Five major organizations involved in global freight transport have come together to create a collaborative framework that increases safety in the movement and handling of goods that have the potential to harm the environment, workers and the cargo itself to harm.
The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS), the Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Program (CHIRP), the Container Owners Association (COA), the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) and the Ship Message Design Group (SMDG) have signed a memorandum of understanding ( MOU) to collaborate and share expertise in areas of common interest.
According to John Beckett, ICHCA Chairman, this unique partnership of industry leaders has the potential to coordinate data, research and best practices across the broad spectrum of international freight transportation. The aim of the group is to raise awareness among freight industry operators, regulators and policy makers of practical and effective measures that can improve the safety of freight transport and handling.
Using its collective resources, the group will seek to publish guidance to improve security processes and promote best practices in international freight transport.
“As an example of where immediate action is needed, fires on container ships top the list,” said Dirk Van de Velde, Vice-Chairman of CINS. “The combined knowledge, experience and database resources of the signatories to this MOU, managed in a coordinated manner, have tremendous potential to leverage changes in security processes. We will be releasing guidance on the treatment of lithium-ion batteries and other charges in the near future.”
The MOU calls for coordinated efforts on regional and international issues of common interest and working with relevant regulatory bodies, including the IMO and other appropriate United Nations agencies, to initiate innovative global surveys and studies that will support the organizations in the advancement of their members and staff can support . The group will also share research and publications to strengthen information sharing while avoiding duplication of effort by pooling resources.
David Watkins, a representative of CHIRP Maritime, expressed his delight at being part of the MOU, adding that CHIRP Maritime will work with its partners to gather information on accidents and incidents involving operational cargo and what is being learned Share with the broader maritime community to promote best practices in the supply chain and reduce cargo accidents on board ships and terminals.