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Industry bodies join forces to tackle safety of dangerous goods storage and transport

International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) International and the International Vessel Operators Dangerous Goods Association (IVODGA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to assist the dissemination of effective guidance on the correct safety procedures that need to be employed on container packing and declaration.

Container ship fires and explosions in port storage facilities continue to be the result of poorly packed and misdeclared hazardous materials as they move through the global supply chain, according to the two industry bodies.

ICHCA and IVODGA will work closely on joint projects to improve standards across numerous common safety issues affecting the transport of dangerous goods and they expect their collaboration to assist in "producing clearly defined guidelines to best practice based on years of practical experience in handling dangerous goods."

"The extraordinary disaster in Beirut last August was an all too unwelcome wake-up call to everyone involved in the transport, storage and distribution of dangerous materials," pointed out Richard Steele, CEO of ICHCA International, which represents global cargo handling operators.

"However, similar incidents, smaller in proportion, yet damaging to life and limb as well as property happen across the supply chain on a frequent basis. The mutual cooperation of IVODGA and ICHCA will be aimed at the universal understanding and application of measures for the safe handling and storage of a range of goods with potential to cause explosions, fires and noxious gas emissions, etc," he added.

Uffe V. Ernst Frederiksen, A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S, Vice Chair of IVODGA and Special Adviser to ICHCA International, commented, "The mutual goals and the shared respect of our two organisations will quickly result in a positive contribution to a clear and efficient communication between not just our respective members but crucially across all stakeholders in the supply chain whose interests touch any and all hazardous materials."

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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