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.
The NCB Group have created a realtime cargo screening service to address the problem of misdeclared and undeclared dangerous goods. Hazcheck Detect, launched in September 2020, screens approximately 25 million requests monthly, identifying on average approximately 30,000 suspicious cases. This leads to the prevention of 40-50 high risk containers per week being loaded onto vessels.
Maersk was the first customer to sign to Hazcheck Detect in 2020, followed by ONE and Hapag Lloyd in 2021.
Ken Rohlmann, Senior Director Dangerous Goods at Hapag Lloyd said, “We are pleased to be adopting this important industry solution. We have been a strong advocate of this kind of screening approach for some time and are glad to be one of the first companies to adopt this new technology. The key criteria for moving to Hazcheck Detect was the desire to have a common screening approach for all major container lines to help avoid undeclared cargo rejected by one line being presented again as a booking to another line. Hazcheck Detect with 3 major container lines on board is well on the way to creating this common industry solution. We are extremely pleased to be working alongside NCB and Exis in this venture and we encourage all other major container lines to engage with the service.”
To help with the issue of undeclared and misdeclared dangerous goods, NCB has produced an Holistic Approach White Paper. This recommends the incorporation of integrated digital tools, like Hazcheck Detect, that automate critical compliance functions.