Unreported Container Damage: How to achieve fewer claims in Container Terminals
| Written by Mark Buzinkay
The efficiency of terminal operations depends on whether supply and demand can be adequately planned and handled. A big part of this process is asset management and scheduling. It relays on accurate and up to date information on all your assets. This can be almost impossible if unscheduled breakdowns or damages get out of control.
If you want to learn how to get rid of unreported damages, turn data into insights and operate your container terminal to its fullest potential.
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Container terminals operate on a 24/7 basis, so the demand for availability is exceptionally high (read more about container terminal planning). In addition, container terminals are inherently associated with a potential safety risk, with vehicles and heavy equipment operating close and under time constraints. Collisions are not only dangerous but also associated with high damage claims.
As the terminal is obligated to keep the cargo under their care in the same good order and condition in which it was in upon receiving, they are aware of the potential costs inflicted by damaged goods. Damaged containers are unseaworthy and must be repaired, and damaged goods must be replaced or paid for.
As we all strive for a safe workplace and environment. We apply rules, standards, and processes to improve and establish a safety culture to raise awareness and eliminate sources of incidents.
Unfortunately, many container terminals still suffer from damaged containers and assets. It makes it worse when the damage is unreported – sometimes, there are dangerous situations with a lucky end, most of the time. Eventually, it will disrupt container terminal operations because unreported damages will materialise when you least expect them: A machine's sudden breakdown, an unseaworthy container, a broken power cable to a reefer – incidents of potentially significant effects for the operations planner and the ship's schedule.
One reason for sudden disruptions is unreported incidents. In this article, we are not discussing why the workforce or parts of it won't report damages; on the contrary, we are looking into ways to learn about unreported damages, investigate raised claims, and contain the damage before it worsens. In addition, we want to raise awareness that drivers must report every incident.
Tracking unreported damages can be pretty challenging; reviewing, collecting, and analysing historical data from various sources is labour-intensive, time-consuming - and prone to errors. Often made impossible due to the lack of available and accurate data.
To investigate unreported damages, you need objective, rich data. With a solution like Terminal Tracker that interacts with your TOS, you get the following:
Hassle-free drivers' access: Driver's credentials are stored and accessible 100% of the time to ensure only authorised personnel access equipment. There are no delays with logging in or out.
Driver identification: Drivers are automatically logged in/out and reported to the Terminal Operating System. Therefore, you have 100% traceability, increased responsibility, and accountability.
Shock detection: A shock detection device is mounted on each vehicle and will produce immediate feedback in response to excessive driving behaviours such as harsh acceleration, sudden braking, fast cornering or a potential collision.
Historical data: Historical data such as location, shock measurements, machine, driver's name, time are all available on a historical map. This makes it easier to track and identify damages within a minute.
Education: When it comes to workforce education, the best programs have real-life examples. It is imperative to share accurate and easily understandable data with your workforce. Instead of long boring presentations, it is much more valuable to create an environment where you can discuss specific topics that impact their work-life and safety with the crew.
For example, showing the data of "shock alarms/events" to the drivers and discussing the root cause of dangerous events has a way greater impact on their working behaviour than punishing them without explanation. Often, the operator might not even be aware of the danger they put themselves in, and articulate phrases like "We have always done it this way…", "I didn't realise…" or "No one ever told me this…". This is a golden opportunity to educate with data.
The employees must be given a chance to contribute to the cause by accepting responsibility and accountability for their actions. This can only be achieved if treated with trust and respect. Accurate data gives us credibility and makes it easier to initiate changes.
By involving your employees in health and safety briefings and discussions, you will be ensuring their wellbeing and the functioning of your organisation. Still, you will also be saving a lot of money in the process. This is because unreported damages will decrease with time.
Terminal Tracker turns data into insights
The efficiency of terminal operations depends on whether supply and demand can be adequately planned and handled (learn more about challenges of port automation). A big part of this process is asset management and scheduling. It relays on accurate and up to date information on all your assets. This can be almost impossible if unscheduled breakdowns or damages get out of control.