The Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative is calling for innovators to come forward with solutions for early-stage fire detection. It is one of the most important issues in the drive to mitigate container loss.

The Cargo Fire & Loss Innovation Initiative (CFLII), a technology acceleration initiative to reduce cargo fires and losses overboard, is asking technology providers to come forward to solve the issue of fire detection in cargo holds.

Launched in February this year by Safetytech Accelerator, the programme comprises Lloyd’s Register, Seaspan, Evergreen Line, HMM, Maersk, the Offen Group and ONE and was established with the aim of reducing cargo loss at sea by shaping joint requirements, identifying technology solutions, undertaking carefully designed trials and developing best practices and recommendations.

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Improved fire-detection needed

Following extensive knowledge sharing among the group, the need for improved fire-detection systems in container cargo holds has been identified as the most pressing area of focus. Early fire detection, or identifying a fire-risk prior to ignition, is critically important to minimise the likelihood of a large-scale fire, therefore advancing successful containment without the creation of significant loss and any associated marine impact.

The Initiative is therefore calling on technology companies to come forward with suitable solutions in early-stage fire detection for cargo holds. This open call is looking for low-cost, robust solutions with the appropriate form factors to operate in the cargo-hold environment. Interested technology companies should outline how the proposed solutions will deliver these requirements.

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Initial analysis carried out by Safetytech Accelerator shows that the opportunities for advancing potential solutions to solve this are substantial. According to this non-profit, these technologies are maturing in terms of both cost and effectiveness to make an impact.

Rich McLoughlin, Head of Maritime Engagement and CFLII Programme Director at Safetytech Accelerator says: ‘There is a real need to understand how technology can help container operators minimise fire risk. Although we are seeing incredible efforts being made by industry in other areas – such as screening for the mis-declaration and non-declaration of dangerous goods – there continues to be fire risks associated with commonly shipped container cargoes. The Initiative has identified this as a key area of interest, and we are keen to push the boundaries on current practice.’

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