Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Another Ocean Container Line Signs Up for Hazardous Cargo Detector System

IT Scanning of Documents Can Reveal Misdeclaration of Freight
Shipping News Feature

US – Germany – Having announced in 2019, along with other major ocean container shipping lines, that it would 'fine' shippers which misdeclared hazardous cargo, Hapag Lloyd has now agreed with New York based cargo inspection company and software supplier NCB, to adopt the latter's Hazcheck Detect cargo screening tool.

The NCB group reckons that of the 6 million containers shipped annually and carrying hazardous goods, there may be up to 1,000 or so such boxes on the voyages of the largest of the container ships, often with contents misdeclared in a bid to save money or time.

Alternatively cargoes may be poorly or incorrectly stowed, leaving the potential for disaster and now Hapag Lloyd has joined the likes of original client Maersk by adopting the Hazcheck Detect system, developed and to be delivered by NCB’s software division, Exis Technologies, IT solutions providers for the management of dangerous goods in sea transport.

Hazcheck Detect scans all cargo booking details for keywords and includes an industry library to enable suspicious bookings to be identified that may be misdeclared or undeclared dangerous goods  and other compliance cargo. The service is interactive allowing non-compliant cargo to be detected within seconds rather than days.

Last minute changes to bookings, declarations, Bills of Lading and shipping instructions can be picked up in real time. This immediate response helps to prevent such cargo from being loaded onto a ship, thereby avoiding the risk of fires at sea. Ian Lennard , NCB President commented:

“We are delighted that Hapag-Lloyd has adopted Hazcheck Detect for their cargo screening joining Maersk and ONE, the existing customers. It is a major boost that this industry solution will be used by a top container line with a long history of experience and interest in cargo screening themselves. Hapag-Lloyd was a trail blazer in the creation of an industry solution with common rules.

”Working with container lines like Hapag-Lloyd will help us to further develop the tool using machine learning and AI techniques to enhance the screening processes as part of our not for profit mission, Safety of Life and Cargo at Sea. Data across our Hazcheck tools will help us enhance the screening process using validation results and feedback from container inspections, helping with safety throughout the whole dangerous goods shipping process.”

Hapag-Lloyd has been a customer of NCB and of Exis Technologies’ Hazcheck Systems for many years, using the Hazcheck IMDG Code validation tools for declared dangerous goods cargo in their booking processes. NCB have worked closely with Hapag-Lloyd on container inspections, including them in their 2018 container inspections safety initiative, an industry project to gather more in-depth data on container safety.

The screening of containers to prevent dangerous goods from being loaded onto ships in the first place is a topic that both companies have been working on intensively for some time. Ken Rohlmann, Senior Director Dangerous Goods at Hapag Lloyd observed:

“We are pleased to be adopting this important industry solution. We have been a strong advocate of this kind of screening approach for some time and are glad to be one of the first companies to adopt this new technology. The key criteria for moving to Hazcheck Detect was the desire to have a common screening approach for all major container lines to help avoid undeclared cargo rejected by one line being presented again as a booking to another line.

”Hazcheck Detect with 3 major container lines on board is well on the way to creating this common industry solution. We are extremely pleased to be working alongside NCB and Exis in this venture and we encourage all other major container lines to engage with the service.”