CINSnet database developed by Exis Technologies helps industry to identify unsafe practices, 19 December 2012
An article in Lloyds Loading List on 18 December 2012
has highlighted the success of the CINSnet system developed by Exis
Technologies 18 months ago.
Container lines are stepping up efforts to stamp out
cargo-related accidents with a detailed account of the sort of
unsafe practices by some of their customers that risk both lives
and ship damage or loss.
Poor or incorrect packing accounts for half of all accidents
involving containerised cargo, much of it likely to have been
loaded in a European port.
Analysis by a group of leading container lines that formed the
Cargo Incident Notification System 18 months ago shows that leakage
is one of the biggest problems faced by the container shipping
industry and that overweight containers are not directly
responsible for many accidents.
Corrosive cargoes are involved in more than a third of all reported
This is the first time the industry has had such detailed data
covering cargo-related accidents that may have caused injuries or
fatalities, loss of or damage to assets or environmental harm.
Information showing where the cargo was loaded or discharged has
also been compiled.
The facts and figures gathered by the industry should help lines to
adjust their safety procedures and provide hard evidence in support
of regulatory changes.
The survey covered almost 500 incidents recorded over a period of
just over a year. The CINS group will continue to capture
information on a systematic basis in future to compile a
"As the data builds up, lines will be able to have greater impact
on the International Maritime Organization, International Labour
Organisation and the UN Economic Commission for Europe packing
guidelines," said TT Club risk management director Peregrine
Ocean carriers will no longer have to rely on anecdotal evidence
when arguing for tougher rules, but will have clear proof to
present to regulators.
The high number of leakage-related incidents reported by the 11
members of the CINS organisation is seen as particularly
significant, as this could lead to changes in the way certain
cargoes are packaged rather than just packed, perhaps by adjusting
the size or type of drums, for example.
That would be the type of practical proposal container lines could
present to the experts drafting improvements to the International
Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, according to Mr Storrs-Fox, who
presented the CINS group's first findings to a meeting of the
Container Owners' Association in Amsterdam late last month.
The organisation was set up in mid-2011 by Mediterranean Shipping
Co, Maersk Line, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Evergreen, along with the
TT Club and International Group of P&I Clubs.
Founder lines have now been joined by seven more, including CSAV,
Zim and Hamburg Süd. Together, CINS members account for just over
half the world's containership fleet. Hapag-Lloyd's Reinhard
Schwede has just taken over from MSC's Dirk Vande Velde as
Information on freight-related accidents is compiled and aggregated
on a confidential basis, and the group now plans to update and
release data to all interested parties on a six-monthly
Container lines and their liability insurers have not shared their
experiences like this before, but in future will be able to work
together improve industry safety and establish best-practice
procedures. Rapid alerts can be sent out in the case of a
particularly worrying incident.
The initial set of data published by CINS was released a few weeks
after the MSC Flaminia blaze and blast that cost three seafarers
A container in one of the holds appears to have caught fire, then
exploded, prompting suspicions of misdeclared cargo, although
accident investigators have not yet completed their findings.
Containers on that ship were loaded in the US and the CINS
statistics disprove any assumption that wrongly loaded or
identified cargo is more likely to have originated in a developing
More than a quarter of the cargoes involved in an incident were
loaded in Europe, compared with 11% in Africa. China accounted for
16% of the load ports and the US represented 5%. Europe accounted
for 18% of the discharge ports, followed by the Asia-Pacific region
Leaks topped the type of incident reported by carriers, followed by
A quarter of all cargoes that subsequently leaked were loaded in
Europe, followed by 23% in the Asia-Pacific region and 9% in
Africa. Most of the cargo that leaked was being carried in 20 ft
dry van containers
Poor packing was cited as the potential cause in 40% of incidents,
with incorrect packing accounting for a further 10%,
Misdeclarations were reported in 21% of incidents.
In terms of substance, corrosive materials accounted for 28% of
incidents, followed by inert or solid materials, which were
involved in 17%, and flammable liquids with 14%.