IACS Introduces New Standards to Enhance Cargo Securing on Container Ships

In response to growing concerns surrounding the increasing number of containers lost at sea in recent years, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has taken proactive measures by adopting two new Unified Requirements (UR) aimed at bolstering the cargo securing arrangements of container ships.

Container ships, the backbone of global trade, facilitate the transportation of goods across vast distances. However, ensuring the safe transport of cargo presents unique challenges, particularly in terms of stowage and securing of containers onboard vessels. To address this, IACS has introduced UR C6 and UR C7, marking a significant step towards safer shipping practices.

UR C6, titled ‘Requirements for Lashing Software’, mandates the use of lashing software for all seagoing dedicated container ships. This software serves as a critical tool in optimizing cargo securing arrangements, reducing the risk of container shifting and potential loss during transit. By establishing harmonized performance standards and requirements, UR C6 aims to enhance consistency and reliability in the implementation of lashing software, ultimately promoting safer shipping practices.

Mr. Robert Ashdown, the Secretary General of IACS, commented on the adoption of UR C6 and C7, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to maritime safety. He stated, “With the adoption of UR C6 and C7, IACS further demonstrates its commitment to the safety and reliability of container ship operations, mitigating the risk of accidents and cargo loss, and thus enhancing maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment.”

In conjunction with UR C6, IACS has also developed and adopted UR C7, titled ‘Approval and Certification of Container Securing Systems’. This requirement mandates minimum standards for the approval and certification of container securing systems, covering fixed and portable container securing fittings, arrangement plans, drawings of container supporting structures, and cargo safe access plans.

Both UR C6 and C7 will be uniformly implemented by IACS Member Societies on ships contracted for construction on or after July 1, 2025. These standards signify a proactive approach by the maritime industry to enhance safety measures, protect cargo, and safeguard the personnel onboard container ships.

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