TT Talk - TT grasping industry issues!

Epic photo container port

TT has been seeking over decades to deliver on its inherent mission to be at the heart of the global transport and logistics industry, and to make the industry safer, more secure and more sustainable.

A core value of the Club is pursuing a reduction in exposure to unnecessary risk and to incidents. This necessarily involves data analysis and research into claims, not only related to proposing appropriate terms of insurance, but also to understand emerging risks and trends in order to compile effective risk management and loss prevention advice.

In seeking to achieve these objectives, TT has maintained involvement and representation in major global bodies focused on issues of loss prevention, primarily as a way to share experience and insights, as well as to develop independent thought leadership. This has resulted in a number of collaborations across the industry and with digital innovators in order to improve awareness, understanding and development of good practice outcomes.

One important aspect to keep in mind here is the distinction between ‘economic’ and ‘insured’ loss values. This reality recognises that there will always be impacts following any incident that are not insurable. This may be because of deductibles, limits, or other terms, but also takes account of hidden costs, such as lost productivity, management time and reputational risks that are less likely to be insurable. Most studies on this point conclude that the economic loss is a number of multiples of the amount that is insured. And this becomes a fundamental response to any operator who believes that precluding the millions from incidents is not worth the investment of thousands in safety.

Here, we focus on some of the activities that have been underway over the last couple of decades

Broad horizons

TT’s dedication to underwriting and providing risk management services throughout the freight supply chain on land, at sea and in the air – including risks relating to cargo, freight forwarding and logistics, port and terminal facilities and operations, and those who own and operate transport equipment – results in an extensive horizon of potential interest and activity.

One core element for the industry relates to understanding how to navigate the various national, regional and international laws that govern contractual obligations through the supply chain. Apart from profiling judgments from various jurisdictions that may be of interest, the Club has published its ‘Handbook on the Conventions for the International Carriage of Goods’ (shortly to be updated and refreshed) and prepared advice relating to the Rotterdam Rules – albeit that this remains something of a false dawn.

Similarly, extensive work was put into preparations for the millennium and the potential impact on global computer systems. Equally, TT stood with the industry in the preparations for the implementation of the ISPS Code, put in place to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. While those measures are now well-embedded, there is increasing appetite to consider further the security environment, particularly relating to cyber security, where both the Club and IAPH have issued guidance.

More general supply chain security issues have remained high on the agenda through the years. Amongst its materials, TT published ‘Supply Chain Security – Management, initiatives & technologies’ to provide general guidance on effective security implementation. This has been substantially supplemented, with a webpage drawing together the range of resources, including annual cargo theft reports (produced in collaboration with BSI and, latterly, TAPA EMEA), animations, ‘Brief’ advisories and regular bulletins.

Inevitably, climate issues have been writ increasingly large for many operators through the supply chain, most particularly for asset owners. TT’s early contribution to good practice can be found in its ‘Windstorm II: practical risk management guidance for marine & inland terminals’, which has been joined by period alerts and reminders, including ‘on the ground’ support measures set up on a regional basis.

The range of issues and topics of interest have also required varied responses, such that the substantial ‘handbooks’ have been joined by StopLoss advisories, shorter TT Brief guidance, animations, in addition to this TT Talk blog, podcasts, and webinars. In all these, the intent is to reach the relevant decision-maker with information that is digestible and actionable.

Cargo integrity

Inevitably for an industry that is devoted to moving freight around the globe, much of TT’s time is spent in understanding the issues that prevent consistently successful outcomes, including not just deterioration of the goods but also the risks of injury and damage to other assets or the environment.

TT’s analysis claims experience has found that around 66% of incidents relating to cargo damage arise from poor practices in the overall cargo transport unit (CTU) packing process, including not just load distribution and cargo securing, but also the workflow from classification and documentation through to declaration and effective data transfer. This has been estimated to cost the transport and logistics industry in excess of USD 6 billion annually.

The issues are varied and have at times honed in on very specific issues, such as inconsistencies in the declaration of cargo mass impacting the stability of ships and the collapse of container stows at sea. This led to protracted discussions at IMO, resulting in the amendments to SOLAS to require ‘verified gross mass’ – TT was involved throughout the process, including developing materials to support implementation in advance of 1 July 2016, together with other industry associations.

The coalition approach at that point proved extremely effective and valuable. As a consequence, other issues related to the safe and secure packing of cargoes in cargo transport units, now including the avoidance of contamination by invasive pests, have been pursued in collaboration. Partnering with others across the industry to form the Cargo Integrity Group, the core aims are to promote awareness and adoption of the CTU Code, and to seek change to regulations or practices. This has already included revisions to deliver improved container inspection procedures and applauding advancing scanning technologies to detect illicit goods or undeclared dangerous cargo.

Both acting with partners – for example in the publication of the ‘CTU Code – a quick guide’ and related ‘Container Packing Checklist’ – and alone (with three series of animations, concentrating on packing parameters, consequences and invasive pests), TT is committed to pursuing the objective of making the outcome of freight movement more certain.

TT is committed to pursuing the objective of making the outcome of freight movement more certain

Alongside this, TT is participating in the MARIN TopTier joint industry project seeking to address loss of containers at sea and their impact on the marine and coastal environments. This wide-ranging project seeks to address all the issues that may lead to loss of containers overboard.

Much to do!

TT’s involvement across the industry results in activities in many other areas, some of which are clearly well known – such as the continuing alerts, lobbying, research and guidance relating to the movement of regulated Dangerous Goods, or activity similar in aspiration to improve equipment safety and integrate innovations. As mentioned above, much of the work interfaces with many like-minded industry and governmental organisations. A little like a wedding speech, it would be possible to name many with whom TT has partnered – but then be at risk of forgetting some! It is safe to say that the Club’s efforts have been better informed from all of these interactions and each can be seen as mutually valuable in delivering change.


If you would like further information, or have any comments, please email us, or take this opportunity to forward to any others who you may feel would be interested.


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Peregrine Storrs-Fox

Risk Management Director