London, 05.05.15 – ICHCA International, the NGO association for the global cargo handling industry, has just released a major new addition to its Briefing Pamphlet series. BP41 – Safe Handling and Operation of Platform Flats and Flatrack Containers provides detailed insight into the design of platform flats and flatrack containers, together with advice on best practice for operating these specialist container types. The new publication was written by container design and operations expert Bill Brassington, Deputy Chair of ICHCA’s ISP Technical Panel, which plays a key role in the association’s technical research and advice programme.

As highlighted recently by concerned parties including insurance company TT Club, poor container loading and handling is responsible for an alarmingly high percentage of incidents along the transport chain, leading to damage, loss, injuries and fatalities. The operation of platform flats and flatrack containers in particular require specialist knowledge and, in some cases, specialist handling equipment. These container types are generally used to carry oversize or project cargo which cannot be easily loaded into standard box type freight containers, or is too long, wide or high to fit. Examples discussed and illustrated in the new publication include vehicles such as cars, vans, coaches and tractors; cable reels; construction materials and equipment and more.

Comprehensively illustrated throughout, BP41 provides detailed loading, securing and lifting instructions for shippers, packers, ports, shipping and transport companies and other involved parties to ensure the safety of cargo, equipment and staff along the supply chain. As well as exploring the various designs of platform flats and flatracks, the publication offers detailed advice on loading, unloading and securing cargoes, lifting loaded and empty units and maintenance. Special chapters are devoted to loading/unloading and securing vehicles and to the practice of ‘nesting’, where multiple empty folded flatracks are stacked and transported as a single container unit.

“We are delighted to announce the release of this new publication from ICHCA’s ISP Technical Panel,” said Rachael White, head of ICHCA International’s secretariat. “As the voice of the global cargo handling industry, the expertise of our technical panel and wider membership places us in an ideal position to help raise safety awareness and standards across international cargo handling chains.”

BP41 – Safe Handling and Operation of Platform Flats and Flatrack Containers is part of a series of more than 90 publications produced by ICHCA International, mainly through the organisation’s ISP Technical Panel. The paper is free to download from ICHCA’s website for members of ICHCA International, and available to purchase by non-members. For more details, please contact: Rachael White, CEO Secretariat, ICHCA International | 0203 327 7560


Information for the media:

For more information on this release, including photographs, please contact Holly Thompson, Communications Officer at ICHCA International.

Tel: +44 (0)20 3327 7560 | Email:

About ICHCA International

Established in 1952, ICHCA International is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the safety, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and movement worldwide. ICHCA’s privileged NGO status enables it to represent its members, and the cargo handling industry at large, in front of national and international agencies and regulatory bodies, while its ISP Technical Panel provides best practice advice and develops publications on a wide range of practical cargo handling issues.

Operating through a series of national and regional chapters – including ICHCA Australia, ICHCA Japan and ICHCA Canarias/Africa (CARC) – plus Correspondence and Working Groups, ICHCA provides a focal point for informing, educating, lobbying and networking to improve knowledge and best practice across the cargo handling chain. |

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