Posts

Upgraded BoxTech to Track Lost and Stolen Containers

Containers that have been sold or are lost or stolen, or tied up in a bankruptcy case, can now be easily identified via new features in a nonprofit database, known as BoxTech, the  Journal of Commerce reports.

The database was launched in July 2016  by  the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) includes information on more than 30 percent of the global container fleet.  One new function allows owners to indicate  when containers have been sold. The This will help  shippers to avoid problems stemming from the inadvertent use of a container that has changed hands or otherwise has a “special status,” such as being part of a bankruptcy.

A second new feature, called a “recovery alerts system,” enables users to create a list of containers of interest that are then searched in the database to see they are involved in a bankruptcy situation, or are lost or stolen. Users that search the database for a specific containers will be alerted if  has been sold and is no longer part of a company’s fleet.

Users can also do an increased number of queries on the database, as a result of the implementation of new application programming interfaces (APIs), BIC said. These include increased automation of the process by which container owners update their information and others that enable users to search the database by rate weight, size and type, maximum ross mass and other characteristics.

Initially the BoxTech was introduced to help shippers meet the demands of the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations, which requires shippers to submit the weight of any container being shipped before it is loaded onto a vessel.

Some shipping lines like, Maersk Line and CMA-CGM are already using the new tools. Both lines have uploaded their entire global container fleets to the database and are now flagging units whenever they are sold.

Additonal Measures to Improve Searfarers’ Working Conditions Adopted

The European Commission has adopted a proposal by its maritime social partners to improve the working conditions of seafarers on board EU-flagged vessels by updating the agreement of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), commonly referred to as the ‘seafarers bill of rights‘.

The MLC 2006 sets minimum requirements to improve seafarers’ working and living conditions including recruitment and placement practices, conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, repatriation, annual leave, payment of wages, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, occupational safety and health, medical care, onshore welfare services and social protection.

The proposal transforms an agreement between social partners in the maritime transport sector into EU law, according to the World Maritime News.

The proposal will ensure that seafarers are better protected against abandonment in foreign ports in the future, and will strengthen their rights to compensation in the event of death or long-term disability due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard.

Additionally, the proposal will improve seafarers’ protection in the event of abandonment, including when the ship owner fails to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months, or when the ship owner has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance and support to execute ship operations.

Furthermore, the proposal will also improve the mechanisms by which compensation is provided. This will make the payment of claims quicker and easier, which will help avoid the long delays in payment and red tape that seafarers or their families frequently encounter in case of abandonment or in case of death or long-term disability.

The European Maritime Social Partners warmly welcomed the EC’s adoption of the proposal.