List released of most dangerous cargoes that can compromise supply chain safety

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The Cargo Integrity Group, a partnership of industry associations, has compiled a list of the most hazardous cargoes that can compromise supply chain safety.

The industry bodies of the Cargo Integrity Group established the list to continue in their mission to improve safety in the global supply chain. The group has identified a number of cargoes, commonly carried in containers, that under certain conditions can cause dangerous incidents.

The group has identified 15 ‘cargoes of concern’ that are commonly transported by sea and intermodally. While these are usually transported safely when regulations and guidelines are followed, the group has created this list to highlight cargoes that can become hazardous if handled incorrectly. They emphasize that cargoes that are mis-declared or have incomplete or incorrect information about their identity are more likely to be involved in incidents.

This list is not exhaustive, but each item illustrates a common type of hazard, divided into three categories:

Reactive hazards

These cargoes can catch fire and cause significant damage and casualties under certain conditions. They are generally subject to dangerous goods regulations

  • Charcoal / carbon
  • Calcium Hypochlorite
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Cotton and wool
  • Fishmeal and krill
  • Seed cake

Spill or leak risks

These commodities can present a risk if not packed properly or if they are damaged. Spills or leaks from these cargoes can harm the health of people cleaning up the spill as well as the environment.

  • Hides and skins
  • Wine
  • Bitumen
  • Cocoa butter
  • Waste – recycled engines and engine parts
  • Vegetable and other oils, particularly when packed in flexitanks

Improper packing consequences

Cargoes that are poorly or incorrectly packed or secured in the container can lead to injuries to personnel or damage to nearby containers, property, or other cargo. Such incidents can cause severe accidents at sea or on land, such as truck rollovers and train derailments.

  • Logs and timber
  • Steel coils
  • Marble and granite

In the coming months the Cargo Integrity Group will publish additional guidance on the identification and safe handling of these cargoes.

The list is based on data from, among other sources, the claims history of leading freight insurance provider, TT Club; a report prepared by ICHCA and submitted to the IMO on incidents involving dangerous goods on ships or in ports, and from CINS which collates information provided by its members on incidents involving dangerous cargo.

“The combined experience of our organizations has been harnessed to identify these categories and result in pin-pointing some commodities where the risks are perhaps less obvious,” says Peregrine Storrs-Fox, risk management director, TT Club. “While the potential dangers of transporting, for example, calcium hypochlorite or lithium-ion batteries might be more widely appreciated, the combustible qualities of seed cake or the hazards associated with cocoa butter or vegetable oils, will be less well-known.”

The Cargo Integrity Group urge everyone handling these goods to follow all applicable regulations, the CTU Code and industry best practices.