Cargo arriving ex Tianjin

Further to earlier notifications, you will be aware that there was a significant explosion on August 12th 2015 at a dangerous cargo storage warehouse near Tianjin terminal in China.

At the time, the media reported on the release of possible toxic chemicals within the area. Whilst authorities also indicated that the pollutants were contained and not at risk of spreading beyond the evacuated area, we have been seeking advice from local NZ authorities as to what action they recommend regarding the handling and use of goods upon arrival into New Zealand.

Please see to follow feedback that we have received from the Ministry of Health. We suggest that you review their recommendations and take the necessary precautions in handling any cargo that has shipped out of this area that may have been affected – both cargo shipped as LCL (Less Than Container Load) and FCL (Full Container Load).

“As you may be aware, recently there was a fire and number of explosions in a hazardous materials store at the port of Tianjin.

We sought advice from the World Health Organization on any potential public health issues of international concern.  World Health Organization officials advised that they contacted the China IHR National Focal Point but have not yet received further details.

Because it is likely vessels and/or goods will arrive in New Zealand from Tianjin Port, we have undertaken an assessment of the potential contaminants from the Tianjin explosions, based on the information we have seen about the substances involved. We have not been able to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information so this assessment is limited by these assumptions.

From various media and other reports we have seen, we understand that the chemicals involved in the explosions were calcium carbide, ammonium nitrate and possibly involving some cyanide products.  We have assumed that the fire and explosions were sufficient to produce intense heat etc to enable complete combustion. Based on these assumptions, we consider that almost all the substances will have reacted to form gases.  However, there may have been other substances involved in the fires and explosions, and there may have been contaminants entrained in the smoke and soot (such as asbestos), depending on building materials and other goods affected. We don't have information about the wind speed and direction, buildings and other materials involved in the incident, and so don't know whether this was likely and, if so, whether it may have affected vessels and goods that subsequently may arrive in New Zealand.

Based on this assessment, we suggest you reinforce your existing advice on use of PPE (including gloves) and personal hygiene, for people moving about on vessels or handling goods potentially contaminated from the explosions. However, we suggest you check with your occupational health and safety colleagues for specific advice about any potential workplace hazards since we are not experts in workplace health and safety.”

In terms of our FAK / groupage containers, our nominated unpack depots have confirmed that they will be undertaking the devan of these units. Whilst they will be taking the necessary precautionary measures during the handling and unpack process, you may also wish to seek independent verification that your goods are fit for purpose upon arrival.

Should you wish to arrange further analysis of your shipment, your local Mondiale Representative will be happy to assist with contact details of a recommended service provider to carry out supplementary testing on your behalf if required.

Should you require any additional information, please contact your Mondiale Representative.

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