Coast Guard mulls stowage standards
The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it is seeking comments from the public on methods for securing cargo in transport vehicles and freight containers in order to determine if a standardized approval, certification process or improved performance criteria for flexible strapping securing systems is needed.
“It has recently been brought to the Coast Guard’s attention that significant damage and shifting of packages has purportedly occurred in cargo transport units in which the cargo was secured with flexible strapping. There is a concern that without an approval process, certain flexible strapping systems could be used even though they may not adequately secure cargo when properly installed,” the Coast Guard explained in a notice published in the Federal Register.
The Coast Guard said “under current U.S. regulations and international codes, there is no certification or qualification standard for blocking, bracing, or for the use of strapping systems for securing cargo. Cargo must be secured to prevent shifting in any direction during transport.
“Packages of hazardous materials must be braced and dunnaged within a container so that they are not likely to be pierced or crushed and the materials must be in proper condition for transportation. Currently, the specific method for securing cargo is left to the discretion of the individual or company packing the container. The Coast Guard is considering whether there is a need for a standardized certification or approval process for cargo securing systems.”
Comments and related material must either be submitted on or before March 9. ' Chris Dupin