OperationsRegulatory

Guidelines released to help cut risks of fire onboard boxships

A risk-based approach to stowing dangerous goods on container vessels to mitigate risk of fires is at the heart of new guidelines produced by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) and class society ABS. The new guidelines come at a time where major fires on boxships are at record highs and have seen plenty of high profile casualties in recent months.

The CINS Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships, available via the CINS website, is the product of a collaboration between CINS members, facilitated by ABS, to develop operational guidance for the safe carriage of dangerous goods.

“This guidance is developed from key lessons learned provided by CINS members from past incidents. This experience informs the risk-based approach which frames goals, functional requirements, and strategies associated with dangerous goods stowage,” said Gareth Burton, ABS vice president for technology. “Dangerous goods, not properly identified or accounted for, can be detrimental to the safety of the ship and more importantly the people onboard that ship. This guidance is practical advice that will advance safety on container vessels.”

The guidelines have undergone an infield trial and provide safety considerations designed to improve stowage planning and hazard mitigation for dangerous goods transport.

CINS is a container shipping line initiative to increase safety in the supply chain, reduce the number of cargo incidents on-board ships and highlight the risks caused by certain cargoes and/or packing failures.

Major containership fires are on the up this year, averaging one a month in 2019, bucking this century’s already alarming average of one every 60 days, according to data from insurer TT Club.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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