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The use of freight containers, swap bodies, vehicles or other cargo transport units substantially reduces the physical hazards to which cargoes are exposed. However, improper or careless packing of cargoes into/onto such units, or lack of proper blocking, bracing and lashing, may be the cause of personnel injury when they are handled or transported. In addition, serious and costly damage may occur to the cargo or to the equipment.

The types of cargoes carried in freight containers has expanded over many years and innovations such as use of flexitanks and developments allow heavy, bulky items which were traditionally loaded directly into the ships’ hold (e.g. stone, steel, wastes and project cargoes), to be carried in cargo transport units.

The person who packs and secures cargo into/onto the cargo transport unit (CTU) may be the last person to look inside the unit until it is opened at its final destination. Consequently, a great many people in the transport chain will rely on the skill of such persons, including:

  • road vehicle drivers and other road users when the unit is transported by road;
  • rail workers, and others, when the unit is transported by rail;
  • crew members of inland waterway vessels when the unit is transported on inland waterways;
  • handling staff at terminals when the unit is transferred from one transport mode to another;
  • dock workers when the unit is loaded or unloaded;
  • crew members of a seagoing ship during the transport operation;
  • those who have a statutory duty to inspect cargoes; and
  • those who unpack the unit.

All persons, such as the above, passengers and the public, may be at risk from a poorly packed freight container, swap body or vehicle.

 

Table 1: Summary of contents


Chapter

Referenced annexes

Related informative material1

1

Introduction

 

 

IM1

Consequences of improper packing procedures

2

Definitions

 

 

 

 

3

Key requirements

 

 

 

 

4

Chains of responsibility and information

A1

A2

Information flow

Safe handling of CTUs

IM2

Typical documents related to transport

5

General transport conditions

A3

Prevention of condensation damages

 

 

6

CTU properties

A4

Approval plates

IM3

CTU types

7

CTU suitability

A4

Approval plates

 

 

8

Arrival, checking and positioning of CTUs

A4

A5

A6

Approval plates

Receiving CTUs

Minimizing the risk of recontamination

IM4

Species of concern regarding recontamination

9

Packing cargo into CTUs

A7

 

 

A8

Packing and securing cargo into CTUs (supplemented with appendices 1 to 5)

Access to tank and bulk tops, working at height

IM5

IM6

IM7

IM8

Quick lashing guides

Intermodal load distribution

Manual handling

Transport of perishable cargo

10

Additional advice on the packing of dangerous goods

 

 

 

 

11

On completion of packing

 

 

IM9

CTU seals

12

Advice on receipt and unpacking of CTUs

A5

A9

Receiving CTUs

Fumigation

IM10

Testing CTUs for hazardous gases

13

Training in packing of CTUs

A10

Topics for consideration in a training programme

 

 

 

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