Major shipping carriers join forces with the technology Safetytech Accelerator which is focused on safety and risk, to improve the safety of cargo at sea.

Evergreen Line, HMM, Maersk, the Offen Group, ONE (Ocean Network Express), and Seaspan as anchor Partners, some of the world’s biggest maritime cargo carriers, are joining forces with the world’s first industrial safety technology accelerator, to launch a new innovation initiative to reduce cargo fires and losses overboard. Lloyd’s Register, is also a partner in this initiative, with the aim to find and advance technology innovations from across maritime and other industrial sectors, to reduce the incidence, and impact of cargo fires or cargo loss overboard.

The scale and breadth of the challenges facing operators is growing and continues to evolve. These include, through the increasing carriage of lithium-ion batteries either in containers or within electric vehicles on car-carriers, and the increasing growth in complexity, and size of modern container vessels.

The Safetytech Accelerator Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative (CFLII) is a collaborative technology  acceleration program, that will help tackle the issue  through shaping joint requirements, identifying  technology solutions, undertaking carefully designed trials, and developing best practices and recommendations.

The initiative has a broad scope encompassing three significant topics of concern. The first relates to onboard cargo control, including whether cargo has been properly, loaded, secured and monitored during transit. The second area covers the ability to detect fire onboard, and stop its spread through effective onboard response, particularly on large container ships and car-carriers. The third relates to the challenges created by the increasing scale of vessels.

Eliminating cargo fire and loss is a big challenge in the maritime industry and while accidents are thankfully infrequent, their impact can be extremely large, highlighted the Managing Director of Safetytech Accelerator, Maurizio Pilu.

The Head of Marine Standards & DPA of Maersk, Aslak Ross, said, “The safety of our people is always of highest importance. Reducing the risk of cargo fires is accordingly a key priority for Maersk and the industry at large. The main root cause for cargo fires on only be improved container ships, is the integrity of dangerous goods throughout the supply chain. Therefore it is a problem that can through industry wide solutions, and for that reason we are a strong believer in sharing of learnings across the industry to improve safety. The Safetytech Accelerator Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative, is a good platform to bring stakeholders together, to find new effective solutions to the problem of cargo fires.”

The President of Evergreen Line, Eric Hsieh, said, “We are committed to talent training to help provide a safe, high quality working environment for our seaman. By participating in an enterprise such as the Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative, we aim to work closely with all stakeholders to guard the safety of container shipping transportation.”

Global Containerships Segment Director at Lloyd’s Register (LR), and Chair of the Maritime Cargo Fire and Loss Initiative, Nick Gross said, “We’re excited to start this initiative, working alongside the Anchor Partners to trial, and adopt innovative technology for the prevention of cargo fires onboard, thus helping to make container shipping a safer operation. From LR side, the objective of the initiative resonates with our mandate to improve the safety of ships and crew, as well as protect the marine ecosystem. We believe it is vital to work together to tackle the increasing risk of cargo fires onboard container ships.”