Australia launches container securing inspection campaign after spate of incidents

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is launching an inspection campaign targeting cargo securing arrangements on containerships visiting Australia.

This campaign is in response to several high-profile incidents where containers were lost overboard recently, most notably involving Yang Ming’s YM Efficiency and APL’s APL England.

AMSA inspections discovered that the improper stacking and securing of cargo, as well as poor maintenance of securing equipment are likely to have been contributing factors to these incidents.

Michael Drake, acting GM of operations at AMSA, says vessels visiting Australia must ensure they fully comply with the international standards relating to cargo securing laid out in Chapter VI of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

“We have seen the serious consequence of improper cargo securing arrangements in the form of tonnes plastics and other debris washing up on our beautiful beaches and floating in our oceans,” Drake said. “Rusted cargo securing points, improper lashings and exceeding stack weight limits have all contributed to these incidents and ship operators should be on notice that non-compliance will not be tolerated in Australia.”

The inspection campaign will run from August 1 through to October 31, and will involve both port state control inspections and stand-alone inspections.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.


  1. It would be great if they would inspected the contents as well to check packing and securing of cargo as well as un-declared and mis-declared dangerous goods.

  2. At MAERSK SEALAND it is common to transport containers on deck loaded with uranium and plutonium.
    So, AMSA well done!

    1. Inspections also should be carried out not only at Australian ports but at all ports after cargo work is complete and lashing is complete before the lashing gangs leave the vessel. Thereafter no containers will be lost overboard

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