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TT Club

TT Club supports NaVCIS to help combat freight crime

The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) is a police unit with a freight team that collates, analyses and disseminates Road Freight Crime information across England and Wales. The unit has been recently tasked by the UK Government’s Home Office with delivering a Problem Profile on freight crime.  TT Club is supporting NaVCIS Freight and its report with the aim of obtaining increased public funding to address the situation.

The ten-thousand-word report entitled ‘Profile of HGV, Freight & Cargo crime across England & Wales 2022’ (Freight Crime) now completed, is extensive in detailing a range of aspects from types of crime to varied methodologies and from locational analysis to direct and indirect costs to cargo owners and the economy overall.  It also has an number of recommendations on how such crimes can be combatted.

The report and other NaVCIS Freight analysis estimated the value of losses across England and Wales in 2022 amounted to £66.6 million.  There were 4,995 HGV and cargo crime notifications received last year (with data on reports still coming in) and NaVCIS Freight participated in 284 arrests, supporting a further 43 crime operations involving this type of crime.  The unit’s work has in part been responsible for the reduction in the indirect cost to the national economy from an estimated £700 million in 2019 to £428 million in 2021.

“This is still an alarmingly high level of loss despite the excellent work of the NaVCIS unit,” says Mike Yarwood, Managing Director, Loss Prevention at freight transport insurance specialist TT Club.  “Recognition by the UK Government of the need for action to combat such crime is welcomed and we are hopeful that the NaVCIS Freight Crime problem profile will instil some urgency into such action and elicit financial support.   In the meantime, the unit relies entirely on funding from industry including the insurance community.  TT urges entities that don’t yet support NaVCIS Freight to proffer their support as we do ourselves.”

Key conclusions outlined in the Freight Crime report are:

  • Freight crime is committed by Organised Crime Groups (OCGs), prepared to travel hundreds of miles; highly skilled, determined and mobile criminals, aware of police tactics.
  • This is a low risk and high reward crime, regrettably low on police priorities due to available resources.
  • Supply sector under intense pressure from effects of crime, which causes disruption and delay, impacting the viability of companies, retention of staff, and investment in the UK.
  • Lack of a central crime category or tag means crime largely hidden, lenient criminal justice outcomes following prosecutions and low priority for action by government.
  • Lack of investment in infrastructure, particularly in improvement of parking security standards, to be sufficient to deter criminals.
  • Direct public health risk may arise from stolen medicines and food stuffs.

“Our report contains wide-ranging recommendations in order to rectify, or at least reduce the effects of what we believe is a damaging situation at all levels – to individuals, consumers, retail and manufacturing sectors, logistics and transport companies, insurers and the national economy as a whole.  We have put forward this advice to Government by way of this report,” DCI Brett Mallon, Head of unit at NaVCIS .  “Investment in, and legislation surrounding secure parking is not the least of these.  There are law enforcement and policing reforms regarding freight crime that are also urgently required and, of course through the recognition of the seriousness of the issue, a significant increase in resources as well.”

A recent example of NaVCIS’ effectiveness in combatting these crimes and bringing the perpetrators to justice is provided by Operation Luminary involving eighteen months work as a result of which three criminals were jailed for a range of offences related to the theft of lorries and trailers containing cargo to the value of over a million pounds.*  The methods used were sophisticated and included the use of advanced technology such as scanners, key cloning equipment and tracker radios to trace vehicles and block communication signals.  With NaVCIS’ help further successful prosecutions are anticipated surrounding serious freight offences across the country.

For its part TT Club will continue to support the work of NaVCIS Freight, participating in information sharing, investment and publicising the excellent work of the unit.  “Policing authorities and central Government must be brought to understand the extent of both the direct and consequential losses sustained as a result of this less recognised trend in freight crime,” concludes Yarwood.”

*https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/trio-jailed-after-bmws-lorries-and-trailers-stolen

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com

Fraud is the biggest threat to cargo losses

Criminal fraud in its many and various manifestations within the global supply chain is seen by International freight transport insurer TT Club as a primary and growing threat.  Carrier fraud in particular is a dominant occurrence. Renewed vigilance is required and encouraged by the insurer.

London 12th January, 2023

The almost exclusive use of online facilities to process business transactions allows a myriad of fraudulent pursuits to find opportunities within the complexities of the global supply chain. These have many manifestations; from payment fraud that involves existing mandates and impersonation of executives to procurement fraud featuring false invoicing.

Carrier fraud, in which criminals imitate hauliers and other sub-contractors, including drivers with falsified documents, accounted for 84% of TT claims involving fraud or deception in 2022. TT is eager to pinpoint these risks and offer advice to industry on how to not just identify potential fraud but to minimise and avoid losses through them. 

“No one – from freight forwarders, shippers, and carriers to container owners and logistics, ports, warehouse and depot operators – should underestimate how lucrative an industry fraud is. Using sophisticated, low-risk tactics, fraudsters can easily steal large amounts of money or consignments of cargo,” says Mike Yarwood, Managing Director, Loss Prevention at TT.

“Incidents of fraud that target international supply chains across the globe are not perpetrated by opportunistic criminals working in isolation but in the majority of cases the work of sophisticated organised crime gangs. They have well-honed methodologies that are adaptable in the face of detection devices and changes in operating procedures, as the experience of recent disruption to the freight transport system has proved. Our awareness and readiness to protect our businesses must be stepped-up.”

TT has produced significant resources* to assist operators to shield themselves from fraudulent activities as it sees 15% of its cargo theft claims arise from fraud or deception.  Specific examples include the intentional submission of false invoices purportedly from an established supplier but actually generated by a fraudster infiltrating the online payment system and duplicated or inflated invoices. Other cases, falling into the category of mandate fraud, experience criminal deception by manipulation of bank transfer details by a fraudster pretending to be an organisation paid regularly by the operator by hacking into the victim’s email traffic and imitating a genuine supplier alter bank transfer details for payment of a legitimate invoice. 

TT found however that carrier fraud dominated its claims of this type last year.  There are instances of fake carriers intercepting haulage instructions from forwarders or shippers and posing as the authentic carrier; also falsifying cargo pick-up or delivery documentation to steal loads.

One common tactic is where fraudsters pose as a forwarders using a freight exchange site and provide false instructions to a driver. They match a legitimate haulier to a shipper, facilitating the movement of goods. The fraudster then acts as a ‘middle man’ between these two legitimate companies, arranging the collection and directing the driver. Once the trucker has collected the goods, the fraudster provides new instructions to deliver to an alternative address where the cargo is stolen.

“A key aspect of this scenario is that the driver and the shipper are not in direct contact with one another,” explains Yarwood. “To avoid incidents such as this and other frauds it is crucial to make employees aware of the possibilities, to take extra care to verify documentation and instructions directly with customers and/or trusted partners, especially in pressure situations where carrier options might be in short supply or when there are particular time constraints.” He advises. 

These are but samples of the various modus operandi employed by those intent of defrauding supply chain businesses. TT is determined to maintain a flow of information designed to help the industry combat such practices and to underline both their extent and devious nature in order to reduce financial losses and further disruption to fragile supply chains.

* TT Talk | Be alert to ‘carrier fraud’ (ttclub.com)

   TT Talk | Procurement fraud (ttclub.com)

  TT Talk | Mandate fraud and CEO fraud: do not be a victim (ttclub.com)

  TT Talk | Identifying & avoiding fraud (ttclub.com)

ENDS

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com

Declining trade is testing shippers’ patience, pockets and commitment

As global trade declined during the second half of 2022, in response to severe economic headwinds in many countries and the continued effects of the Covid-129 pandemic, the GSF/MDS Transmodal Container Shipping Market Review reflected the impacts on the activity and fortunes of shippers of unitised goods in international trade.

The latest edition of the Container Shipping Market Quarterly Review published today, reports data from the third quarter of year – a time of marked increases in consumer and producer price inflation, historically large increases in interest rates by central banks and high levels of stock inventories in many importing countries. Global energy prices edged higher amid disruptions to supplies arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, the impacts of widespread ‘lock-downs’ and stay-at-home orders in China to contain the spread of Covid-19 do not appear to have significantly affected export volumes according to its national trade statistics.

Key highlights of the Review include:

  • Trade volumes of goods capable of being transported in containers continued the decline observed at the end of Quarter 2, but the drop in overall volumes was much less than that reported by the container shipping sector. This is attributed to commodities, such as coffee, scrap metal and plywood, that can also be carried in bulk or semi-bulk form, switching away from containerised movements where shipping rates remain relatively high.
  • Despite falling for a second quarter, carriers’ unit revenues (earnings per container moved) were still 2.8 times higher than pre-Covid rates whereas unit operating costs have only risen by a factor of 1.5 over the same period. Cost pressures have largely been higher charter rates and a slow rise in fuel costs that has since receded. Container shipping lines remain highly profitable despite a falling market.
Figure 4.1
  • Spot rates fell by a fifth during the period, leaving many shippers ‘burnt’ by their decisions to commit to long-term contacts earlier in the year and questioning the many sources in the industry who confidently predicted that disruptive congestion and capacity shortages would continue through 2022 and beyond.
Figure 3.1
  • Adding to shippers’ frustrations, service levels remained at historic lows, with the predictability of arrivals still at only 85 per cent, meaning 1 in 6 sailings arrived later than normally expected.
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 Figure 7.1 
  • The modest improvements recorded in the number of scheduled port calls made, at 90 per cent, is a welcome positive that can be partly attributed to the rising number of sailings that were ‘blanked’ during the period and didn’t sail at all, so easing the pressure on intermediate ports. Many of these saw an improvement in the proportion of expected capacity actually calling at the port s monitored but the proportion of lost capacity is still at historically high levels.
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Figure 7.2

Mike Garratt, Chair of MDS Transmodal said:

“In quarter 3 2022 we saw the mean rates charged by the major lines continuing to suppress the proportion of container traffic they carried while the role played by new entrants was small. During quarter 3 we have seen several of these recent entrants leave the market as spot rates have fallen sharply, while leaving mean rates paid much higher. With a combination of stagnant demand and few ships now being delayed by port congestion, one would expect competition for shippers’ business to lead to a recovery of the share of the overall cargo market carried by container.”

James Hookham, Director of Global Shippers Council, commented:

“The quarter saw the downturn in volumes recorded at the end of Quarter 2 turn into a sustained decline – conditions that have not been seen in the container shipping market for over ten years. Many shippers are experiencing the behaviour of the market under such conditions for the first time.

“Blanked sailings, slow steaming and other capacity management measures will add to the catalogue of frustrations accumulated over the previous 30 months of record high rates and poor levels of service”.

“The widening gap between spot rates and contact prices agreed six months prior to these data will anger shippers further and demands a flexible and immediate response by carriers if their dream of securing a majority of their business on contract ted terms is to be achieved.”

“The big question going into 2023 will be how much of their diminished volumes will shippers commit to renegotiated contracts and how much will they reserve for the spot market, which is expected to fall to below pre-Covid levels in the next few weeks?”

“Countering this trend will be efforts to manage capacity through ‘blanked sailings’ However, the extent to which spot rates are being supported by this permitted co-ordination between consortia partners is playing out just as competition authorities in Europe and North America are evaluating existing anti-trust measures and considering possible options for the future”.

Notes to Editors

  • Mike Garratt, Chairman of MDS Transmodal, is available for interview. Please contact +44 (0) 1244 348301
  • Media Contact:  The Container Shipping Market Quarterly Review for Quarter 2 2022 is available in PDF format on request from Maria Udy, Portcare International. maria@portcare.com +44 (0) 7979 868539.
  • The Container Shipping Market Quarterly Review is produced every three months and reports, interprets and comments on trends and developments in the container shipping market as experienced and understood by shippers – the importers and exporting businesses that own the cargo carried on container ships. Shippers are the customers of the container shipping industry.
  • The Quarterly Review collates and reports outputs from MDS Transmodal’s established and respected Container Business Model and other tools that are relied upon by governments and international agencies around the world. Working with GSF, MDST has generated eight new indicators showing how the market is performing in terms that are relevant and applicable to shippers as users and customers of these services.
  • MDS Transmodal (MDST, www.mdst.co.uk) is a UK firm of transport economists which specialises in maritime and all other modes of freight transport. MDST works with senior management in the public and private sectors to provide strategic advice based on quantitative analysis, modelling and sectoral expertise.
  • Global Shippers Forum (www.globalshippersforum.com) is the global business organisation speaking up for exporters and importers as cargo owners in international supply chains and trade procedures. Its members are national and regional shippers’ associations representing hundreds of manufacturing, wholesaling, and retailing businesses in over 20 countries across five continents. GSF works for safe, competitively efficient, and environmentally sustainable global trade and logistics.

Demystifying General Average

International freight transport insurer TT Club’s latest StopLoss publication, produced in collaboration with forwarder’s association, FIATA and the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), provides a straightforward summary of the topic, along with essential good practice advice. 

London 30th November, 2022

While the concept of General Average (GA) is widely utilised and is as old as maritime transport itself, it is a commonly misunderstood process. Its application as a result of a maritime accident often takes shippers (beneficial cargo owners, BCOs), and sometimes forwarders by surprise. Especially those without adequate cargo insurance.  GA’s complexities, owing to the amount and variation in value of cargo onboard modern-day large container ships, can be baffling.  The additional financial burden and extended delays in cargo delivery are also frustrating. 

“This situation gave TT and our partners ample motivation to create one of our StopLoss advisory publications on the issue, as there is obviously a need for a clear explanatory guideline,” said Mike Yarwood, MD of Loss Prevention at TT.  “Experience shows that the system is an effective means of dealing with large and complex casualties.  However with container ships now capable of carrying in excess of 23,000 TEU, GA adjustment is likely to be an extremely complex calculation and the administrative burden placed on the interested parties is significant.

GA is a globally applicable legal principle of maritime law by which extraordinary additional expenditure incurred during a voyage because of a defined incident can be recovered from all parties involved in the ‘maritime adventure’ on a pro rata basis against the ‘arrived’ value of goods and other property aboard.

“The concept of ‘maritime adventure’ sounds quaint,” comments Yarwood.  “But describes the total group of stakeholders involved in the voyage. GA is the system whereby the ship owner can recover the extraordinary expenses that are necessarily incurred following some maritime incident, in protecting the cargo and/or preserving the ship. The costs are apportioned between the ship, its bunkers (sometimes owned by a charterer of the ship) and stores, and the cargo (including the containers) in proportion to their value.”

The StopLoss publication is directed at an audience of freight forwarders, NVOCs and BCOs explaining in detail the circumstances in which GA can be declared and who declares it, as well as the process of declaration and the appointment of a GA adjuster.  It goes on to outline the role of the adjuster including how bonds and guarantees are assessed and lodged, and how uninsured and LCL (less than container load) cargo is dealt with.

“It is essential that all freight forwarders understand GA to efficiently manage matters and set realistic expectations for their clients and represent their interests effectively.  Equally, BCOs need to understand their obligations, particularly where they have chosen not to purchase cargo insurance,” concludes Yarwood.  As such a section of the StopLoss is dedicated to the actions required by each party and includes a useful checklist of preparations each can make in anticipation of a GA declaration effecting any of their cargoes.

The StopLoss publication can be downloaded free of charge HERE

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com

TT Club’s Supply Chain Security Bulletin continues to highlight the variable risk profile

Disruptions through the global supply chain continue to create opportunities for criminals to infiltrate and access cargo. In recognition of the threat landscape, TT continues its advisory campaign with the second edition of its a regularly published Supply Chain Security Bulletin.

London 17th November 2022

The international freight transport insurer, TT Club is redoubling its efforts to inform the sector on critical risk profiles. The ongoing impacts of the pandemic blight economies, variable consumer demand trends, labour disputes, and the war in Ukraine all have an influence on continuing the profoundly dynamic global supply chain situation.  Congestion at ports and other freight hubs, mis-matches in the availability of transport equipment and ships in relation to demand are all consequences of this volatile environment. 

TT’s latest Supply Chain Bulletin* highlights that such disruption can create opportunities for those with criminal intent. Drawing on data, expertise and opinion from organisations across the globe, including TT’s own claims analysis, the  Bulletin highlights a series of risk trends and in particular cargo theft.

The graphic above taken from the Bulletin highlights the top countries for cargo theft.

Commenting on the latest publication, Mike Yarwood, TT’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention said, “Our series of Bulletins are aimed at identifying global trends, as well as to focus on particular areas of concern and offer practical guidance for those potentially impacted by freight crime.  The risk landscape is constantly evolving; the criminal organisations providing the threat are getting ever more sophisticated. So our regular Bulletins will keep track of those intent on monitoring supply chain activity and building operational profiles to identify a weakness or a particular vulnerability to exploit.”

The 2022 year to date TT claims data utilised in this latest Bulletin highlight the preponderance of electrical goods as targets globally, with the US reporting over 70% of these losses.  The split in general between theft from vehicles and depots is in the order of two-thirds versus one-third.  This is a consistent finding; though vehicles ‘at rest’ as opposed to hi-jackings are more prevalent targets. 

The threat posed by the insider continues to present challenges. TT’s analysis for 2022 suggests that around 23% of reported cargo thefts likely involved insider activity, whether it is in facilitating intricate knowledge of systems and security provisions or simply allowing access to criminals.  Digital solutions to enhance the free-flow of goods within a disruptive supply chain environment, however well designed, is a further trend which can give rise to internet-enabled fraud.  Computer generated access is creating opportunities to steal cargo through seemingly legitimate transactions.

Yarwood underlines the Bulletin’s advisory nature, “At this time, it would be prudent for those throughout the international supply chain to heighten their levels of awareness and increase their vigilance when carrying out financial transactions. The insider threat clearly also needs to be managed. Security strategies should include control over identification badges/passes and restricting full site access where applicable.”

Other issues covered in this latest edition of the Supply Chain Security Bulletin are the power of social media as a means of investigation; the threat imposed by fake carriers in Europe and a special focus on theft in Papua New Guinea. 

Yarwood concludes, “During this final quarter of the year when this type of crime is typically at its most abundant, those managing risk through the supply chain must remain vigilant. The holidays unfortunately create increased demand and market opportunities for criminals to sell their stolen cargo.  Via its Bulletins and other stringent risk management activities TT remains dedicated to advise on robust mitigation processes and efforts to disrupt criminal activity throughout the year.”

* Guidance | Supply chain security bulletin (ttclub.com)

ENDS

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com

TT Club advocates continued vigilance to limiting container ship fires

Regulation and improving fire-fighting techniques have proven inadequate to stem the tide of serious incidents costing lives, significant cargo losses and ship damage.

London 10th November, 2022

The freight transport and logistics insurance specialist insurer, TT Club is continuing its battle to convince cargo interests, supply chain professionals and enforcement agencies that the responsibility for mitigating container ship fires is shared by numerous entities involved from end to end of the entire global supply chain.  With its estimated sixty-day average occurrence of serious fires being maintained by the Zim Charleston fire in August and the TSS Pearl in the Red Sea in early October, TT is once more urging a more comprehensive approach to arresting the trend.

“There were significant lessons coming from the sad incident on the MSC Flaminia, which cost the lives of three seafarers, particularly from the subsequent legal proceedings that adjudged the shipper and NVOC responsible for root cause errors,” says TT’s Peregrine Storrs-Fox.  “Despite the biennial updates to the IMDG Code, including multiple arising from this particular incident, the judge’s assessment that the regulations merely set the ‘baseline’ for good practice remains utterly true today.”

Ensuring compliance with the latest mandatorily applicable version of the IMDG Code is essential as a minimum standard for all those shipping dangerous goods by sea. But the liability judgment in the MSC Flaminia case made it clear that regulations merely set the baseline.  “This is an important statement to which any entity inclined to rely solely on the letter of the law when consigning dangerous goods, would do very well to pay heed,” comments Storrs-Fox.

TT advocates a comprehensive approach, striving to bring an understanding of all the factors contributing to these fires to everyone involved in the movement of cargo in containers and therefore underlining their responsibilities for safety. Errors, misunderstandings, mis-declarations and inadequate packing and securing lie at the heart of many significant incidents, both at sea and in storage facilities. Movement of cargo is initiated in the trading of goods – sellers and buyers – who instruct packers and whoever becomes the shipper. They have a duty of care as much as the packers, warehouse operators, forwarders, logistics companies, carriers of all modal types, cargo handlers and terminal operators. Attention to accurate classification and declaration are critical to improve certainty of outcome from end to end. This requires truth as much as awareness of regulations and sound safety practices.

TT’s efforts to disseminate such awareness and knowledge have been long-standing and remain prolific.  Along with its sister insurer, the UK P&I Club it has recently up-dated its guideline publication, ‘Book it Right, Pack it Tight’¹.  This provides key insights for all involved in dangerous goods’ shipments, including a clear exposé of the more technical aspects of the IMDG Code. The aim is to influence higher standards of compliance by assisting all involved to understand their own duties and the duties of their contractual partners.

Closely related to the issues specific to dangerous goods are the broader aspects of packing cargo in general. While the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) remains non-mandatory international law, it is clearly referenced from the IMDG Code. Through its participation in the Cargo Integrity Group, TT has contributed to work on the ‘CTU Code – a quick guide’². Once more this has been recently updated and assists those responsible for packing containers, accurately declaring details of their contents in order to access the guidance contained in the voluminous CTU Code itself more easily.  There is also a useful Checklist of actions required, which along with the Quick Guide is available in multiple languages.

TT’s campaign to influence all parties continues with a series of Webinars early in 2023 on the subject of container ship fires and the on-going efforts to prevent them.  The intent is to attract awareness and debate particularly around innovations that could materially improve the risk, including a number of those whose efforts have been recognised through the TT Club Innovation in Safety Awards over recent years. Thus, these online forums will contribute further to the valuable weight of knowledge and expertise in the arena.  This year’s Safety Award entry process is nearing its conclusion but further information is available HERE

“The complexities of the global container trades increase rather than diminish,” concludes Storrs-Fox.  “No one entity can surmount the dangers of these horrific fires, as a consequence it is essential that the entirety of the risk faced should be embraced by all involved through the supply chain if they are to be successfully reduced.”

¹ https://www.ttclub.com/news-and-resources/publications/birpit

² https://www.ttclub.com/news-and-resources/publications/ctu-code-a-quick-guide

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com

Transport of lithium-ion batteries – a continuous threat

Insurers TT Club and UK P&I Club have teamed up with scientific consultants, Brookes Bell, and issued a whitepaper highlighting the continuing safety threat created by the transportation of lithium-ion batteries.

The publishing of a whitepaper by insurance providers TT Club along with its fellow Thomas Miller managed business, UK P&I Club, and technical and scientific consultancy, Brookes Bell brings greater awareness of the dangers inherent in the transport of lithium-ion batteries, particularly by sea. The increased demand for ‘green power’ for a wide range of portable devices such as mobile phones, mobility aids and recreation, manufacturing and power storage, through to larger products, such as electric vehicles will undoubtedly result in the production and transport of these batteries rising exponentially in the coming years.

The whitepaper outlines many of the numerous challenges facing the transport industry and raises awareness of the potentially catastrophic situation that can be caused by battery failure, thus in part correcting the widely held perception in the maritime community that risks in the supply chain of such products are relatively small.

Commenting on the need for rapid recognition of the risks, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT’s Risk Management Director said, “Recently, serious and sometimes catastrophic incidents involving lithium-ion batteries have become more commonplace, with fires reported in all modes of transport – ocean, air and land — as well as in warehouses and where such consignments are at rest. 

As Loss Prevention Director of the UK P&I Club, Stuart Edmonston is no stranger to the damage ship fires can cause, “The consequences of battery failure and the resultant thermal runaway must be clearly understood and the correct procedures for handling them adhered to throughout their lifespan.  The dangers can exist no matter the status of the battery; charged, semi-charged, used, second-hand or scrap, and whether present in devices and vehicles or packaged separately.”

The topics covered in this comprehensive whitepaper include details of the background science behind lithium-ion batteries, the dangers associated with transporting them and why they arise, such as insufficient testing and incorrect declaration. The paper also provides a review of current dangerous goods (DG) regulatory provisions, focusing on the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, with recommendations for change or further work. The final section of the paper discusses the current state of the firefighting provision and changes that could be implemented.

However, the authors don’t limit their risk prevention advice to technology aimed at extinguishing fires once begun but also put forward guidelines to help pre-empt dangerous incidents by correct classification and declaration, safe and effective packaging, mandatory markings and labelling, uniformity of regulations regarding testing and suitable storage environments while batteries are awaiting transport.

Speaking of the growing risk, Karwei So, Managing Scientist at Brookes Bell concludes, “While increased industry awareness is crucial and technology to monitor and restrict fires is advancing, the increased capacities of batteries and the expected rise in trade volumes means regulations are potentially not fit for purpose, having been slow to catch up.” 

The joint paper outlines initial ‘calls to action’ in a number of respects, impacting not simply those tasked with moving this commodity and their regulators, but most importantly any industries involved in manufacturing or using this increasingly crucial power source, who enter the goods or related products into the freight supply chain.”

The full text of the ‘Lithium batteries whitepaper’ can be downloaded free of charge HERE

About Brookes Bell

Founded in 1903, Brookes Bell is a leading multi-disciplinary technical and scientific consultancy serving the marine and energy sectors. They investigate, troubleshoot and advise on a broad range of marine and energy matters and enjoy a reputation for being the ‘go-to’ firm for casualty investigation, forensic analysis, technical dispute resolution and expert witness work. Working across the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, Brookes Bell has a global presence allowing them to provide their expert services wherever clients need them to be. Alongside Brookes Bell’s investigative and expert witness services they have a state-of-the-art laboratory, The Lab at Brookes Bell, providing the marine, energy, industrial and manufacturing industries with access to world-class forensic analysis and investigative services.

https://www.brookesbell.com/

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 97% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more.

https://www.ttclub.com

About UK P&I Club

UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1865, the UK P&I Club insures over 240 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. ‘A (Stable)’ rated by Standard & Poor’s with free reserves and hybrid capital of $597m, the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise that ensure ‘best in class’ underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

https://www.ukpandi.com/

TT Club signs up to the Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

Specialist international freight transport insurer TT Club has committed to the UN’s initiative designed to unite the global insurance sector’s efforts to achieve sustainability and improve the health of the planet.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited (TT Club) is acutely aware of the requirements of all enterprises to take responsibility for achieving a sustainable future for the natural environment and to go further by adhering to the wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) aims. By applying the principles of this United Nations’ initiative, TT Club is underlining its commitment in a way that is relevant to its global risk management and insurance operations.

The Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) is global framework for the insurance industry to address ESG risks and opportunities launched in 2012 by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI). It is a global, collaborative initiative that strengthens the industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy planet.

Commenting on the news that TT Club has been accepted as a PSI signatory, Charles Fenton, CEO said, “As a mutual insurer our overarching purpose is to make the international transport and logistics industry safer, more secure and as a result, more sustainable. We see the challenges our Members face to tackle sustainability head on and work hard to support them wherever we can. The Principles for Sustainable Insurance align with the Club’s approach in servicing its Members and we look forward to working with other like-minded organisations towards this common goal.”

The insurance industry is particularly well-placed to effect the advance of sustainability policies as it performs a triple role, as risk managers, risk carriers and investors. Insurers therefore can be particularly influential in fostering sustainable economic and social development.

The PSI is the largest collaboration between the insurance industry and the United Nations with over 220 members from all around the world. Ban Ki-Moon, ex-Secretary General of the UN supports the PSI initiative, “The Principles of Sustainable Insurance provide a global roadmap to develop and expand innovative risk management and insurance solutions. With a world premium volume of more than US$24 trillion, insurers that embed sustainability in their business operations can catalyse the kinds of financial and investment flows and long-term perspectives needed for sustainable development.”

TT Club will embrace the guidance provided by the PSI by embedding the issues of ESG in its decision-making; work with its members and business partners in extending awareness of such issues; demonstrate accountability and transparency in reporting its progress and work together with regulators and other stakeholders to promote widespread action on ESG issues.

About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 97% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more.

https://www.ttclub.com

The Cargo Integrity Group of Seven Updates its Container Safety Guidance

The need for increased integrity in the global supply chain persists. The Cargo Integrity Group has updated its Quick Guide to the CTU Code and once more urges all involved in intermodal container transport to pay heed.

The multi-faceted group of originally five, now seven industry organisations, produced a Quick Guide to the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) some two years ago.  The Quick Guide is designed to assist those responsible for packing containers and accurately declaring details of their contents to abide by the often-complex regulations contained in the voluminous CTU Code itself.  There is also a useful Checklist of actions required by packers and shippers of containers. 

The Group believes that awareness of the CTU Code is pivotal to achieving safe and secure transport and has followed up the Quick Guide’s publication with provision of its full text in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Italian.  An update has now been made available, taking account of feedback, and is downloadable for free HERE

FIATA Director General Stéphane Graber commented, “Providing individuals responsible for packing containers, and in some cases for preparing documentation and declarations, with easier access to all-important safety guidelines in their own language, is key in order to make available practical cutting edge knowledge of packing. Such information goes beyond maritime operations, reflecting  the complexities of intermodal transport in modern day supply chains, and is key to keeping cargo logistics running efficiently.”

Failure to follow the CTU Code advice puts the people who keep the supply chain moving at risk, leading to incidents and accidents that are still all too common. The Group believes that such tragedies in the supply chain are to be avoided – most vividly demonstrated by the too frequent occurrence of container ship fires – higher standards of cargo integrity.

“We are providing clearer guidance through our revised Quick Guide and Checklist to help those responsible for packing cargo transport units, and in particular intermodal containers, to understand the standards expected in international trade,” stated James Hookham, Director of Global Shippers Forum.  “The revised editions recognise the endorsement of all the partner organisations now active in the Cargo Integrity Group and their joint commitment to dissemination of this advice to their respective memberships and wider networks,” he concluded.

Winners of the Young Logistics Professional Award announced at the FIATA World Congress, Busan

Busan/London, 16 September 2022- FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations and TT Club, international freight transport insurer, are very pleased to reveal this year’s global winner of the Young Logistics Professionals Award (YLP) at the 59th, and 2022 FIATA World Congress in Busan, Republic of Korea.

FIATA and TT Club are delighted to announce that Karina Perez Perez, the regional winner of Region Americas, representing the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, CIFFA, has been awarded the title of Young Logistics Professional of 2022.    “TT Club is inordinately proud of sponsoring this award since it was established as the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year over twenty years ago.  Its importance as an inspiration to our budding professionals is even more relevant today as the global logistics industry faces ever growing and varied challenges.  So fitting therefore, that the winner, who I heartily congratulate, Karina Perez Perez submitted a dissertation detailing her work in assessing the tools the industry is developing to enhance operator’s performance in the crucial area of sustainability. TT believes that the logistics sector’s ability to attract vital new talent to its ranks is greatly improved by a stronger commitment to environmental issues that are so concerning to those younger generations around the world,” said Michael Yarwood, TT Club’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention.

FIATA and TT Club extend their congratulations to the three other dedicated, ambitious and very impressive young professionals who made it to the final stage of the competition: Regional Asia Pacific Winner,  Avishkar Srivastava, Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI), India;  Region Africa and Middle East Ruvimbo Gukwe, Shipping and Forwarders Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ), Zimbabwe; Region Europe Winner Maximilian Drüschler, Bundesverband Spedition und Logistik (DSLV), Germany (Region Europe Winner).  All finalists showed exceptional skill and motivation during the competition, which all resulted in high quality work. These young professionals stand as an example, and are a true source of inspiration for the industry.  

FIATA President, Ivan Petrov shared “This competition is extremely valuable to our field because young people are the future of the industry. They will be the ones to shape the image of the logistics industry, its importance, its worth, its power and the opportunities that come with it. Attracting and promoting young people in the freight forwarding industry is one of the top priorities on FIATA’s agenda, and we are honoured to meet young logistics professionals, who we can also learn from, while likewise providing them with important tools and guidance for their careers. FIATA acts as the bridge between successful and recognised freight forwarders and young promising talents.”

The industry faces increasing difficulty to find talented, and motivated candidates, with workforce issues being amongst the top obstacles for logistics companies. The goal of this Award competition is to motivate, inspire and search for high calibre, quality young professionals to be a leading light for others to be inspired by, and to show that excellence brings the career potential of these young people to another level. Candidates can grow their network, develop new skills, learn more about the sector and what it entails, and gain exposure within the global freight forwarding community. FIATA and TT Club strongly encourage young logistics professionals, with the essential support of their FIATA national association, to join this exciting venture.

Additionally, the Congress this year saw the first ever full-day programme for young logisticians, with a dedicated programme allowing young professionals to hear from experts, educators and mentors in the logistics sector. This was an important endeavour for FIATA, who continually strives to shine a light on the next generation and attract a young audience to the freight forwarding community.

About FIATA

FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations is a nongovernmental, membership-based organization representing freight forwarders in some 150 countries. FIATA’s membership is composed of 113 Associations Members and more than 5,500 Individual Members, overall representing an industry of 40,000 freight forwarding and logistics firms worldwide. Based in Geneva, FIATA is ‘the global voice of freight logistics’. https://fiata.org/

About TT Club
TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1,100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more. www.ttclub.com