The pandemic period has affected the entire world in some way, with countries being on lockdown at some point. This resulted in a major crisis for every industry in the world, most of it to the global supply chain. The numbers of cargo shipments in cargo containers last year all over the world came to a stop. This caused the entire world to come to a standstill. Increased Toppling of Shipping Containers bring Supply Lines at a risk
Now that the Covid-19 lockdown has eased in many parts of the world, businesses are slowly commencing their daily activities. These involve the process of cargo transportation as well.
What is the recent crisis shipping companies are facing?
According to the reports many shipping companies are facing major issues while delivering cargo shipments. This has led to millions of dollars going to waste, thus creating havoc in the cargo container industry.
Freight containers carrying everything ranging from automobiles to electronics to food grains are being piled high on enormous cargo vessels. This increased number of cargo units has resulted in their toppling and sinking into the oceans. Eventually, this resulted in causing severe losses to the shipping container companies.
There has been increased pressure on the timely delivery of goods, as the demand has increased drastically. The need for speedy deliveries has somehow backfired, as the safety conditions have been ignored. As a result, the contents of fully stacked container vessels have been at high risk.
The shipping container industry has seen what seems to be the highest surge in lost containers in almost 7 years. A whopping 3000 cargo units were lost at sea over the last year, as estimated. The number has accounted for up to 1000 containers fallen overboard till now in this year. These figures do not seem to be lowering down anytime soon.
What has caused these toppling accidents?
The updates of lost containers at sea have been in the news for a long time. But who or what is accountable for this massive crisis resulting in huge financial losses for the industry? The maritime shipping industry has enlisted numerous reasons as the main ground for this surge in the falling of cargo units into the seas.
- Unpredictable weather is one of the prime culprits in these incidents. The root cause behind this are calamities like heavy rains, natural disasters, and other calamities. The toppling of freight containers to sink deep down to the bottom of the sea is not good news.
- The International Maritime Association has narrowed down another reason that is the overburdening of container vessels. Loading more steel shipping containers than the number specified is the reason behind this. The rise in demand for goods urgently has caused shippers to load extra cargo. As a result, there was negligence on the part of the shippers as they did not lash the maritime containers properly.
- A major cause for this catastrophe has been the Covid-19 pandemic as well. The lockdown conditions in so many countries globally resulted in absolutely zero movements of cargo across countries globally. Subsequently, there was a delay in the deliveries of essential goods as well. Subsequently, shippers had to resort to certain perilous practices, which led to a shortage in the number of shipping containers. This has also resulted in the creation of precarious conditions that can easily give rise to shipping disasters.
How to avoid such circumstances?
Shipping companies should take an active part in avoiding mishaps caused by the toppling of metal shipping containers. This is the duty of the shippers to urge certain practices for the safety of their cargo containers as well as their contents.
- Shippers can make use of smart containers. Smart containers are technologically advanced freight containers equipped with tracking and monitoring features. They help shippers and exporters to keep track of the whereabouts of their cargo containers. They come with additional features informing about the temperature fluctuations inside the cargo units. Other features include shock detection or any other unusual activity that can hamper the condition of the container.
- For a smooth shipping experience, every cargo shipment must include all the essential documents required. This is the responsibility of the exporters of cargo. This helps in smoothing things along and avoids the delay in shipment in reaching its final destination. The essential documents include the Bill of Lading, Pro-forma invoice, packing list, certificate of origin, letter of credit, etc.
- Repeated transportation of the cargo units makes them succumb to wear and tear over a span of time. Shipping container maintenance is crucial as shippers want a safe and secure and timely cargo shipment delivery. They should conduct regular inspections of different parts of the cargo containers to ensure that they meet the requirements set.
Shipping companies all over the world should adopt these practices to ensure the timely delivery of cargo without any accidents occurring. One can also make use of e-commerce shipping container trading platforms to buy new and used cargo containers online for their cargo shipments.
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