TT Talk - Safe container practices in Australia

Container best practices

Coinciding with the international launch of ‘CTU Code – a quick guide’, the Safe Container Loading Practices and Heavy Vehicle Safety campaign was launched in Australia, following an award of government funding. While the emphasis is on road safety in Australia, the messages are consistent with those of the Cargo Integrity Group.

In conjunction with the Cargo Integrity Group launching the ‘CTU Code – a quick guide’ publication, affiliated container transport and logistics industry organisations in Australia launched a complementary campaign to support heavy vehicle safety there.

The Container Transport Alliance Australia, Freight & Trade Alliance/Australian Peak Shippers Association (FTA/APSA) – members of the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) – with support from ICHCA Australia and TT Club, have partnered with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to create the Safe Container Loading Practices & Heavy Vehicle Safety campaign.

Heavy vehicle safety

The awareness campaign is part of the NHVR Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program funded by the Australian Commonwealth Government. Six supporting online training and information modules have been produced by WiseTech Academy, covering the impact of unsafe container loading practices, international conventions, heavy vehicle laws, Chain of Responsibility, packing to minimise risk and truck rollover prevention.

The Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development, Michael McCormack welcomed this work, saying, “This is a great initiative by the container transport and logistics industry to support heavy vehicle safety. Cargo inside shipping containers that is poorly packed or unrestrained, overloaded or unevenly weight distributed can cause serious safety issues for truck drivers, the public and others in the supply chain. Container transport is forecast to double over the next 12 years and with 80 per cent carried by Australian heavy vehicles, it’s vital that cargo inside containers is properly secured and not overloaded.”

In this national context, the self-same experience and motivation driving the Cargo Integrity Group has led to this focus on raising awareness of good practice in container packing and cargo restraint, together with highlighting the potential legal, safety and commercial consequences of poor packing practices for cargo inside shipping containers, whether transported by sea or on land.

Online training & webinars

The educational campaign is intended to benefit all those involved in the supply chain including importers, exporters, container packers (in Australia and overseas), unpackers, freight forwarders / customs brokers, transport operators, stevedores and all others involved in the safe movement of containerised cargo.

The "Safe Container Loading Practices" online training course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction and impact of unsafe container loading practices
  • Packing and minimising risk for containerised cargo transport
  • Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Chain of Responsibility
  • A practical application of the HVNL and Chain of Responsibility
  • Truck Rollover Prevention
  • International organisations and conventions for safe transport

It is possible to access the free online training course via the WiseTech Academy by registering here. While developed for specific purpose, this course holds broad interest.

This online training course will additionally be complemented by a series of live webinars with presentations from leading experts in their fields (the following links provide access to join the interactive sessions or post event recordings).

The ‘Container Packing Checklist’ developed by the Cargo Integrity Group – comprising Container Owners Association, GSF, the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association and the World Shipping Council – has been endorsed for use in Australia. Importers and exporters are encouraged to adopt this editable PDF Checklist into operational practice and ensure that it is circulated for use to their container packers both in Australia and overseas.

The FTA has also built links to a range of valuable related materials. While Australian in focus, these form recommended reading for any actor in the global freight supply chain who is interested in and serious about improving safety.

“recommended reading for any actor in the global freight supply chain who is interested in and serious about improving safety”

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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