NEW: Physical Container Inspection

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Maersk, Safmarine and other carriers are working to improve safety and reliability in the Containerized Maritime Supply Chain, by verifying that cargo descriptions match actual contents of the container, and that the contents of the container are correctly stuffed, lashed and secured.

As part of this work, they have recently implemented a Physical Container Inspection Pilot at the ports of Newark, Houston, Miami and New Orleans.

The data collected will be used to ensure the accuracy of cargo descriptions, as well as the use of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code). If you would like more information on the CTU code, please see the following International Maritime Organization (IMO) website:

The randomly selected containers are being inspected by NCB (National Cargo Bureau), and the cost for this inspection will be paid for by the carrier. If a container is discovered to be inadequately stuffed, lashed, and secured, or found to contain mismatching cargo compared to the given declaration, it may be necessary to take corrective actions, like  reworking the container to ensure it is compliant with given regulations. The cost for such reworking actions will be charged to the Shipper / Consignee (depending on direction of the container).

By performing these container inspections, carriers hope to remove the risk from mis-declared or incorrectly stuffed containers for all parties involved in handling and transporting cargo, as well as work towards an improvement of safety and reliability in the Containerized Maritime Supply Chain.

What does this mean for YOU?

– Make sure your cargo is safely loaded – evenly distributed, secured, blocked and braced as needed. If there’s a vehicle – all four wheels on the ground, battery disconnected.

– Declare all cargo as detailed as possible, to avoid penalties for mis-declaration

– If your container is inspected, you will get a report with the new seal number, description of the cargo inside, outline of any deficiencies found, and photos from the inspection.

If you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help.

Thank you for being a valuable partner. We look forward to hearing from you.