60 million packed containers are moved each year, and 10 per cent are declared as dangerous goods. Some ships carry more than 1,000 containers with dangerous goods on any given voyage. Most of the significant ship fires are attributed to misdeclared dangerous goods. Mistakes can be made due to lack of competence, Unfortunately in some cases, cargo is deliberately declared incorrectly to save cost or time. In other cases, the cargo may have been properly declared, but mistakes are made with packing and stowing the cargo in the container. Unless the container is physically opened and inspected, there is no way of knowing whether the cargo is safe for transport.
National Cargo Bureau and Exis have created a cargo screening service to address the problem of misdeclared and undeclared dangerous goods. The new industry solution, Hazcheck Detect, launched in September 2020, compliments NCB’s cargo inspection operation. Maersk is the first customer signed to the new tool.
NCB President Ian Lennard said, “We are delighted to be working with Exis on this ground-breaking project. Ship fires are an ongoing problem and we hope this new service will help to stop mis-declared and undeclared goods making it onto the ships in the first place”.
To help with the issue of undeclared and misdeclared dangerous goods, NCB has produced a Holistic Approach White Paper paper. This recommends the incorporation of integrated digital tools, like Hazcheck Detect, that automate critical compliance functions.