The myths and tragedies associated with badly packed and unsecured cargo was discussed at the event with a panel comprising Brian Sullivan, Business Development Director (TT Club), James Douglas (EXIS Technologies), Nick Sharp, McAusland Turner and chaired by Sue Terpilowski OBE, MD of Image Line Communications.

The wide ranging discussion looked at the dangers of non-compliance resulting in poorly loaded containers, containers overloaded, filled with unsuitable cargo, badly fixed or unsupported. The CTUpack guidance has implications alongside the new IMO Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation which comes into effect on 1 July 2016 meaning all shippers must obtain Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of laden export containers.

The dangers of non-compliance were highlighted with facts: in the USA there are around 18,000 roll-overs of vessels with poorly loaded containers each year; 20% of containers on decks varied in the stated weight by over three tones with the largest discrepancy recorded at more than 20 tonnes.

Sue Terpilowski believes this is a major issue for the shipping industry and has serious implications for both commerce and safety at sea.

“Containers are the lifeblood of the cargo world and yet there are so many risks associated with poorly loaded containers and inaccurate reported weights that the whole supply chain can be put at risk. The new SOLAS regulations are a massive step forward in resolving this issue and what is in the box does matter and the industry needs to be proactive in using self-regulation CTUpack rather than be reactive and wait for it to be legislation.”