Containers

CharlesFox
7th November 2012, 22:08
Anybody have any photos of, or featuring, Ben Line containers?

A.D.FROST
9th November 2012, 09:01
Anybody have any photos of, or featuring, Ben Line containers?

31438

chadburn
9th November 2012, 13:49
Prior to the purpose built container port's it usually needed a large Floating Crane just to load a container like this!!

James_C
9th November 2012, 14:04
31438

Taken in Grangemouth, with the Benvrackie alongside No.3 berth, Grange Dock.

CharlesFox
9th November 2012, 14:15
Beautiful shot! Many thanks. Would it be alright if I posted it to my website, containerization.tumblr.com? If so, who should I credit the image to?

A.D.FROST
9th November 2012, 14:56
Beautiful shot! Many thanks. Would it be alright if I posted it to my website, containerization.tumblr.com? If so, who should I credit the image to?

From the book Ben Line photo.(Ben Line) so should be OK(Thumb)

Tom S
9th November 2012, 19:06
The beginning of the end everything was downhill once containers came on the scene
Tom

forthbridge
9th November 2012, 22:09
Was the end of everything the result of containers or the result of accountants taking control instead of the traditional shipowners who knew the trade inside out.

ian keyl
12th November 2012, 08:58
No the end was there when containers came in. Shipping companies got entangled in in inland depots, inland haulage owning haulage companies etc all of which would punish them in the end. If the cost of fuel went up for ships it also went up for container haulage and all associated lifting plant. Shipping lines were also greedy thinking that they should carry and service all the cargo, when it came to providing LCL( ie quantity of cargo which would not fill a container and was only a part quantity, Or Consolidation as it was laterly called .) Shipping companies would not let Forwarding agents to group the cargo themselves and ship a full box as lines saw this as stealing thier revenue. It was all short sighted.
Shipping companies were individualy competing and trying to give the best service even when working with fellow companies in the same consortia.

The history of old was for the shipper to bring their cargo to the port and the shipping company would do the rest,instead we were chasing cargo all over the country and continents trying to satisfy some greedy shipping manager that we could pick up their cargo on time and still make the ship even though it had closed for cargo two days prior.

Even with the costs of futile trips when cargo was not ready at customers premises and when demurrage for extra time due to delays in loading the containers at the customers premises still did not make up the short fall to the shipping line. Also too many salesmen sold a service which was not achievable.

Shipping lines even moved containers across continents to catch ships instead of leaving it for the next sailing.
The one thing they did do was provide plenty of good ships on excellent schedules but in so many places the imbalance of trade was virtually one way that it was costly to move empty containers on these schedules to fulfill the large imbalances. Shipping lines wanted to keep their identity so they had all their own containers in the lines colours and logos all over them. So when you needed boxes somewhere you needed to gather up your own and move them .Instead of from the onset leasing, hiring boxes worldwide when required. Shippers never really knew what ship their cargo had gone on even with the Bill of ladding in their hand so shipping line identity was not required.

Moving these large container ships to all the main ports of the countries in which they traded was very costly .Instead they should have allowed the local companies to feed the cargo to hub ports. This should have been done very early on with the conception of containerisation.

Have a shippers party by all means entertain them but let them do the work by getting their cargo too and from the ports.

It has changed now and in many cases this is what happens in many areas but alas too late to save the British companies. This is not to say we could move cargo without the container ,with the volumes and the expanding and developing countries it was the only unit that could the job,but shipping lines should have done it a different way still using the container. This is my view but who is to say I am right.

Keep her steady ,Ian.

Brian Dobbie
12th November 2012, 09:22
One of the many advantages of containerisation is that it is a through transport system. Door to door, city to city etc.
Less man hours spent handling cargo and less port time for ships that are expensive to operate.
The volume of todays world trade simply could not be handled by old type conventional shipping.
The various lines would come together in alliances and this gave a "pipeline" cargo shipping service that worked well for many years.

Tom S
12th November 2012, 10:39
No the end was there when containers came in. Shipping companies got entangled in in inland depots, inland haulage owning haulage companies etc all of which would punish them in the end. If the cost of fuel went up for ships it also went up for container haulage and all associated lifting plant. Shipping lines were also greedy thinking that they should carry and service all the cargo, when it came to providing LCL( ie quantity of cargo which would not fill a container and was only a part quantity, Or Consolidation as it was laterly called .) Shipping companies would not let Forwarding agents to group the cargo themselves and ship a full box as lines saw this as stealing thier revenue. It was all short sighted.
Shipping companies were individualy competing and trying to give the best service even when working with fellow companies in the same consortia.

The history of old was for the shipper to bring their cargo to the port and the shipping company would do the rest,instead we were chasing cargo all over the country and continents trying to satisfy some greedy shipping manager that we could pick up their cargo on time and still make the ship even though it had closed for cargo two days prior.

Even with the costs of futile trips when cargo was not ready at customers premises and when demurrage for extra time due to delays in loading the containers at the customers premises still did not make up the short fall to the shipping line. Also too many salesmen sold a service which was not achievable.

Shipping lines even moved containers across continents to catch ships instead of leaving it for the next sailing.
The one thing they did do was provide plenty of good ships on excellent schedules but in so many places the imbalance of trade was virtually one way that it was costly to move empty containers on these schedules to fulfill the large imbalances. Shipping lines wanted to keep their identity so they had all their own containers in the lines colours and logos all over them. So when you needed boxes somewhere you needed to gather up your own and move them .Instead of from the onset leasing, hiring boxes worldwide when required. Shippers never really knew what ship their cargo had gone on even with the Bill of ladding in their hand so shipping line identity was not required.

Moving these large container ships to all the main ports of the countries in which they traded was very costly .Instead they should have allowed the local companies to feed the cargo to hub ports. This should have been done very early on with the conception of containerisation.

Have a shippers party by all means entertain them but let them do the work by getting their cargo too and from the ports.

It has changed now and in many cases this is what happens in many areas but alas too late to save the British companies. This is not to say we could move cargo without the container ,with the volumes and the expanding and developing countries it was the only unit that could the job,but shipping lines should have done it a different way still using the container. This is my view but who is to say I am right.

Keep her steady ,Ian.

Ian
First class reply you are quite correct that was why so many Shipowners missed the boat and why Maersk is all powerful today .
Regards
Tom

Tom S
12th November 2012, 10:52
Ian
One of the reason Hub Ports didn't work at the start was the National Dock Labour Scheme it made the costs of handling containers prohibitive to the Shipowner and the Port and as a result he Ports wouldn't invest in the infrastructure required.When I came ashore and became involved in the commercial side of the Port Industry I was horrified at the restrictive working practices and costs involved we could never compete with ports on the continent. The best thing they ever did was to abolish the scheme things moved ahead after that
Tom

forthbridge
12th November 2012, 14:28
Tom /Ian
Interesting replies and in view of these comments would be interested to hear what you think of the proposal to build an "International Container Terminal" at Rosyth when there is a container terminal at Grangemouth which is never very busy and is only 19 miles away. Apart from anything else "International" implies to me the biggest ships in their class and it would be interesting to see something like Emma Maersk clearingthe three forth bridges.
David

A.D.FROST
12th November 2012, 14:46
David,only if/when Scotland gains its independence.

Alistair Macnab
12th November 2012, 15:29
Somewhat belatedly, I have noted this topic and whilst I have waxed, perhaps less elegantly that I would have liked, I have discussed 'containers' in the Bank Line section. As Weir's man in the USA at the time container competition reared its head, I was involved in dealing with, trying to combat, and ultimately being defeated by containerization.

What has prompted me to write today is that last week, as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Houston Downtown, I took some of my students to an independent, private-sector marine terminal at the Port of Houston and we witnessed just how containerization is not exactly the answer to a maiden's prayer.

In the first place, the 65 acre site was chock-a-block with breakbulk cargo waiting to be exported. Not only were there obvious heavy lifts and out-of-gauge pieces, but there were also sheds of crated and shrink-wrapped palletized shipments coming and going.

You see, breakbulk shipping demand is alive and well and the terminal we visited is only one of several that services both scheduled liner and breakbulk services offered by the many ship owners and operators such as Rickmers, Spliethoff, ABC, Clipper, Intermarine, and Nordana to and from destinations as widespread as the Baltic, Black Sea, Arabian Gulf, India, China,Anywhere in Africa, Brazil, the West Coast of South America, Venezuela, and Colombia.

With an average of 30 ship calls per month, the terminal is humming!
Major shippers include GE, Caterpillar, Bucyrus, and a host of recognisable names and I'm told that they have substantial support also from forwarders such as Schenkers, Kuehn & Nagel, Panalpina and so on. Containers are handled too, but for consolidations and for the carriage of small-package goods which accompany the breakbulk items. In other words, containers used properly for their intended purpose.

I guess my point is: Why did British shipowners throw in the towel so easily and quickly? Breakbulk is alive and well which is not to say that containerization is faulty. But it is a fraud when considering the constant necessity of repositioning of empty units because of one-way trades, the carriage of clearly uneconomic commodities like hay, scrap metals, scrap plastics, and hazardous materials, the provision of 'special' containers: flat racks, open-tops, reefers, half-heights and so on, and their own self-imposed strategies of slow steaming, port consolidation, and land-bridge reliance.

Recently containership operators have been counting on their investments in shoreside container terminals but has anyone looked at the feather-bedding, ridiculous wages of longshore labor (average: $140.000 p.a.) and legacy costs associated with container operations in the USA? And a new contract negotiation pending for East Coast and Gulf ports in January?

Finally, how will container lines adjust to the new procurement strategy of eschewing global sourcing for near-sourcing or even domestic sourcing as the cost of energy in the USA drops due to shale fracking and the re-emergence of pulling back to self-reliance?

There! Now I've got it off my chest!

Tom S
12th November 2012, 16:46
David
Grangemouth container terminal is successful and busy Forth Ports have made a lot of investment in it in recent years new cranes and new container handling equipment,but the fact is it is only a hub port restricted by the dimensions of the lock entrance and the depth of water. But for feeder vessels is is very successful. Now the international container terminal to be built at Rosyth what can I say about that,Babcocks have proposed this as a way of utilising the Trident dry docks that were partially built and never completed . The proposal has its merits as there are no locks and the berth would be suitable for deeper drafted vessels. Against it the bridges across the Forth the air draft would severely restrict the larger vessels,also location Grangemouth sits in the middle of the central belt has excellent motorway and rail connections,Rosyth doesn't.Also there is only a limited amount of container business in Scotland and currently Grangemouth and Greenock cater for this why go the expense of building an additional Port. The larger Mother ships will never be able to come to this part of the Country there is no port large enough to handle them so the existing ports will always be feeder ports.
One other point is cost it is not always cost effective to ship containers through Scottish Ports feeder ships are expensive to operate especially with today's high fuel costs and the Port Charges at Scottish Ports are not always as competitive as they should be,that is why you see so many boxes heading down the motorway to Felixstowe.
Tom

ian keyl
13th November 2012, 17:25
ON the issue of Rosyth I dont think it will ever happen that klarge container ships will call there, my thinking being there is not enough cargo on a regular basis for one of two companies to call there on a regular international schedule. yes we have Whisky ,malt, reefer cargo and some chemicals but not enough for a regular call. I dont think Independance will make any difference.
My view.
Ian Keyl. (watch the wind on the Fourth Brig)

Tom S
13th November 2012, 18:14
Alistair
Good posting found it very interesting.In answer to your question why did British Shipowners throw in the towel so quickly. Well I personally feel that the main reason was Margaret Thatchers Government when she came to power she threw out all the financial restrictions in force during the earlier Labour Government and opened the doors to free trade. Shipowners saw this as a way of getting a better return on capital invested,why waste your time tying your capital up in a British Flagged ship which were expensive to run when you could invest the money in the financial market and get a better return on your investment. as everyone now know this opened the doors to FOC and the demise of our once great Merchant navy.