09 May 2018

Dangerous Cargo Now Has a Unified Portal to Help Avoid Misdeclaration of Freight  

Mutual Insurers Back Hazardous Goods Check System

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Shipping News Feature UK – WORLDWIDE – The misdeclaration of dangerous goods (DG) in the shipping industry always poses a major risk to crews, ships, other cargo and the environment. In order to help mitigate the risks associated with undeclared or misdeclared hazardous freight, Exis Technologies', a supplier of compliance systems for the management of dangerous cargo being transported by sea has, in collaboration with shipping and freight insurers the TT Club and the UK P&I Club, announced the next phase of implementation of its Hazcheck Restrictions Portal.

Exis Technologies’ Hazcheck software has already been facilitating the operations of a number of major container shipping lines. Now streamlining of the processes required is now being offered through the development of a portal integrating port restrictions and is available as an extension of the Hazcheck Gateway, itself free to try. . This portal is designed to simplify the end-to-end management of dangerous goods booking processes, taking account also of carrier, ship and partner line restrictions.

Supported by the two insurance mutuals, and developed with the in-house IT expertise of Exis Technologies, the Hazcheck Restrictions Portal is now moving into a new implementation phase. This concentrates on urging container lines, ports and terminals to upload their DG handling policies and restrictions into the portal free of charge, allowing use by shippers, forwarders and others involved in the movement of such goods. TT Club’s Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox commented:

“Varying estimates put declared DG at around 10% of all containerised shipments, with the result that some ships will have in excess of a thousand DG containers on any given voyage. As recent incidents of on-board fires have shown, the cocktail of DG can have catastrophic effects. There are numerous issues involved, but the business case to engage with a uniform data process is clear. All supply chain stakeholders benefit from improving clarity for carriage by sea; the most urgent need is for the port/terminal community to commit to upload and maintain the relevant data via the Exis portal.”

There is a growing awareness among the shipping community that each carrier has been collating its own record of restrictions in relation to house policies, ship owner policies, ship constraints and restrictions applied at ports/terminals of loading, transit, transhipment and discharge. This inconsistent approach is complex, creating the possibility of error or failure to update, and is inefficient, this all in an area that is intended to achieve compliance and safety, but is hugely burdensome and delivers zero competitive advantage. UK P&I Club’s Stuart Edmonston, said:

“We are delighted to collaborate with Exis in promoting the work on this portal. Clearer information on how DG should be correctly handled and shipped is vital in avoiding loss of life and damage to ships and cargo at sea. Our recently published guide ‘Book it right and pack it tight’ also encourages best practice for packing dangerous goods for carriage by sea.”

The Exis Hazcheck Restrictions Portal is aimed at resolving these inefficiencies. Simple comparisons demonstrate that there are material differences in understanding and interpretation about the way that, in particular, port/terminal prohibitions, restrictions and additional requirements operate.

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