Maersk Joins Hapag-Lloyd in Dangerous Goods Initiative
Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk Line have agreed to cooperate in increasing the safety of dangerous goods. In a meeting held in Hamburg on Wednesday, Maersk Line showed its desire to implement a tracing system similar to Hapag-Lloyd’s watchdog program.
This watchdog together with the Hapag-Lloyd FIS (Freight Information System) is continuously examining cargo data to identify anything conspicuous. It has a database of more than 6,000 keywords that is constantly being added to and refined. Dangerous goods that are declared imprecisely, incorrectly or not at all have the potential to pose a major risk to crews, ships, the environment and other cargo on board.
“By implementing a system similar to Hapag-Lloyd’s watchdog program, we will be able to increase safety on board of our 600 vessels and at the terminals we call,” says Soren Toft, Chief Operating Officer of Maersk Line. “We will also improve our risk profile and in the same time we will be sending a strong message to the shippers who put safety at risk.”
Hapag-Lloyd has been developing the watchdog program since 2011. With their many years of experience, Hapag-Lloyd’s dangerous goods and IT experts played a key role in creating effective search routines. The dangerous goods department was established almost 50 years ago and was the first in the shipping industry. Since then, Hapag-Lloyd’s internal specifications on dangerous goods have repeatedly formed the basis for statutory regulations and have thus become mandatory for the entire industry.
“Experience, know-how and secure processes are crucial for a safe transport of dangerous goods”, says Anthony J. Firmin, Chief Operating Officer of Hapag-Lloyd. “We are very happy that we were approached by other shipping lines to learn more about our watchdog program. The cooperation with Maersk Line is a very important step forward for increased safety and security of our entire industry.”
Last year, Hapag-Lloyd discovered 2,620 cases of incorrectly declared dangerous goods that were prevented from being shipped. Dangerous goods experts at Hapag-Lloyd investigated over 162,000 suspicious cases which were recorded using the watchdog software.