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Compliance software for dangerous goods transport by sea

TT Club/UK P&I and Exis Technologies join forces to move Hazcheck Restrictions Portal into next development phase, 3 October 2017

To be announced at the ICHCA Conference, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain,  2-6 October 2017

Freight insurance specialist TT Club and the UK P&I Club, a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community, two Thomas Miller managed transport insurers, have joined forces with Exis Technologies to move the Hazcheck Restrictions Portal into its next development phase.  Hazcheck Restrictions enables participating lines to enter (or upload) and maintain the operator, vessel and port restrictions for their operations, check for dangerous goods (DG) compliance with partner lines and accept provisional bookings.  The portal started as an initiative with several major container lines that already used Exis Technologies range of Hazcheck compliance systems for their DG shipping operations, particularly to resolve issues posed under vessel sharing agreements. 

The next phase of implementation involves encouraging container lines, ports, terminals, shippers and forwarders to upload their data into the portal free of charge for a minimum of two years.  Facilitating the retrieval of the whole range of information from the portal for operational use may lead to a new global portal for the whole supply chain to use in helping to make operations more efficient and safer. 

The announcement is made at the International Cargo Handling Association (ICHCA) Conference held in Las Palmas, this October, attended by shipping lines, ports and terminals, as well as shippers and intermodal operators, discussing the latest ways to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the cargo handling industry worldwide. 

Peregrine Storrs-Fox, Risk Management Director, TT Club commented, "TT Club has been working alongside Exis Technologies since 2009 to deliver e-learning training solutions to the global supply chain.  The Hazcheck Restrictions portal is an ambitious initiative aimed at reducing incidents related to dangerous goods shipments.  Stakeholder engagement, particularly from ports and terminals, has the potential to deliver a portal which will make a huge difference for the intermodal industry." 

James Douglas, Director, Exis Technologies said, "We are delighted that TT Club and UK P&I Club have recognised the potential in our Hazcheck Restrictions portal.  We hope that the supply chain will join us in our efforts to create this exciting new portal". 

Why is the portal needed?

It is estimated that 10% of containerised shipments include DG, with the result that some ships will have in excess of a thousand containers on any given voyage. This necessitates critical checks to be made against the particular voyage legs (voyage segments between ports/ terminals) for all the DG being shipped. These checks are complex:

  • Most lines restrict or prohibit certain classes of DG (particularly explosives, radioactive materials and some organic peroxides in reefer containers) so the booking line needs to know if the partner line that will carry the box or boxes will accept the DG.
  • Detailed stowage requirements (-such as on deck only, away from accommodation, or away from sources of heat) mean that suitable space is finite.
  • Many ports and individual container terminals have strict rules on the classes of DG that can be loaded, unloaded or transhipped, or even present on board while the ship is in port. Significant disruption can ensue if the 'wrong' DG is aboard a ship. 

Multiply this process by the thousands of partner line DG bookings made each day and by the number of ports/terminals in the network, under time pressure, and the scale and complexity of the problem becomes clear. Unlike the world of airline cargo shipments there is no single database of port and terminal restrictions or indeed operator restrictions. This leaves each shipping line trying to capture and keep its own record of port and terminal restrictions as they change on a frequent basis anywhere in their global network. 

As Stuart Edmonston, Loss Prevention Director for UKP&I Club, neatly summarised, "The vision of the Hazcheck Restrictions Portal is to deliver significant simplification for all stakeholders, and improve safety and compliance".