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HAMBURG: February 09, 2016. Hapag-Lloyd says last year it experienced a 46 percent rise in the number of suspicious shipments and a 65 percent increase in wrongly declared dangerous goods compared to 2014.

The carrier’s ‘Watchdog’ security software was able to identify 4,314 incorrectly declared dangerous goods shipments - compared to 2,620 the previous year - and over 236,000 suspicious bookings, an increase from 162,000 in 2014.

Ken Rohlmann, head of the dangerous goods department at Hapag-Lloyd said the rise was due to the volume of cargo shipped by the company following its merger with CSAV’s container business. “Secondly, there was a sharp rise in Watchdog findings following the devastating dangerous goods explosion in the port of Tianjin in mid-August,” he explained.

NileDutch AHapag-Lloyd is a founding member of the Cargo Incident Notification System Network (CINSNET) made up of 10 major liner-shipping companies that account for around two-thirds of all global container traffic. The network enables its members to share information on incidents relating to dangerous goods.

Rohlmann said the Watchdog software has provoked growing interest from Customs, port authorities, police and other shipping companies. In September last year Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk Line agreed to cooperate in the tracking of dangerous goods with Maersk saying it wanted to implement a process similar to Watchdog.

"Experience, know-how and secure processes are crucial for a safe transport of dangerous goods," declared Anthony Firmin, COO of Hapag-Lloyd. "We are very happy that we were approached by other shipping lines to learn more about our Watchdog program. The cooperation with Maersk Line is a very important step forward for increased safety and security of our entire industry," he added.

In a related move,Hapag-Lloyd has acquired two 3,500-TEU ships, and will lease two more, from NileDutch (right) for use in shallow-draft ports in South America. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The wide-beam design of the ships that were built last year combine a comparatively high slot capacity with a lower draught. “For Hapag-Lloyd, these state-of-the-art and highly efficient vessels represent an important enhancement of the fleet,” explained Firmin.

The company said four more wide-beam ships with ice navigating capability and capacity for 2,700 TEU are being chartered for services between the Mediterranean and Montreal and will replace existing, older tonnage.

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