Available Modules

Marine Learning Overview

Make the best use of the resources on this website and get started with an overview of the Marine Learning programme, guidelines on how to navigate the website, online learning advice and where to get help or share your comments with the team.

Module 1 / What is Logistics?

Logistics is defined as the commercial activity of transporting goods to customers. As background to the Marine Learning programme this module examines logistics in the context of container transport and handling - in other words, getting cargo from A to B.

Module 2 / Introduction to Containers

For thousands of years, goods have been transported by sea as part of international trade. However, the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Portuguese, Spanish, and even early British did not have the efficient cargo shipping system that we have today. In fact, our modern cargo shipping system is a relatively recent development. This module provides an overview of the history of shipping containers and its impact on globalisation.

Module 3 / Vehicle Suitability & Inspection

The starting point for safe and successful road transport of containers is to ensure that heavy goods vehicles are both suitable and are well inspected and maintained. In this way we reduce operational inefficiency and increase speed, safety and profitability when transporting and handling containersThis module provides an overview of some of the important consignor / consignee and driver responsibilities, including personal protective equipment, vehicle condition and carrying load limits.

Module 4 / Container Suitability & Inspection

There are many different types of containers - in this module we review the different types of containers and how to inspect a container to ensure that the chosen container is the most cost effective and offers the highest protection for your cargo.

Module 5 / Forklift Inspection

Forklifts are involved in 25% of all workplace transport accidents – this is often due to poor supervision and inadequate training. This module covers basic quality and common sense checks to make sure that your forklift vehicle is in good working order, keeping you safe as you go about your daily work.

Module 6 / Safe Forklift Operation

All operators should have the basic skills and knowledge to operate a forklift safely and efficiently. This module includes the principles and controls of a forklift and how this impacts its use on the job

Module 7 / Understanding Cargo Markings and Shipping Marks

Specific marking and labeling is used on export shipping cartons and containers to meet shipping regulations, ensure proper handling, conceal the identity of the contents, and help receivers identify shipments. In this module we cover the common cargo markings and shipping marks.

Module 8 / Packing Planning

Containers should be packed and secured in order not to become a liability for the transporter, the people handling the container or the vessel. There have been many accidents, damage to equipment and even lives lost due to incorrect planning and packing of containers. In this module we will look at some of the preplanning that should be done as well as the important aspects of safely packing a container.

Module 9 / Understanding Forces on Containers and their Contents

It is vital to understand the forces on containers and how these influence the container and its contents whilst being transported. In this module we will examine the main areas where forces arise so that we can understand why correct packing and securing is so important.

Module 10 / Securing

Properly securing cargo ensures that the load stays in its intended position and minimises the risk of damage to the cargo, container, other cargo or even the vehicle or ship. This module looks at some of the general rules for securing cargo as well as some of the common types of securing aids available. 

Module 11 / Loading Bulk Materials

Most of the cargo transported worldwide is in bulk form - this is cargo that cannot be bagged and is carried loose. This module focuses on loading high density, low density and liquid bulk cargo.

Module 12 / Closing & Sealing

This module deals with the final stage of packing a container - that is the closing and sealing of the container doors by a responsible person; as well as the placing of a customs seal in the proper position

Module 13 / Fumigation

Carrying out fumigation at the port of loading means that clearance of the container at the discharge port can be done without any infestation problem.This module provides an overview of the various forms of fumigation, types of fumigants, as well as International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15).

Module 14 / Ventilation

Ventilation of containers is important to reduce and prevent high moisture levels and condensation inside of shipping containers. The aim of this is to lessen the damage done to goods and equipment shipped in these containers due to condensation and water damage.

Module 15 / Packaging

Throughout the entire container logistic chain and handling system, packaging can be either an aid or a hindrance. In this module we review what packaging is as well as some useful resources to choose the best packaging for your needs. 

Module 16 / Moving Containers Safely

Everyone in logistics is likely to work with containers on a daily basis. It is everyone's  responsibility to be aware and implement safe container transport and handling standards to prevent accidents and reduce risks. This module covers handling, lifting, stacking, securing and transporting containers. 

Module 17 / How did they get inside my container without breaking the seal?

Even with the correct planning and due diligence, loss from theft of cargo may still occur or contraband or stowaways inserted into your container. This short module provides guidelines on what to look out for. 

Module 18 / Opening a Container Safely

Common sense measures are important to protect both yourself and the important contents in the containers that you open. This module examines what we can do to ensure that we always open containers safely. 

Module 19 / Understanding the SOLAS Verified Gross Mass Regulation in a South African Context

In order to address safety problems at sea and on shore arising from container shipments that have incorrect weight declarations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. In this module we examine South African VGM and SOLAS regulations.

Module 20 / Determining the Weight of Packed Items for VGM

The mis-declaration of container weights presents a major hazard which has often resulted in cargo claims, structural damage to vessels or handling equipment, as well as a risk to the lives of crew and shore-side staff. In this module we look at how a shipper in South Africa should go about determining the weight of their packed container.

Module 21 / Understanding Shipping Documents

Shipping documents are legal documents that are utilised in the process of transporting goods from one location to another, both domestically and internationally.  Shipping documents play an important role in protecting all parties involved. In this module we review all the common shipping documents you may encounter. 

Module 22 / An Introduction to Ships : World Facts

Shipping is often called the lifeblood of the world’s economy since over 90% of goods are shipped around the world everyday. Shipping has created a globalised economy, making trade possible all over the world and directly affecting our daily life and consumption choices. In this module, we will look at some interesting facts about ships and the shipping industry.

Module 23 / Introduction to Ports & Terminals

Ports and terminals are imperative in the management and smooth running of ships. In this module we look at different types of ports and then focus on South African ports. In addition we will learn about terminals and terminal operators.

Module 24 / An Introduction to Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance is protection against loss or damage provided to ships, boats and; importantly, the cargo that is carried in them. Marine Insurance covers all goods being transported, whether by road, sea or air. In this module, we will take a closer look at Marine Insurance and some of its various components.

Module 25 / Introduction to Maritime Law

If you’re involved in import and export then the odds are that sooner or later you will become involved in a legal matter. In this module, we take a look at Maritime Law in South Africa, we also look at a brief history of South African Maritime Law, at the Maritime Law Association of South Africa (MLA), and The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). 

Module 26 / What is P&I?

Due to the risks involved in transporting cargo, Protection and Indemnity Insurance ("P&I Insurance") specialist coverage is available for ships and other floating structures. This insurance provides protection from liabilities incurred due to damage to environment and property as well as loss of life. In this module we examine the importance of P&I Insurance and the P&I Insurers available. 


All the most important words and phrases are hyperlinked throughout this website and available in our handy Marine Learning Glossary