Clearly defined target issues for the Loss Prevention Committee

By Uwe-Peter Schieder, Liability, Credit, Marine & Aviation Insurance, Statistics, GDV, and member of the IUMI Loss Prevention Committee

To begin, the Loss Prevention Committee has addressed two specific issues relating to quality management; packaging and humidity management.

Transport insurers assume the risks of their customers, whose goods are transported, stored and transhipped worldwide, by land and sea, until they reach their destination. This is a range of risks that is only covered on this scale by transport insurers. It pretty well goes without saying that such risks can only be assumed under certain conditions. The load must be capable of withstanding the intended transport operation. This includes protecting the cargo against external influences, as well as proper conditioning of the cargo itself.

Packaging must protect what is inside from the stresses that arise in transit. The stresses experienced by the cargo vary greatly depending on whether the consignment is transported purely by road or as an intermodal operation by road, rail and sea, with all the associated transhipment activities. The logical consequence of this is that the packaging must be designed to withstand the expected stresses. If the journey is short and no transshipment is necessary, a truck tarpaulin may be sufficient protection.

The term FFPP has been coined by the Loss Prevention Committee to describe packaging that takes account of the risks associated with the demands of the journey in question - fit-for-purpose packaging. If packaging is FFP, it is commensurate with the risks and is able to fulfill its function. The magnitude of the loads to be expected is specified, for example, in the Cargo Transit Unit (CTU) Code and many other national and international standards. This ensures that there is no pointless "excessive packaging".

In the context of transporting goods, humidity management is an essential part of quality management. The term "cargo loss due to condensation" is used as a blanket term for damage caused by the fact that the moisture content of the cargo was too high. The consequences can include collapsing packaging, mold, fermentation and corrosion. The Loss Prevention Committee's statement on humidity management, which is a useful supplement to Annex 3 of the CTU Code, provides all those involved with transport operations with a practical tool to assist in quality assurance activities.

Standards and statements help to identify risks and assess them correctly and identify hazards. They provide clear guidelines for the expected stresses and hazards and help to prevent loss. But they also protect against uneconomic securing and quality management measures that overshoot the target.   

Please click here for the Loss Prevention Committee technical papers.