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Sunday, August 1, 2021

A ground and a road in Mumbai- 'improper cooperage' !!

Packing deficiency  is an important exculpatory exclusion in Institute Cargo Clauses [1982] which reads : Loss, damage or expense caused by insufficiency or unsuitability of packing or preperation of the subject matter insured – ever heard of ‘improper cooperage’ ! and its relevance in Marine Cargo Insurance ?

The Cooperage Football Ground is an association football stadium located in the city of Mumbai, India. It is currently used primarily for football matches and is the home stadium of Air India FC and ONGC FC. .. .. name origin not known !

Camellia sinensis (may not sound a bell) is an evergreen plant that grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates.  .. .. it is Tea plant !  Tea plants are propagated from seed or by cutting; it takes approximately 4 to 12 years for a tea plant to bear seed, and about 3 years before a new plant is ready for harvesting. In addition to warm(er) zone, tea plants require at least 127 cm. (50 inches) of rainfall a year and prefer acidic soils. Many high-quality tea plants are cultivated at elevations of up to 1.500 metres: at these heights, the plants grow more slowly and acquire a better flavour.

Moving away, in Apr 6, 2012 – 19.4 a debutant for Rajasthan Royals, Kevon Cooper smacked James Faulkner  over thirdman for a six off the very first ball he faced in IPL – he returned to haunt Kings X1 with figures of 4-0-26-4 – he was not man of the match !  

Would have seen ‘mini-cooper’ luxury cars on the road.  The Cooper Car Company is a British car manufacturer founded in  1947 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began by building racing cars in Charles's small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England.   Through the 1950s and early 1960s they reached motor racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars competed in both Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and their Mini Cooper dominated rally racing. The Cooper name lives on in the Cooper versions of the Mini production cars that are built in England, but is now owned and marketed by BMW.

The word ‘Cooper’ denotes profession – the noun denotes a  person who makes or repairs casks, barrels, etc.  The verb form would mean :  to make or repair (casks, barrels, etc.).

The word "cooper" is derived from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German kūper 'cooper' from kūpe 'cask', in turn from Latin cupa 'tun, barrel'. Everything a cooper produces is referred to collectively as cooperage. A cask is any piece of cooperage containing a bouge, bilge, or bulge in the middle of the container. A barrel is a type of cask, so the terms "barrel-maker" and "barrel-making" refer to just one aspect of a cooper's work. The facility in which casks are made is also referred to as a cooperage. In much the same way as the trade or vocation of smithing produced the common English surname Smith and the German name Schmidt, the cooper trade is also the origin of the English name Cooper.

Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden, staved vessels, held together with wooden or metal hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. Examples of a cooper's work include casks, barrels, buckets, tubs, butter churns, vats, hogsheads, firkins, tierces, rundlets, puncheons, pipes, tuns, butts, troughs, pins and breakers. Traditionally, a hooper was the man who fitted the wooden or metal hoops around the barrels or buckets that the cooper had made, essentially an assistant to the cooper. The English name Hooper is derived from that profession. With time, many coopers took on the role of the hooper themselves.

Read something interesting in Lloyds Survey Handbook first published in 1952.

Without careful moisture and temperature control during manufacture and packaging, the tea may become unfit for consumption, due to the growth of undesired molds and bacteria. At minimum it may alter the taste and make it undesirable. Tea is traditionally classified based on the techniques with which it is produced and processed:

Improper cooperage  :  Additional losses of weight can be sustained as a result of rough handling and improper cooperage in transit. When packages are coopered in the country of origin and at ports of shipment these are known as ‘Country Coopered Packages’. Those packages coopered on arrival at destination are known as ‘Dock Coopered Packages’. To ascertain where chests have been coopered the difference in the method and the material used for coopering is a guide. Often paper is placed between the damaged portion of the chest panel and the repair patch. The type of paper, which is usually newsprint, is also a guide for this purpose. Damage may occur for the following reasons:

•        Pallets banding is insufficient to hold packages as a rigid unit.

•        Pallets of poor design and/or quality cause collapse under strain in stow and during handling.

•        Chests of 8-batten construction which have depleted structural strength, causing chests to collapse under pressure with banded units becoming slack.

That is all about Marine Cargo – and type of damage – ‘improper cooperage’ – which too was perhaps another exclusion, though not specifically found in ICC clauses. 

Another search revealed that there is ‘Cooperage Road’ in Mumbai.  Quietly making its way from Ambedkar Chowk near the High Court to Nathalal Parekh Road, lies the unassuming Cooperage Road in Colaba. This modest looking street gets its name from an institution just as modest. Samuel T Shepherd’s book, Bombay Place Names and Street Names, describes Cooperage merely as “a shed that coopers work in”. “Coopers were the men who made wooden drums or barrels for the shipping industry. Earlier, that entire area was called Wellington Lines, and later got its current name from the cooperage activities taking place nearby,” says historian Deepak Rao. Till 1742, these activities took place in the Dockyard itself. Due to space constraints, the cooperage then moved to a hired warehouse at the Waters Edge until 1781, when the government “resolved to erect a proper shed at the Apollo Ground for the reception of the King’s provisions.”

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th June 2021. 

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