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CONTAINER ship fires and explosions in port storage facilities continue to be the result of poorly packed and misdeclared hazardous materials as they move through the global supply chain, according to International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA).

The independent, not-for-profit organisation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Vessel Operators Dangerous Goods Association (IVODGA), to disseminate guidance on the correct safety procedures that need to be employed.

The collaboration of these two expert bodies will be significant in producing clearly defined guidelines to best practice based on years of practical experience in handling dangerous goods. They will work closely on joint projects to improve standards across numerous common safety issues affecting the transport of dangerous goods.

Richard Steele, CEO of ICHCA International said, “The extraordinary disaster in Beirut last August was an all too unwelcome wake-up call to everyone involved in the transport, storage and distribution of dangerous materials.

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“However, similar incidents, smaller in proportion, yet damaging to life and limb as well as property happen across the supply chain on a frequent basis.

“The mutual co-operation of IVODGA and ICHCA will be aimed at the universal understanding and application of measures for the safe handling and storage of a range of goods with potential to cause explosions, fires and noxious gas emissions etc.”

Uffe V. Ernst Frederiksen from Maersk and vice chair of IVODGA said, “The mutual goals and the shared respect of our two organisations will quickly result in a positive contribution to a clear and efficient communication between not just our respective members but crucially across all stakeholders in the supply chain whose interests touch any and all hazardous materials”.

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