Much discussion has taken place on VGM rules and many are under a false impression that this is the end to container safety. No, VGM is the beginning but compliance to guidance in CTU Code is the end for safer containers.
Declaring the correct weight alone does not guarantee safety of container. Together with correct weight declaration the cargo within the container must be properly secured to avoid any mishap during the journey. Most incidents related to accidents involving containers are related to poorly packed container, improper securing and lashing inside, incorrect weight distribution or declaration which result in injury to general public, port workers, ship staff or any other who does not have any control or say in how the goods are packed inside the container.
International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) revised the old IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units and published CTU Code, Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs).
CTU Code is prepared to assist the industry, shippers, packers and all others involved in packing containers of safe stowage of cargo within the container.
Below are the topics covered in recommended training of CTU Code which itself highlight the comprehensive approach to safe packing of cargo in containers.
Consequences of badly packed and secured cargo
Injuries to persons and damage to the environment
Damage to chips and CTUs
Damage to cargo
Different parties involved in cargo transport
Forces acting on the cargo during transport
Basic principles for cargo packing and securing
Prevention from sliding
Prevention from tipping
Influence of friction
Basic principles for cargo securing
Dimensions of securing arrangements for combined transport
CTUs – types
Cargo care consciousness and cargo planning
Choice of transport means
Choice of CTU type
Check of CTU prior to packing
Cargo distribution in CTUs
Requirements from the receiver of cargo regarding cargo packing
Condensation risks in CTUs
Symbols for cargo handling
Different methods for cargo packing and securing
Blocking and bracing
Equipment for securing and protection of cargo
Fixed equipment on CTUs
Reusable cargo-securing equipment
Inspection and rejection of securing equipment
On completion of packing
Closing the CTU
Marking and placarding
Verifying gross mass
Packing and securing unitized cargo
Bales and bundles
Bags on pallets
Slabs and panels
Packing and securing of non-unitized cargo
Different types of packaged cargoes loaded together
Packing of heavy and light cargoes together
Packing of rigid and non-rigid cargoes together
Packing of long and short cargoes together
Packing of high and low cargoes together
Packing of liquid and dry cargoes together
Packing and securing of paper products
General guidelines for the packing and securing of paper products
Sheet paper on pallets
Packing and securing of cargo requiring special techniques
Packing and securing of dangerous cargoes
Regulations for the transport of dangerous goods
Packing, separation and securing
Labelling and placarding
Information transfer when transporting dangerous cargoes
If you are involved in packing containers it is greatly recommended to follow the CTU Code and undertake training of same to ensure compliance and safety.
For eLearning of CTU Code provided by EXIS Technologies contact through comments.