December 12 - The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has welcomed steps taken by international trade associations to bring about the full adoption of the CTU Code.

The CTU Code is a code of practice for packing cargo transport units, such as containers. The governing body of the International Labour Association (ILO) endorsed the CTU Code during its latest session; following the lead of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECE), which both endorsed the code of practice during 2014.

FIATA thinks that the new code of practice should be embraced and recognised globally. Although the code in itself is not mandatory, it is FIATA's view that the CTU Code could also be used as a reference base for national regulations and could become a model for internationally harmonised legislation in this field.

Robert Keen - director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) and chairman of FIATA's Multimodal Transport Institute - says that all freight forwarders should know of this publication and all staff should be made aware: "Many of us remember the TT Club video 'Any fool can stuff a container' and the catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong. The negative impact of a staff member not following these guidelines could be immense."

Jens Roemer, chairman of FIATA's Working Group Sea Transport stated that FIATA strongly encourages all association members to create awareness with their individual members. "The professional lashing and securing of transport units (such as containers) is as important as the declaration of the actual weight," Roemer commented.

Keen added: "The CTU Code is intended to assist the industry, employers' and workers' organisations in training their staff on the safe stowage of cargo in containers and to provide a global reference base for cargo insurance contracts."