20th September 2017
THE Container Owners Association (COA) and the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) with the help of insurers in the TT Club have published a guide for those using reefer boxes for non-reefer cargo.
The guide gives extensive advice on the risks involved and correct packing to protect both container and cargo.
The use of "non-operating reefers" (NOR) is common and has a big impact in reducing empty re-positioning costs.
But both COA and CINS are keen that shippers, forwarders, packers and terminals fully understand what is involved and what constitutes best practice.
This new guide book, entitled Guidelines for the Carriage of Cargoes in Non-Operating Reefer Container, outlines cautions that must be employed.
Attention must be paid to vulnerable insulation, weight distribution and expensive refrigeration machinery.
Types of NOR cargo need to be approved and recommendations are given as to which should not be carried either because of risk of contamination or the inability to secure them sufficiently.
"Repositioning expensive reefer units after they have been emptied at destination is a constant challenge for container operators," said Maersk cargo manager Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen.
"There is often insufficient temperature controlled cargo for the return leg of a reefer's journey and therefore the unit has to be repositioned empty," said Mr Ernst-Frederiksen, who also serves as CINS chairman and deputy chairman of the COA.
"On busy trade lanes, empty reefers are competing for slot space with revenue earning dry cargo, so the NOR solution is attractive. However, care must be taken when loading NOR cargo, to avoid disproportionate costs being incurred in cargo loss and container damage," he said.
Said TT Club risk management chief Peregrine Storrs-Fox: "These guidelines will be extremely useful. The TT Club is very pleased to have worked on this valuable document."
Note – FECL will acquire the guideline and circulate to members.