Unsecured cargo carries serious risks, and often there are human factors involved. According to Markus Hytönen, Cargo Risk Engineer at If, some of the more typical accidents and incidents relate to negligence, fatigue, and inexperience. However, criminal acts in warehouses or at sea are also becoming increasingly common.
Transporting goods incorrectly is basically an accident waiting to happen,” states Hytönen. “When cargo is not fastened down for transport, the risks are multiplied. Some common issues include cargo overturning or rolling because of shifting weight. Poorly secured cargo can also damage the vessel or vehicle transporting the goods. It is also important to highlight that these issues will add to the risk of injury to personnel involved with the loading and unloading of goods, as well as potentially put the public in harm’s way.”
Lost cargo, lost business
Every year, cargo losses interrupt business operations, cause adverse environmental incidents in the accident area, as well as damage company reputations, which leads to further business losses. There are many different types of cargo losses, from criminal acts to water damage or contamination, all of which lead to damages incurred during the transportation of goods.
Inadequate stowage, carelessness during lashing or incorrect slinging, as well as poor packing and negligence relating to weight distribution can all play a role in cargo being lost during transit.
Human factors, such as fatigue and stress can also play a role in cargo losses – therefore it is important to consider not only adherence to guidelines and legislation, as well as the recommendations of authorities and other stakeholders, but to take a holistic view to tackle the risks that exist when transporting goods.
Safe transportation demands due diligence
It is of the utmost importance that the cargo being transported is properly secured in accordance with existing regulations. Beyond these regulations, there are several critical factors to consider to safely transport goods and materials. Often, it is better to exceed recommendations to ensure that your cargo will be delivered safely.
From careful route planning to knowing when a vehicle escort will be required for your specific combined transport, highlighted below are some essential tips from If’s cargo experts: