Container weighing - Ships Nostalgia
22:24

Welcome
Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

Container weighing

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 26th November 2010, 11:10
noworries182 noworries182 is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 2007 - Present
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5
Container weighing

Hi everyone,

Pretty soon i have to conduct a debate on container weighing in the shipping industry. My side of the argument is that container weighing IS NOT of benefit to the shipping industry. . . . .can anyone provide me with good arguments for this please.

Thanks and best regards

John N
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 26th November 2010, 15:36
R58484956's Avatar
Super Moderator
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1952 - 1965
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 13,541
Greetings John and a warm welcome to SN. Bon voyage.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26th November 2010, 16:25
Pilot mac Pilot mac is online now  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 722
Cant quite see the point you are hoping to make John, declared weights by shippers can be wildly inaccurate and spot checks on a weighbridge have proved this over the years. Crucial for ship stability that weights are known.

regards
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 26th November 2010, 18:35
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
My location
Posts: 2,367
Good Lord , this is a subject one can talk for hours about.

The argument that you are hoping to defend is , in my mind , about 100 %
wrong. Not only is weighing of containers beneficial to the industry , it is VITAL.

I've lost count of the number of containers that have been subject to a spot
check and shown to be widly inaccurate.
I was lucky - being the manager of a container terminal that serviced only our
own fleet , so could order these spot checks at will.

Draft surveys at completion of loading regularly showed a difference of 600 Mt
on a "paper "loaded weight of 24000 MT.

As part of the customer relation team , also used to visit shippers
who had problems re stowage , lashing and securing etc. In my
experience , they had little or no idea of the weights they were loading
as long as the container was full to the door. Mostly , they were not even aware of the extra weights of pallets , securing gear etc.

Glad I'm not on your side when you try to defend your premise.
__________________
JC ; same initials-but the other guy did the miracles.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 26th November 2010, 18:36
alan dd alan dd is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1972 - Present
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 15
I fully agree with Pilot mac, it is very important to ship stability.
For a simple example, if a ship is carrying 4000 containers and each one weighs just one tonne more than the declared weight, that's 4000 tonnes extra that the stress/bending calculations have not allowed for, which could have disasterous consequences.
__________________
--------------------------------------------
Over fifty, overweight and overseas too often.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 26th November 2010, 20:04
Duncan112's Avatar
Duncan112 Duncan112 is online now  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1981 - 2003
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
My location
Posts: 1,974
Whilst we are on about underdeclared weights which present a stability hazard as well as a minor financial gain to the shipper perhaps we can also pillory the shysters that misdeclare the contents of the containers leading to inappropriate stowage of DGs and defeats the objects of segeregation.

Sorry John but I would have anyone who failed to declare or mis declare weight or contents strung up (if that were still legal and not the subject of a Stormy Weather thread)!!
__________________
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana (1863 - 1952)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 27th November 2010, 00:38
John Briggs's Avatar
Forever a Seaman
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1956 - 1973
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
My location
Posts: 7,711
I had a quick look at your profile "noworries182" and I noticed that you are a recently qualified deck officer at present serving at sea.
Far from "noworries" I have major worries that a recently qualified deck officer could possibly argue that container weighing is not of benefit. Container weights are regularly mis-declared by shippers and this can lead to catastrophic results with regard to stability and the stresses and strains on a ship.
I worry about the training and teaching of cadets these days when such critical areas are apparently dismissed as being of no benefit!
__________________
JB
Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 27th November 2010, 00:43
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
My location
Posts: 17,478
A spoof post.

No other explanation.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 27th November 2010, 10:09
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
My location
Posts: 2,367
You're right John , it is a bit of a worry.
__________________
JC ; same initials-but the other guy did the miracles.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 27th November 2010, 12:15
John Briggs's Avatar
Forever a Seaman
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1956 - 1973
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
My location
Posts: 7,711
"noworries182", I have just re read your initial post and I may have done you an injustice. If so, I apologise.

From your post it appears that you may have been put in a position of partaking in a debate and have been told the point you are arguing. If this is so please accept my condolences as you are surely on a losing team!
__________________
JB
Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 27th November 2010, 12:57
Hugh Ferguson's Avatar
Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
My location
Posts: 4,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Briggs View Post
I had a quick look at your profile "noworries182" and I noticed that you are a recently qualified deck officer at present serving at sea.
Far from "noworries" I have major worries that a recently qualified deck officer could possibly argue that container weighing is not of benefit. Container weights are regularly mis-declared by shippers and this can lead to catastrophic results with regard to stability and the stresses and strains on a ship.
I worry about the training and teaching of cadets these days when such critical areas are apparently dismissed as being of no benefit!
Not only that, for if a container berth crane driver notes an overweight load, that crane has immediately to be taken out of service for checks to be made.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 27th November 2010, 13:08
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1962 - 1970
 
Join Date: May 2009
My location
Posts: 4,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
Not only that, for if a container berth crane driver notes an overweight load, that crane has immediately to be taken out of service for checks to be made.
Yes Hugh, it can be a real PITA if the unloader weight alarm goes off, there are all sorts of forms to fill in and people to call, then the box has to dropped back into it's position until the hoist blocker is reset by the safety officer.

People did consider increasing the safety factor on these very special cranes, but costs made it uneconomical.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27th November 2010, 15:03
jasmacpm jasmacpm is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1979 - 1983
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
My location
Posts: 559
Chaps, the original post refers to a debate and John N, has merely asked for any facts or theories one might make to support his side of the argument. It does not say he agrees with the proposition.
E.g., I am sure not weighing boxes, speeds up the loading process, thus keeping costs down, making our Xmas pressies cheaper. After that, I'm struggling, John.
__________________
Jimmy
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 27th November 2010, 18:56
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
My location
Posts: 2,367
Bill , overiding of the max weight cutout was more prevelant than what you
may imagine.
__________________
JC ; same initials-but the other guy did the miracles.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28th November 2010, 10:32
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1962 - 1970
 
Join Date: May 2009
My location
Posts: 4,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmacpm View Post
Chaps, the original post refers to a debate and John N, has merely asked for any facts or theories one might make to support his side of the argument. It does not say he agrees with the proposition.
E.g., I am sure not weighing boxes, speeds up the loading process, thus keeping costs down, making our Xmas pressies cheaper. After that, I'm struggling, John.
I'm not so sure about keeping the cost of pressies down, as costs of moving boxes, on and off, in a weight based order, inclusive sorting and buffer stacking, are cents per box. In other words totally irrelevant.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 28th November 2010, 10:36
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1962 - 1970
 
Join Date: May 2009
My location
Posts: 4,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cassels View Post
Bill , overiding of the max weight cutout was more prevelant than what you
may imagine.
I had heard that things were going that way John, but perhaps I left the port, before the rot really set in!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 28th November 2010, 11:21
noworries182 noworries182 is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 2007 - Present
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5
Firstly, may I thank you all for your quick reply's, I thought I wasn't going to get any back!

May I also add, that I am actually FOR the weighing of containers however, I've been landed with this task which despite the various comments above was decided by myself, my lecturers and a senior MAIB inspector to be the easier side of the argument. Many of the arguments FOR weighing are based purely on safety, without any consideration for commercial pressure, insurance issues or multi-modal transport considerations.

Off the subject may I also raise the concern of people being far too judgmental on myself and newly qualified deck officers alike. Without knowing anything about me, many of you have decided that I am in no position to debate this subject! For starters its a debate and we hope to get out of it, the advantages and disadvantages of container weighing.

Thanks again to those who have provided me with educated and relevant information, it all helps.

John N
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 28th November 2010, 12:39
Klaatu83 Klaatu83 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
My location
Posts: 2,348
I've seen some disastrous results of mis-weighed containers, including instances of cargo literally falling out through the bottoms. I once saw that happen spectacularly in Long Beach to a container that had been overfilled with bottles of wine.

The worst culprits are in the military. Apparently, troops in the field simply fill containers up until they're full, and don't even bother about the weight at all. Once, in Honduras, I saw a 25-ton fork lift attempt to hoist a loaded 20-foot container, and the fork-lift almost capsized. When I asked the Army officer in charge how much that particular container weighed, he said that he had no idea. He admitted that it had never even occurred to him that it was an issue. Some time later I was not surprised to hear that a crane fell over on that same dock, killing it's Army crane operator.

The commercial side can be just as bad. Once, in Livorno ("Leghorn" to the British) the brakes on a container crane failed, dropping an overloaded container onto the dock. It ended up embedded about two centimeters into the asphalt. Fortunately, the container didn't happen to be spotted over a ship or a truck at the time!

In most modern container ship operations the ships' officers don't have time to work out the cargo stowage. Shore-side staff calculate the pre-stow, and the ship's personnel pretty much go along with whatever the shore-side people come up with. However, we had some pretty bad experiences with that sort of thing in some of the Med ports when I was sailing for Farrell Lines. The longshoremen had a bad habit of placing the heaviest containers, often loaded with Italian marble or building tiles, on the top instead of on the bottom, with disastrous results to the ship's stability. We adopted the policy of issuing the Mates a list of the container numbers and their corresponding cell numbers, and had them check the placement of the individual cargo containers as they went aboard. It was a pain in the neck, especially when they had several cranes working at once, but it was also a necessary precaution.

Last edited by Klaatu83 : 28th November 2010 at 12:48.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 28th November 2010, 13:43
James_C's Avatar
James_C James_C is online now   SN Supporter
Malim Sahib Moderator
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
My location
Posts: 6,720
Klaatu83,
I would agree that the Military are by far the worst when it comes to container packing and stowage.
Not only have I seen numerous cases of wildly inaccurate/guestimate weights, I've also had numerous cases of undeclared DG's - specifically Class 1, and no, I'm not talking about fireworks!
__________________
Regards,

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28th November 2010, 14:34
Klaatu83 Klaatu83 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
My location
Posts: 2,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by James_C View Post
Klaatu83,
I would agree that the Military are by far the worst when it comes to container packing and stowage.
Not only have I seen numerous cases of wildly inaccurate/guestimate weights, I've also had numerous cases of undeclared DG's - specifically Class 1, and no, I'm not talking about fireworks!
The most dangerous cargo I ever encountered was actually listed on the manifest as "Special Fireworks", a consignment of which we transported to the Persian Gulf during the 1991 Gulf War. It was so nasty that it had to be stowed on deck, completely separate from all the other cargo, which consisted of assorted types of ammunition. It seemed odd to be transporting "Fireworks" of any sort to a war zone. I had no idea what they actually were until after we arrived, when I finally got the opportunity to ask one of the military people who were stationed there. They turned out to be those flares they drop out of the backs of aircraft in order to decoy heat-seeking missiles!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 28th November 2010, 15:31
jasmacpm jasmacpm is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1979 - 1983
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
My location
Posts: 559
John N, it happpens a lot, as you will see in many threads. It can get up your nose, but you will get used to it and learn who the main culprits are.
Good luck with your debate and future career.
Jimmy.
__________________
Jimmy
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 28th November 2010, 18:32
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
My location
Posts: 2,367
Klaatu83:-
You say that "in most modern container ship ops the ship's officers don't have time to work out cargo stowage. Shore side calculate the pre-stow and ship's
personnel pretty well go along with whatever the shore side people come up
with ".

Having been on both sides of the fence , whilst you are correct in that the
pre-stow is done ashore , this was always subject to the ship's approval.
Any changes required by the ch.mate were always immediatly implemented.
__________________
JC ; same initials-but the other guy did the miracles.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 28th November 2010, 19:07
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1962 - 1970
 
Join Date: May 2009
My location
Posts: 4,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cassels View Post
Having been on both sides of the fence , whilst you are correct in that the
pre-stow is done ashore , this was always subject to the ship's approval.
Any changes required by the ch.mate were always immediatly implemented.
This was the same in Rotterdam when box handling started in the early seventies, on steam driven computers. Had some interesting discussions with Class(allsorts from LRS down), when trialing the Bremen Express class. My responsibility was the ballasting system which included automated trimming tanks port and starboard high wings. The trimming-tanks were supposed to keep the ship upright within one degree and if possible to fifteen minutes! Tests proved that settling tank operations in the engine room could throw the ship a bit too far so standard was set at one degree.

Then there were the problems with heavy and light boxes, these being over or under given weights on the computerized BoL. one could suddenly find lists coming on out of nowhere as the ship loaded or unloaded, this causing the trimming system to overwork and sometimes spill seawater onto the deck through the tank vents. double checking the weights of the recently unloaded boxes solved the problems.

All this sort of cockup had to be worked into the programming of the, "loadicator", of the ship and then copied to all the shore establishments who were dealing with that ship. At the time the ship's cargo plan was on one or two big floppy disks, these had to go ashore before the ship could unload.

I hope some of this history might be of use.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 28th November 2010, 23:50
Klaatu83 Klaatu83 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
My location
Posts: 2,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cassels View Post
Klaatu83:-
You say that "in most modern container ship ops the ship's officers don't have time to work out cargo stowage. Shore side calculate the pre-stow and ship's
personnel pretty well go along with whatever the shore side people come up
with ".

Having been on both sides of the fence , whilst you are correct in that the
pre-stow is done ashore , this was always subject to the ship's approval.
Any changes required by the ch.mate were always immediatly implemented.
What you say is correct, the ship's officers are responsible to double-check and approve the pre-stow. However, given the size of modern container ships, the large number of containers discharged, shifted and loaded in each port, and the short time the ships actually spend alongside, cargo ops are often halfway done by the time the Chief Mate has had an opportunity to go through the pre-stow properly. In many cases, I have seen the longshoremen hard at work discharging containers before the crew have even secured the ship to the dock, put the gangway down and read the arrival draft. To make matters worse, communications between the ship and the shore-side cargo office is often difficult. On many occasions I have found issues to raise with the cargo stow, and have found it next to impossible to communicate with the appropriate shore-side authorities. I have often found that they did not monitor the prearranged VHF radio frequency, and that our cell phones were useless in the local area.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 29th November 2010, 12:03
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
My location
Posts: 2,367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaatu83 View Post
What you say is correct, the ship's officers are responsible to double-check and approve the pre-stow. However, given the size of modern container ships, the large number of containers discharged, shifted and loaded in each port, and the short time the ships actually spend alongside, cargo ops are often halfway done by the time the Chief Mate has had an opportunity to go through the pre-stow properly. In many cases, I have seen the longshoremen hard at work discharging containers before the crew have even secured the ship to the dock, put the gangway down and read the arrival draft. To make matters worse, communications between the ship and the shore-side cargo office is often difficult. On many occasions I have found issues to raise with the cargo stow, and have found it next to impossible to communicate with the appropriate shore-side authorities. I have often found that they did not monitor the prearranged VHF radio frequency, and that our cell phones were useless in the local area.
Then I must have run my operation differently, for example :-

Prestow was sent to the ship prior to arrival.

Ch.mate was given one of the terminal radios so he was in direct
contact with me , the duty ships planner and where circumstances
required , with the foreman and even the crane driver.

Having also been ch.mate on container ships I was fully aware of the
various shortcomings you mention so when coming ashore , knew
what was required.
__________________
JC ; same initials-but the other guy did the miracles.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NA Container Traffic Bruce Carson News and Views from the Shipping World 1 7th April 2009 15:36
Container ships R58484956 News and Views from the Shipping World 6 7th June 2008 03:23
Container ships bob johnston Container Vessels 41 26th December 2006 17:15



Search the net with ask.com
Support SN
Ask.com and get


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.