ship motions at sea).

The CTU Code

places the responsibility for securing the cargo within a CTU on the packer (the party who physically packs the CTU on behalf of the shipper). Amongst other things, this responsibility requires that cargo is secured and positioned so that the centre of gravity is as close to CTU's centre of gravity and that the mass of the cargo is evenly distributed over the floor.

Specific hazards for coiled materials

Coiled materials, especially those with a higher density such as steel, can present the packer with a small footprint, a high mass and an unstable package. Each of these requires careful consideration for a safe and satisfactory outcome. Coils on their side ('eye to side' or 'eye to rear') are liable to roll, while coils on their end ('eye to sky') may tip. Coils on their sides, with their small footprint, need to be properly bedded to avoid exerting unacceptable forces onto the floor of the CTU, especially when carried in a standard intermodal container.

Staff Author

TT Club