Container Handbook

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Transcript of Container Handbook

Preface to the Container Handbook When the first container ship docked in Bremen on 6 May 1966, it caused, as does any novelty, a great deal of excitement. But back then, nobody could imagine the extent of the revolution that had been set in motion. Initially, people smiled condescendingly at the "boxes", but soon it was the rationalization potential that became the focus of attention. Labor-intensive and damaging cargo handling processes at the ports were no longer necessary. Transshipment times were cut to a fraction of those previously required on general cargo ships thanks to the possibility of moving entire truck loads on to ships in the form of containers. The real revolution, however, only began as an increasing number of ports developed facilities for the transshipment, storage and clearance of containers. In parallel to this, the slot capacities for containers on ships rose from a few hundred TEU to the current figure of eight thousand TEU, and larger shipping units are now being planned. Ship speeds, which have almost doubled since containerization first got under way at the end of the 1960s, are also a significant factor that has enabled containerization to grow at the rate it has. Ever faster and more economical transportation using logistics systems that span the entire globe have made it possible to achieve the division of labor that we know today. These are synergetic processes that will continue to lead to above average growth rates in container transport. Many recurrent problems associated with traditional general cargo transport, such as petty theft ( = furturi mici ), load damage as a result of repeated transshipment, etc. appeared to have been solved at once with the introduction of the "container" transport system. Its supporters were soon proclaiming a new age of damagefree transportation thanks to the huge metal boxes. These unrealistic hopes were soon dispelled ( to dispel = a imprastia ) in the face of new types of damage which were specific to containers. Organized crime emerged in place of petty theft, with entire containers being stolen to order. Professional cargo care, as provided by an experienced and well-trained crew during transportation on general cargo ships, is not carried out for containers, and the cargo is instead left 'to its own devices'. Professional stowage of the cargo by dock workers on board the general cargo ships now takes the form of stuffing (packing) the containers inland, either at "stuffing centers" or by the forwarder. This has resulted in a new and typical pattern of damage. Moisture, mold ( = mucegai ) and corrosion are equally responsible for damage as the failure to secure cargo correctly. There is a close connection between the latter and accidents related to cargo securing on large container ships, which cause hundreds of containers to be lost or destroyed and can threaten the existence of entire container ships and their crew. Employing untrained staff to load containers can also have a negative effect on the quality of the transport operations, as does the reduction in packaging, which was initially to be welcomed on environmental grounds, but soon fell foul of an exaggerated cost awareness. In the face of the current damage situation, the German transport insurers' loss prevention committee at GDV saw it as their duty to make a contribution to securing a fundamental improvement in the quality of container transport. This Container Handbook is the result of more than four years' work by three authors, based on the latest internationally recognized CTU (Cargo Transport Unit) packing guidelines. Users can call up fundamental or detailed information from this online resource, and can use it for personal study or to support their daily work. But despite the comprehensive nature of this work, it is still essential that those who are responsible for loading a container correctly have completed the proper training. More information on training programs and objectives as well as a training plan will also be available at this web address in the near future, thanks to the Container Handbook team. Through the comprehensive explanations in the Container Handbook, the committee wants to make it possible for all users to put the CTU packing guidelines into practice. If this standard is strictly adhered to, around seventy percent of all damage in container transportation could be avoided. In order that these standards are applied and implemented not only in German-speaking regions, the Container Handbook will be available globally in English as of September 2003. The global economy depends on the smooth exchange of goods. Any damage results in a waste of resources. Loss prevention measures are not only economically necessary but also directly protect the environment. Surveys of transport practice have revealed that almost seventy percent of all packed containers, swap bodies, road and rail vehicles or other cargo transport units exhibit shortcomings in packing and load securing which could result in damage. The aim of this section of the Container Handbook, "Securing the product in the container", is to prevent damage due to negligent packing and inadequate load securing. The author's original intention was to present mainly good examples of packing and to complement these some

bad examples as a deterrent. However, the real situation was so bad that he was unfortunately compelled to write the Handbook in such a way that lessons could be learnt from the load securing errors which had been made. Detailed comments are provided as to how these errors could be remedied or avoided. The author very deeply regrets the fact that so very few properly secured container loads could be found in practice which could have served as good examples for a Handbook. 1.1 The history of the container / In May 2001, Malcolm P. McLean, the "Father of Containerization", died aged 87. He used to say that he had the idea of rationalizing goods transport by avoiding the constant loading and unloading from one means of transport to another way back at the end of the 1930s at the port of Hoboken, when still operating as a small-scale hauler. To start with, McLean would load complete trucks onto ships, in order to transport them as close as possible to their destination. The development of standardized containers and trailers, moved by tractors, made it possible to ship just the trailers with the containers, so saving on space and costs. Later, the trailers were also left behind and the ships transported just the containers. Shipowners were more than a little skeptical about McLean's idea. This prompted him to become a shipowner himself and he appropriately named his company Sea-Land Inc. At the end of the 1990s, McLean sold his company to the Maersk shipping company, but his company name lives on in the name Maersk Sealand. In the literature, the "Ideal X" is mentioned as the first container freighter. This ship left Newark on 26th April 1956 carrying 58 containers, which it transported to Houston. The first ship designed to carry only containers is the "Maxton", a converted tanker, which could carry 60 containers as deck cargo. That was in 1956. Another decade passed before the first container ship moored in Europe. The first container on German soil was set down by the "Fairland" at Bremer berseehafen on 6th May 1966. The first containers used by SeaLand in Northern Europe were 35' ASA containers, i.e. they were constructed to American standards. In other regions, 27' ASA containers and other ASA dimensions were often used. Shipowners in Europe and Japan quickly recognized the advantages of the container and also invested in the new transport technology. Since American standards could only be applied with difficulty to conditions in Europe and other countries, an agreement was eventually reached with the Americans after painstaking negotiations. The resulting ISO standards provided for lengths of 10', 20', 30' and 40'. The width was fixed at 8' and the height at 8' and 8'6". For land transport within Europe, agreement was reached on a 2.50 m wide inland container, which is mainly used in combined road/rail transport operations. The majority of containers used worldwide today comply with the ISO standard, with 20'and 40'-long containers predominating. For some years, the ISO standard has come repeatedly under pressure. As stowage factors increase for most goods, many forwarders want longer, wider and higher containers, preferably all at once. Some shipowners have given in to the pressure and containers of dimensions larger than provided for by the ISO standard are now encountered distinctly more frequently. "Jumbo" containers of 45' and 48' in length, widths of 8'6" (2.60 m) and heights of 9'6" (2.90m) have been in existence for some years. Efforts to build even larger containers, e.g. 24' (7.43m) and 49' (14.40m) boxes 2.60 m wide and 2.90 m high, are mostly confined to the USA. Even 53' long containers have been in use for some time throughout the USA, while some states will even allow 57'. In Europe and on other continents, narrower roads are a limiting factor. Developing countries are understandably against changing the standards. More details are given in the section entitled "Container dimensions and weights".


Container flows / The huge investments made in containerization have paid off and container traffic is still continuing to grow. Although growth will not be as unbridled as in the past, it will continue until all conventional transport operations have, within a container's limits of capacity and weight, been containerized. By then, it is estimated that there will be some 8000 ships in operation with a total slot capacity of nine to ten million standard containers. There will be approximately the same number of containers ashore being packed or unpacked, awaiting stuffing or unstuffing or being transferred. The majority of these containers are stand