Maersk and other carriers in the industry are working to improve safety and reliability in the Containerized Maritime Supply Chain, by verifying that cargo descriptions match actual contents of the container, and that the contents of the container are correctly stuffed, lashed and secured.
As part of this work, Maersk has recently implemented a Physical Container Inspection Pilot within North America. “We are currently performing inspections for Import and Export cargo into the ports of Newark Berth 88, Houston Bayport, Miami Pomtoc and New Orleans Ceres terminals”, the shipping company says.
The data collected through this pilot may be used to develop procedures that better ensure the accuracy of cargo descriptions provided to Maersk, as well as improve the use of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code). For more information on the CTU code, you can see the following International Maritime Organization (IMO) website: http://www.imo.org/en/ourwork/safety/cargoes/cargosecuring/pages/ctu-code.aspx
The randomly selected containers are being inspected by NCB (National Cargo Bureau), and the cost for this inspection will be paid for by Maersk. The shipping giant will endeavour to have the inspections completed as quickly as possible to reduce the delay in the intended transport of the container, however if a container is discovered to be inadequately stuffed, lashed, and secured, or found to contain mismatching cargo compared to the given declaration, it may be necessary to take corrective actions for onward transportation. Such corrective actions may involve reworking the container to ensure it is compliant with given regulations. The cost for such reworking actions to resume transport of the container will be charged to the Shipper / Consignee (depending on direction of the container). Since the inspections are being performed in the United States, a container that has already made sea transit may be selected for inspection. Containers that have already undergone inspections at the loading port may also be selected, as selections are being made at random.
“By performing these container inspections, we hope to remove some of the risk from mis-declared or incorrectly stuffed containers for all parties involved in handling and transporting cargo, as well as work towards an overall industry improvement of safety and reliability in the Containerized Maritime Supply Chain”, Maersk said in its press release.