CINS - Cargo Information Notification System
CINSnet is a database set up in 2011 by five of the world’s biggest container lines to share information on cargo related incidents. It went live in September 2011, after successfully completing its pilot stage.
CINSnet has been funded by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) organisation, a collaboration which began in November 2010 between founder members CMA-CGM, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company.
Increasing numbers of carriers and ship operators from across the maritime industry are now joining as members of the organisation, to work together with the aim of reducing the number of accidents caused by problems including poorly stowed cargo, incorrect packaging or inaccurate weight declaration. Membership has now grown to 24 members of CINS.
The objective of the CINS organisation is to highlight risks posed by certain cargoes and/or packing failures in order to improve safety in the liner shipping industry. This is done by capturing and analysing information within the CINSnet database, looking for specific incidents which may require immediate action or assessing incident trends. Once areas of concern become apparent they can be addressed to relevant authorities to formulate appropriate recommendations or advice, such as amendments to the IMDG Code. This may include advice on training issues on the packing and securing of cargo in containers.
The main components of CINSnet are incident/ bulletin reporting and searching. The original idea was to focus on hazardous freight, but the CINSnet will now cover all incidents that involve cargoes. Rather than restrict the aims of CINSnet, the founder members have decided to let the scheme evolve in whatever direction seems appropriate. Membership can be extended to the non-container sectors, with interest already expressed by some bulker and ro-ro ship operators who can also see the benefit of CINSnet as a valuable risk management tool. For any clear pattern emerging that could require regulatory intervention, the lines will now have the hard facts to support their claims and no longer have to rely on anecdotal evidence when presenting their case.
CINS members anticipate that, over time, the database will also reveal how widespread unsafe practices are in the industry. Information which can be used to press for better advice and training, as well as legislative changes. The companies have worked together to share information on any cargo related incidents, near misses or accidents. The resulting information has been collected on the ‘pilot’ CINS database and used to identify trends and reduce risk.
After initial tests, CINS is already delivering results. The collated statistics give clear indications of high risk areas as well as highlighting how ship owners should act in future to reduce risk, make container shipping safer and ensure cargo arrives at its destination in one piece.
Policies using the information have been formulated, a code of conduct has been drawn up and the online database is now fully functional, with incident notification messages being shared between members and risk analysis conducted as a result. The TT Club and the International Group of P&I Clubs have acted as advisory members of the CINS network and the Container Owners Association is acting as a neutral host for the database.
The CINS secretariat selected Exis Technologies to develop CINSNET (Cargo Incident Notification Systems Network), the database, report processing and network functionality that drives the CINS project.
The five founding members of the CINS network agree that a quest for quality is at the heart of this initiative. This is in terms of improved service delivery, ensuring the cargo arrives in sound condition on time but also improving the way in which all parties in the maritime industry carry out their obligations and communicate. CINS will significantly enhance the safety of cargo carriage in the supply chain and reduce the risk to people involved, assets and the environment.
During the last CINS Council meeting, held in the Head Quarters of CMA-CGM in Marseille on the 23 & 24 May 2012, the following decisions were taken:
- Better communication between carriers, especially to avoid difficulties within Vessel Slot Charter Agreements.
- Creation of the corrected IFTMBF and IFTMBC message with all members.
- Standardisation of the CINS data reporting or the CINS Data Handling Codex.
- Working out the first 10 Joint Safety Procedures
- Distribution of counterfeit pesticide information together with the chemical industry
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Cargo Information Notification System Updates