December 12, 2014: The full adoption of the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for packing cargo transport units (CTU Code) has recently taken a massive step forward.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) moved to protect the lives and safety of both workers and the general public by endorsing the draft document without amendment at its session on February 17th 2014 and the IMO on May 19th 2014. Finally the Governing Body of ILO has endorsed the CTU Code during their 322nd session held from 30 October - 13 November 2014.
FIATA, the international trade association that represents the world's freight forwarders and logistics service providers thinks that the new Code of Practice should be embraced and recognised globally. Although the code in itself is not mandatory, it is FIATA's view that the CTU Code could also be used as a reference base for national regulations and could become a model for internationally harmonized legislation in this field, should such requirements arise.
Robert Keen, chairman of FIATA's Multimodal Transport Institute, says that all freight forwarders should know of this publication and all staff should be aware. He said "many of us remember the TT Club video 'Any fool can stuff a container' and the catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong. The negative impact of a staff member not following these guidelines could be immense."
Jens Roemer, chairman of FIATA's Working Group Sea transport stated that this Code of Practice is a comprehensive document and FIATA strongly encourages all Association Members to create awareness with their members. He said "The professional lashing and securing of transport units (such as containers) is as important as the declaration of the actual weight."
Keen, who is also Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) concludes: "The CTU Code is intended to assist the industry, employers' and workers' organisations in training their staff on the safe stowage of cargo in containers and to provide a global reference base for cargo insurance contracts.