An Overview of the International Shipping Standards

Published 11th July 2017

An Overview of the International Shipping Standards

Did you know that the international shipping industry makes up over 5% of the world’s trade? As seaborne trade continues to expand, stricter and more comprehensive regulations are put into place.

The safety of the shipping and transportation crew and the final consumers always comes first. The need for improved safety measures is why the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), established the International Shipping Standards, which serve as a guideline for international shipping and transport.

A Heavily Regulated Industry

The maritime shipping industry was one of the first industries in the world to adopt international standards. Due to the danger of being at sea, the shipping industry takes great care to minimise the loss of human lives and of property or equipment.

International shipping is a 380 billion dollar industry (USD), shipping over 6.1 thousand million tonnes of freight each year. It is important to safeguard this amount of investment, as it has a major effect on the global economy.

Several regulatory bodies oversee the international shipping industry, namely:

  • International Maritime Organisation (IMO) – Responsible for the safety of life at sea and the protection of marine environments.
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) – Responsible for the standards of labour for seafarers.
  • International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – Responsible for developing regulatory practices for maritime shipping.

All three agencies are part of the United Nations. The International Shipping Standards offer a detailed and comprehensive framework of technical regulations, which covers everything from proper ship construction, shipping, load limits, navigation, worker policies and much more.

Securing Cargo

One important aspect of the International Shipping Standards is the proper way to secure cargo. X-Pak provides a range of strapping toolkits and lashing systems designed to secure immense loads for transport.

It requires the use of durable lashing and strapping systems, which help protect the cargo during transport. Shipping containers will often feature various lashing rings or points all along the frame, as well as lugs on the top side rails. These loops provide an anchor for the cargo to secure it into place.

Workers must make sure to take the Safe Working Load and Maximum Pull Strength into account. This refers to the amount of stress that a lashing ring can accommodate. Safe working loads for lashing rings typically are at 3900 kg, though this can vary greatly. A good rule of thumb is to calculate the maximum securing load yourself just to make sure that you are not going over the limit.

Find quality lashings and strappings from X-Pak Global. For more information on our products, contact us today.