Free songs
We turn SHERQ problems into possibilities!

What can go wrong?

comment : 0

TAPA TFR security regulations  –

-           If a load is of high value, a special GPS built-in lock can be used to seal the container, it could also be placed inside the container, be used to lock doors on road and rail trucks etc.  Depending on the make, it could be so sturdy it cannot be opened, and should a cutting torch be used, it will send out a distress signal alerting the owner and/or security company monitoring it, that it is being tampered with, while withstanding a cutting torch for about an hour.

Containers – examples could be;

-          As covered above, bags not tied down correctly moved while on rough seas, when the ships crane moved it off deck the load moved even more, then shaken on the road or rail wagon and when finally reaching its destination, if not opened using the door as a shield, bags could fall out seriously injuring the person opening the doors.

-          Chemicals in containers, not tied down correctly, could fall over and leak causing major damage depending on what kind of chemical it is, even contaminating product in other containers stacked below it.

-          Containers, if not properly lifted could suffer structural damage, especially if inexperience stevedores lift it with incorrectly placed chains and slings and not a fit for purpose spreader.

Refrigerated containers – examples could be;

-          The most frequent problem is excessive delays between being disconnected from land electricity supply until it is reconnected to the ships electrical supply, resulting in it losing its temperature integrity.  Under normal conditions this should not compromise the product but it could if the delay is excessive.

-          In some cases the ship experience an electrical supply problem that will go undetected for a day or so, to a specific bank of refrigerated containers or a particular one and in most cases this will result in the product integrity being compromised.

-          Refrigerated containers at the back of road trucks have a similar problem and drivers are requested to stop every two hours to check the refrigeration unit’s temperature and if a problem is detected, it must be sorted out as a matter of urgency, regardless of the time of day.

-          In certain countries refrigerated containers will not be transported by rail because of the inability to guarantee constant and effective electricity supply to the refrigerated units.

ISO tainers –examples could be;

-          As covered above, electro-static is an important factor when transporting flammables and if the static ‘jumps’ between the ISO tainer and its receiving vessel, the spark could be sufficient to start a flash fire, depending on the situation, consequently remember to earth the vessel!

-          Another example, although offloading valves are very well protected, something might cause them to sheer off, resulting in chemicals coming into contact with other types of containers not able to withstand the chemical reaction, resulting in a major chemical reaction which could be difficult to control.

-          ISO tainers are normally very sturdy and its structure protects the barrel carrying the chemical, but it can be damaged under the same conditions as mentioned under containers.

Cylinders – example could be;

-          Chlorine gas is dangerous and normally transported in either ISO tainers, 1T barrels in cradles on a flat deck or rail truck or in little 35kg ‘Norris’ cylinders.  In each of these examples the valves are very protected but accidents do happen.  One that comes to mind:  1T barrels fell off a flat deck during a road accident, the barrels bounced around and a valve or two were severed, some gas escaped but the internal valve closed preventing all the gas from leaking out.

Road Transport – example could be;

-          As covered above, road accidents due to vehicle not being road worthy or the driver not being competent.

-          In many cases speeding down a downhill in the wrong gear will result in too many brake applications, reducing the air in the tanks / overheating / binding the brakes etc., resulting in an accident or a tyre fire.

-          Incorrectly stacked or incorrectly secured loads will unload itself around a bend because of gravity and other forces.

-          Tankers roll over because of the need for liquid to always maintain its level and if an inexperienced driver is given a tanker load without getting the feel for the surge, he/she is bound to have a roll over.  Once the back tyres lift as little as 200mm off the ground, the center of gravity will do the rest and the tanker will roll.  In most cases it will eventually also roll the truck-tractor, depending on the type and condition of the 5th wheel.  In many such cases, the tanker will rupture and the load will spill into a farmer’s dam, river or underground water course.  A very expensive environmental clean-up process.

-          Powder loads could also be flammable, depending on the type of product and the amount of oxygen present during the blowing/sucking process.

-          In certain countries curtain side trailers are not being used to transport commodity goods because of pilferage during transport and at overnight stops.

-          Fuel is another commodity that is being stolen in certain countries and many measures have been put in place, not only are valves sealed they are constant monitoring and controlled via GPS and if tampered with, will send out an alert.

-          Driving hours – Although some countries do have legislation governing driving hours, it is not the norm and as mentioned above, certain truck owners will incentivize their drivers per km travelled, so drivers will drive up to 18h a day, or longer, over long distances, in order to earn extra money.  This practice will result in fatigue and a road accident, without a doubt, it is just a matter of time until the driver can no longer control his fatigue, involuntary closes his eyes and have an accident.


Rail transport – Some examples could be;

-          As discussed above, wagons can derail due to excessive speed around bends, points not set correctly, or the sharp flanges of poorly maintained  wagon wheels forcing the points open, or simply lack of communication between the loco driver and the shunter resulting in the load being pushed past the stop blocks at the end of the rail.

-          Goods inside containers can get damaged due to fly-shunting where the loco rams the wagons at high speed resulting in them all coupling up simultaneously.

-          Product such as sugar cannot be transported by rail in certain countries because when the train stops at a red signal, people will force the valves open to take some sugar and then be unable or not interested to close the valve again, resulting in the sugar being spilled along the tracks and an empty  tanker arriving at its destination.

-          Chemical tankers should undergo extreme testing to ensure it is safe but in many countries this is not the case and tankers will leak through cracks / pin-holes etc. resulting in unsafe conditions alongside the rail track.

-          Locomotive drivers are not allowed to work more than 15h a day in most countries and strict controls are enforced.

Air transport – Examples could be;

-          If the airline does not take caution, chemicals sensitive to pressure / altitude could be transported resulting in an un-favourable chemical reaction taking place at high altitude such as was suspected in the case of  with the Helderberg passenger plane that crashed near Mauritius in the early 70’s

-          Lack of oxygen could also cause certain chemical reactions to take place, depending on the containers in which the chemicals are packed.

-          Pilots are not allowed to incur excessive flying hours and their schedules are well managed in general.

Sea transport – Examples could be;

-          Container ships can lose their containers in rough seas if it is not correctly secured.

-          Crude oil carriers normally cause huge pollution problems when their hull integrity is compromised.  Although their hulls are compartmentalized, it is still a huge volume of crude oil that is released into the ocean within a couple of hours.

-          Captains are not allowed to incur excessive duty hours but it does happen when he has to be on deck while the habour pilot is taking his ship into the habour to dock and depending on the weather/sea/harbour conditions, this could increase his duty hours excessively for that day.

If you think we could help contact us at

About the Author

Leave a Reply


captcha *