CTU Code use among shippers, forwarders boosts savings: study

CTU Code use among shippers, forwarders boosts savings: study
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  • Using the Cargo Transport Units Code, a guideline for packing cargo units, yielded positive financial results for shippers and forwarders
  • This is according to a recent study by Italian University Politecnico di Torino
  • Code users saw annual costs and penalties plummet from €670,000 pre-implementation of the Code to €13,000 post-implementation
  • Extra costs as a percentage of revenue also decreased from 37% to 10%.
  • Shippers and forwarders noted improvements in safety, reputation, and supply chain coordination; and reduced cargo damage, environmental impact, and operational inefficiencies

Shippers and forwarders utilizing the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) experienced significant benefits, including a substantial reduction in yearly costs and penalties, according to results of a recent study conducted by Italian University Politecnico di Torino.

The study into shipper and forwarder application of the CTU Code noted the tangible financial advantages associated with adherence to the Code.

Annual costs and penalties plummeted from €670,000 pre-implementation of the Code to €13,000 post-implementation. Extra costs as a percentage of revenue also decreased from 37% to 10%.

Other benefits include improved safety, reputation and supply chain coordination; and decreased cargo damage, environmental impact and operational inefficiencies.

Those using the CTU Code also incurred no extra costs in employees, contractors, or vehicles; and any increase in loading and waiting times were typically offset by CTU Code-related efficiencies overall.

Jointly published by the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organization, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the CTU Code is a a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of cargo transport units for transportation by sea and land.

Within the CTU Code, comprehensive information and references on all aspects of loading and securing of cargo in containers and other intermodal transport are provided, taking account of the requirements of all sea and land transport modes.  The CTU Code applies to transport operations throughout the entire intermodal transport chain and provides guidance not only to those responsible for packing and securing cargo, but also to those who receive and unpack such units.  The Code of Practice also addresses issues such as training and the packing of dangerous goods.

According to study authors Giovanna Bruno, Giordano Bruno Guerrini, and Claudia Caballini Bruno, “The application of the CTU Code to cargo loading and transportation processes can increase the safety level of transport activities, and also improve business processes and competitiveness. The results show that the use of the CTU Code provides an increase in safety with a drastic reduction of loading accidents and damage to goods, as well as important benefits in terms of costs, improved efficiency, corporate image and reduced environmental impact.”

The study was highlighted by the Cargo Integrity Group, seven industry bodies dedicated to container safety: Bureau International des Containers, Container Owners Association, Global Shippers Forum, International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés, TT Club, and World Shipping Council.

ICHCA CEO Richard Steele of ICHCA, said in a statement: “This is the first example of publicly available empirical evidence about the use of the CTU Code made by forwarders, shippers and others responsible for safe packing. Notwithstanding the regional focus of this particular survey, we believe the results to be genuinely encouraging, showing that good operational management, efficiency, and safety are partners, not opposites.”

To make the CTU Code easier to understand and use, the Group created a quick guide and a customizable checklist. These resources, in all six United Nations languages and Italian, aim to simplify the process and promote wider adherence to the guidelines