How we're helping you stay #BMSBfree
With stink bug season in full swing, here’s a run-down of the processes in place at both our terminals and onboard our vessels to help ensure your products arrive in Oceania BMSB-free.
Ensuring our customers products are delivered BMSB-free is a top priority for us. That’s why we only accept cargo for shipping to Oceania that has been certified according to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Ministry of Primary Industries regulations, and we continue to take additional measures to ensure that all products onboard our vessels are free of biosecurity risk, whether at our terminals, during transit and on arrival at the destination port
1. Preparations at terminals
We have several processes in place at our terminals to deal with the stink bug threat. These include hard stops to avoid non-treated products being placed onboard a vessel as well as ensuring cargo is well segregated to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Our global treatment facilities also provide a range of options to help ensure your products are delivered stink bug-free. Our terminal in Zeebrugge for example, has 7,900 square metres of fumigation and heat treatment facilities dedicated to treating cargo.
Continuous improvements mean we’re always looking at ways to streamline the process. At our stink bug fumigation and heat treatment centres in Baltimore and Zeebrugge, we’ve added insultation and replaced heaters and doors to make treatment more sustainable and efficient.
“When it comes to stink bugs, there is too much risk and potential cost for our customers and us to not be ahead of the game,” says Ivan Macho Iniesta, biosecurity and operational process manager.
2. Preparations on the vessel
Preparation for stink bugs doesn’t begin and end at the terminal, however. As Sunil Dhowan, head of port and cargo operations, Oceania, explains: “We need all legs of the logistics chain to manage biosecurity – from the customer’s factory and transport to the terminal and vessels themselves.”
The aim is always to deal with any bugs prior to the products being loaded onboard a vessel. But an extensive biosecurity management plan has also been developed to treat vessels before loading, which includes cleaning, inspections and insecticide spraying.
During transit, crew members conduct daily stink bug inspections on all cargo decks and vessels send ‘Daily Bug’ search reports via an online reporting system, which is tracked to ensure any BMSB activity is monitored. Vessel cargo holds are also fogged to rouse any remaining hibernating bugs so they can be dealt with prior to arrival in Oceania.
3. What happens in Australia and New Zealand?
“Before cargo is discharged in Oceania, insecticide spraying and fogging of decks takes place in transit ports to ensure no live bugs are present,” explains Dhowan.
A regulatory report is then provided to the authorities in Oceania, which is assessed before directions for berthing are issued. On arrival, quarantine inspectors carry out a thorough inspection before permission is given to allow products to be discharged.
“We have put contingency plans with certified treatment providers in place to deal with any incidents,” adds Dhowan.
Ultimately, when it comes to stink bug season, it pays to be prepared. By reviewing the prior season’s performance, enhancing our processes and introducing new technologies, we’re able to provide effective treatment while meeting the growing volume demands and needs of our customers.