The ship’s manager’s (Yang Ming) cargo-planning process ashore did not ensure that the proposed container stowage plan complied with the stowage and lashing forces requirements of the ship's Cargo Securing Manual. Consequently, compliance with these requirements relied entirely on shipboard checks, made at a late stage, with limited options available for amendments without unduly impacting commercial operations.
The inclusion of lashing forces checks during the shore planning process is a practical means of reducing the risk of unsafe container stowage plans being presented to the ship at a late stage in the container shipping process. Familiarisation and training provided to shore planners should ensure that the outcomes of the lashing forces checks are understood and will allow effective action to be taken at an early stage. This provides assurance that container stowage plans presented to ships are as safe as practically possible.
Yang Ming advised the ATSB of the following safety action taken to address the shore planning safety issue: