Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Dangerous Goods in Maritime Transport: Assessment of Container Scanning as Means of Risk Mitigation

Martine Djuka1, Arto Niemi1, Nicola Wendt-Lucas1,a, Uwe Arens2 and Frank Sill Torres1

1Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany.

2Logistics Engineering and Management, Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Germany /EADDRESS/


Maritime accidents caused by misdeclared dangerous goods have resulted in significant losses over recent years. We study if the amount of these accidents could be reduced by scanning the cargo containers in a port before they are loaded to ship. A combination of methods was used to address this question. We present a summary of findings for our review of accidents caused by dangerous goods. We used this review as a basis for a risk assessment that consisted of risk identification and a failure mode and effect analysis. The operational implications of a scanner were further assessed using a single server queue model. This study considers a novel muon scanner technology that could mitigate the risk of accidental radiation exposure. The exact operational parameters of these scanners are not public. So, we performed a sensitivity analysis with different scanning parameters. Our results and conducted expert interviews show that scanning the containers can reduce the risk. However, this practice may create new operational challenges regarding managing detected misdeclared containers.

Keywords: Dangerous goods, Maritime transport, Container scanning, Risk assessment, FMEA, Single server queue model.

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