What method is used to tie/lock the containers ?

Trident
17th March 2009, 06:23
My time at sea was long before container ship,So I have often wondered what method is used to tie/lock the containers to the deck, we are always hearing of ship colliding with partially submerged containers that were lost during rough weather, while looking at some of the fully loaded container ships i cant help thinking how unstable they would be in rough weather.... Al

Fieldsy
17th March 2009, 10:10
My time at sea was long before container ship,So I have often wondered what method is used to tie/lock the containers to the deck, we are always hearing of ship colliding with partially submerged containers that were lost during rough weather, while looking at some of the fully loaded container ships i cant help thinking how unstable they would be in rough weather.... Al
There is a twist-lock apparatus that either fits into recesses between containers, or into recesses in decks/hatch lids.

You can see one here:

http://www.conpargroup.co.uk/marine-twistlock.html

WilliamH
17th March 2009, 19:00
I thought they tied them on with string.

trotterdotpom
18th March 2009, 00:51
That may be true. Pacific Adventurer lost 31 in a storm off Morton Island the other day - full of fertilizer and set to wreak havoc unfortunately.

John T.

Santos
18th March 2009, 00:52
Hasp and Padlock in my day, then a can opener when you lost the key (Jester)

Chris

Trident
18th March 2009, 03:14
"Fieldsy", Thanks for your reply I did know of the corner locks but thought they were mainly to secure them onto trucks, I can now see why so many are lost when they are stacked Three high with no other means of securing them.....Al

Trident
18th March 2009, 03:21
]

That may be true. Pacific Adventurer lost 31 in a storm off Morton Island the other day - full of fertilizer and set to wreak havoc unfortunately.

John T.

John T, Yes that incident is what induced me to ask the question, Probably string and padlocks as suggested by other members would have been as good/ useless......Al

Sister Eleff
18th March 2009, 13:48
Surely one of our inventive members can think of some device that has to be attached to all & every container so that they can be detected in some way.

Also, if the shipping companies were to be made responsible for losing them (afterall it is littering), there may be a money making business for an individual (or several) in locating lost containers. Just a thought!

Pilot mac
18th March 2009, 14:43
Trident,
every ship should have a lashing plan and this should detail all arrangements.On deck usually twistlocks and bridging pieces across the top.
Certain containers also have lashing bars from top corner to deck although I dont know what happens on particularly tall stacks ie 5 high.

regards
Dave.

Lancastrian
18th March 2009, 16:34
This is how it should be done -
http://www.lr.org/NR/rdonlyres/D2D7A97B-FC46-4987-A517-4E08D37D8213/46215/AMastersGuidetoContainerSecuring.pd
All you would ever need to know about containers.

Fieldsy
18th March 2009, 17:44
This is how it should be done -
http://www.lr.org/NR/rdonlyres/D2D7A97B-FC46-4987-A517-4E08D37D8213/46215/AMastersGuidetoContainerSecuring.pd
All you would ever need to know about containers.

Excellent - thanks.

David Williams
18th March 2009, 18:00
Hi Trident.
Ive often wondered about this,They
reckon that there must be thousands
floating about,before they actualy sink.

Dave Williams(R583900)

kevhogg
18th March 2009, 18:46
This is what happens when you don't do it right!
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/61078

John Cassels
18th March 2009, 21:01
Containers can be secured by many different methods. After 30 years
with container ships , I've seen various methods come and go , some
of them down right dangerous.

trucker
18th March 2009, 21:36
This is what happens when you don't do it right!
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/61078

hi trev ,just as well tom didn,t see that lot.it would have been away for scrap.(Thumb) regards

Fieldsy
19th March 2009, 10:11
If you go onto Google Images and type in 'container ship accidents' you'll see some scary sights.

Trident
19th March 2009, 10:19
Thanks for all the info guys, It seems obvious what should be done but what is done seems to be another matter.



Trucker, I suppose when that is happening you just put your fingers in your ears and close your eyes and hope for the best.

Trident
19th March 2009, 10:45
Hi Fieldsy.Thanks for the link,I wonder if they take a course building with leggo before stacking the Containers.......Al

KYRENIA
19th March 2009, 16:07
As John said at message 14 there are many different ways containers can be secured. From 1972 until 1993 i was employed as shore gang rigger in Tilbury Dock lashing containers (as well as general cargo) on many, many vessels.
Conventional cargo vessels containers were lashed with wire,bulldog clips and bottlescrews.
Cellular ships had cells in the hold eliminating the need for securing under decks. On deck various fittings would be used, conlocks,twistlocks bridges, bars and turnbuckles. In my experience it seemed the larger the ship the less use of bars and turnbuckles. NEW ZEALAND PACIFIC and ACT 7, as an example were easier to work than say the smaller Bay boats or Baco Liners.
In the early days of container boats one Captain remarked he thought he was running a zoo instead of a ship as fittings were known as ,"monkey face", "rhino horns", "penguins" and "elephants foot".
Cheers John.

dundalkie
19th March 2009, 21:51
does anybody know where I can get a design specification for a standard marine container?

RobW
20th March 2009, 12:17
Certainly the hatch coverless design boxships (as built for Nedlloyd, Bell Lines and Norasia amongst others) appear to be best solution to this problem as almost all containers are stowed in a cell guide system. However tonnage rules for GT mean these vessels are penalized due to their higher freeboard than conventional ships and only around 250 of this type have been built so far. Meanwile an exert from a recent article in Fairplay Solutions magazine may be of interest concerning twistlocks:

"Almost three years ago, following a rash of incidents in which about 500 containers were lost overboard in various incidents, fully automatic twistlocks (FATs) fell from favour. All the lost containers had been stowed at the stern of the vessel and were therefore subject to greater acceleration forces than elsewhere. The losses occurred in heavy seas with the vessel pitching and rolling, when those acceleration forces would have been extreme and any weakness present – whether in the design of the twistlock or in damaged corner castings on the boxes – could have caused containers to fall overboard.

All but one major manufacturer subsequently either recalled or stopped selling FATs and most liner operators reverted to using semi-automatic twistlocks. Several classification societies investigated the problem at the time and while some considered the twistlocks were indeed the cause of the box losses, GL did eventually give the locks a clear bill of health."

Trident
23rd March 2009, 06:43
Thanks to you all for your input to my original question "what method is used to tie/lock the containers to the deck".I certainly know more now, It seems several methods are still used throughout the world, and to me it seems some countries are more conscious of the Marentine rules than others, but even the conscious countries can get caught out by damaged containers, containers with dubious marked weights stowed at the top and even heavy cargo that is not properly stowed inside containers.
I suppose the percentage of containers lost is very small otherwise stricter control would be applied.

I also found heaps of information on the web such as the article below

"However, in the aftermath of an incident with all containers lost, little evidence usually remains to establish the true cause of loss. Was it the collapse of a box or a failure of the lashing gear? Only one container in the bottom has to be weak, damaged – even though not visible to the naked eye – and the whole stack can collapse while the vessel moves at sea. Only one container in a stack has to be damaged by a boarding sea.
http://www.aimu.org/ondeckstorage.html

Klaatu83
23rd March 2009, 21:32
Nowadays they use automatic twist locks. However, up till about fifteen years ago the twist locks had to be locked and unlocked manually, by means of a long pole. Longshoremen had to climb on top of the tiers to put those manual twistlocks in place or to remove them. The automatic kind are put on and removed from the dock, which is a lot safer.

Most ships now lash the containers with steel rods and turnbuckes ("bottle-screws" to the British), but the old American Export Lines ships used wire cables secured with "Peck & Hale" tensors. The trouble with that system was that the longshoremen had to climb up to put the wires in place and take them off again. The wires also needed to be slushed, and the grease got all over the place.

I was on one of those old American Export ships in Pireaus once, when I saw a couple of kids climbing around on the third tier above the deck handling the twistlocks and wires. I questioned the longshore foreman about using such young kids to do such dangerous work. He replied that they were his own sons. He had gotten tired of them always asking for money to go to football games, so he put them to work so they could earn the money for themselves.

Klaatu83
23rd March 2009, 21:46
One further note about the old manual twist locks: You checked whether they were open or locked by looking at the handles. Normally, if the handle was to the left it was locked, and if the handle was to the right it was open.

That was all well and good, except that, for some idiotic, reason, a few of them were actually manufactured "left handed". As I'm sure you can imagine, few things are more dangerous than a "left-handed" twist lock when a container crane is discharging containers off of a ship! Needless to say, we had standing orders to throw any "left-handed" twist locks we might find into the sea immediately.

Trident
24th March 2009, 08:02
G/Day Klaatu83.
Thanks for your input, I can well imagine the problems that could be caused with those "left handed" Twist locks.
I see by your profile you have experienced a wide variety of ships including Container vessels........Al

Klaatu83
24th March 2009, 18:18
I sailed for thirty years from 1975 - 2005, and on container ships on and off from 1981. Amongst those was the SS Pittsburgh, one of the old Sealand container ships that had been converted out of an old WW-II troop transport. on those old wrecks we secured the containers with "stacking frames", that combined the twist locks with catwalks for the longshoremen to climb about on. Those stacking frames were just aweful. The catwalks were terribly rickety and had a bad habit of falling off when the container cranes dropped the stacking frames into place, or when someone was walking on them.

surfaceblow
24th March 2009, 20:54
I also sailed from 1975 till 2005 when I retired. The summer of 1983 I was on the SS Pittsburgh. I was lucky since I did not have to walk about the deck during cargo operations and the dropping of the twist-locks and lashings it was hard enough to try to sleep through the din.

Trident
26th March 2009, 10:30
Hi Klaatu83 and Surfaceblow, both with over 30 years each at sea, must have your sea legs by now eh......Al