At its Annual Headquarters Session, held in Zurich, on March 28th, the FIATA Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) released its Best Practices Guide on Container Shipping and the Quality of Containers. This is MTI 2nd Volume of Best Practices being the first related to demurrage and detention.

The FIATA Working Group Sea Transport has produced this second Guide to assist both FIATA National Associations and their individual Member freight forwarders.

FIATA Working Group Sea noticed that the quality of containers provided by shipping lines in global container shipping has decreased significantly. One has to come to the conclusion that shipping lines are cutting cost in the maintenance of their equipment.

Whilst there are clear obligations for the shipping lines to provide empty containers that are “fit for purpose”, the quality of containers released by container depots (usually subcontracted by shipping lines) are often not acceptable and there are practical considerations that frequently lead to disputes, additional costs and above all to disruptions and consequent delays in the supply chain.

Similar to the first best practise guide, this document aims to examine the current situation and outline best practices that could be implemented voluntarily by all parties moving cargo through ports. These best practices may help reduce inefficient behaviour that lead to delays and unnecessary supply chain costs.

Mr Jens Roemer, Chairman of the Working Group Sea, of the Multimodal Transport Institute, of FIATA, and one of the authors of this Best Practice said: “The objective of FIATA is to recommend “best practices” that should be considered by commercial partners in their relations and dealings. We are convinced this will be a helpful tool to the national associations and to the freight forwarders on their daily business.”