As highlighted by insurance company TT Club and the Cargo Incident Notification Service (CINS), poor CTU packing is responsible for an alarmingly high percentage of incidents along the transport chain, leading to damage, loss, injuries and fatalities. There have been two important changes recently that should have a positive impact on the movement of goods around the globe, and improve safety in the supply chain. The first is the updated CTU Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs). The second change is the amendment to SOLAS concerning verification of gross mass for containers, mandatory from 1 July 2016.

The CTU Code of Practice provides guidelines and information for all members of the global logistics chain – from shippers, cargo packers, forwarders and logistics companies through to road, rail and sea carriers, ports and terminals, depots, insurers and other cargo handling interests. The Code also addresses issues such as training and the packing of dangerous goods.  It states, ‘The successful application of this Code concerning the packing of CTUs and the achievement of its objectives are greatly dependent on the appreciation by all persons concerned of the risks involved and on a detailed understanding of the Code. This can only be achieved by properly planned and maintained initial and retraining programmes for all persons concerned with the packing of CTUs.

Exis Technologies, a leading developer of e-learning courses for the transport industry, has developed two new courses under their existing CTUpack e-learning brand for the safe handling and packing of CTUs. The courses will be officially launched at the Multimodal transport exhibition at the NEC Birmingham, UK in May 2016.

Introduction to the CTU Code Course

This course, available in April 2016, provides an introduction and overview to the CTU Code. It highlights how to navigate the key sections of the Code and how it can support training in the packing and securing of cargo into/onto CTUs. The course is aimed at anyone who has an interest in learning more about this Code and how it can be used in their day-to-day role. It also includes a brief overview of the new SOLAS[i] Verified Gross Mass (VGM) regulations and direct links to the text of the CTU Code.

The course contains the following sections:

  • Development of the CTU Code – provides details on key contributors to the CTU Code, looks at the original packing guidelines and why the new CTU Code was developed
  • Legal situation and compliance – looks at the regulatory framework, the status of the CTU Code and the difference between the previous Guidelines and the new Code, the legal situation with the Code and how it might be enforced.
  • Overview of the CTU Code structure – what the CTU Code includes and how it is structured. Focuses on key chapters to consider when starting to look at the Code.
  • How to access the CTU Code – how to access the online version of the CTU Code with worked examples.
  • Contents summary – further sections looking at what is included in each of the Chapters, Annexes and informative material.

Introduction to Freight Container VGM Module

Closely related to the issue of container packing is the provision of verified container weights. As many will already know, there is a new requirement under the SOLAS Convention requiring shippers to obtain the ‘verified gross mass’ (VGM) of packed containers and communicate it to shipping lines. This will be mandatory from 1 July 2016.

A study module on VGM, available in May, explores this requirement, including the two methods permitted to verify the gross mass, weighing the packed container (Method 1) or weighing all constituent parts and adding that to the tare of the container (Method 2). This module is designed to provide all the information needed to understand why this legal requirement was developed, its objectives and offer practical solutions.

The course includes:

  • Development of the SOLAS requirement and accompanying Guidelines
  • Method 1 or Method 2 ? – looks at the different requirements of each acceptable method to help individuals determine which will be appropriate for their business
  • Method 1 potential solutions –examines physical weighing of containers and the potential practical solutions that exist with an appraisal of their merits and limitations
  • Method 2 appraisal – looks at how to comply with Method 2 based on the UK model.
  • Legal situation and compliance – looks at how various governments are addressing the issue and an overview of “accuracy” and “tolerance”
  • Developing FAQs – a summary of the frequently asked questions that have occurred in international for a since the legislation was adopted
  • End of course review and assessment

CTUpack e-learning Foundation Course

This course was the first in the CTUpack e-learning range and was launched in 2014. It is an online training tool for those involved in the loading and unloading of containers and other cargo transport units. The aim of this course is to familiarise consolidators and packers with the significant and dangerous implications of bad packing and to provide guidance consistent with current good practice.

ICHCA members can take advantage of a 15% discount on CTUpack e-learning and other specialist training courses offered by Exis Technologies.