A lot of interesting comments. I work
for a company that imports a lot of containerized cargo and had containers aboard the ONE Apus.
A few misconceptions I would first lay to rest;
"Flooding Ports" in a shipping
container? Never heard of it and never seen one. Maybe there are specialized containers with such a device but in 40 years of international business, I'm not aware of any such thing.
"Rupture Discs"? One of the key problems in ocean shipping
is containers sometimes leak and cause problems with the cargo. If your container is on the deck
stack instead of the old, it often gets doused with both salt
and fresh water
. Even if the waves dont break on the deck
, ocean spray is a constant at sea, as is rain. I dont see how rupture discs would hold up very well in that environment
Electronic monitoring: Possible but cost prohibitive. It isnt just the installation
, it's the upkeep and maintenance
. Shipping containers are really very simple pieces of technology. A lot of steel
a little bit of wood
. They're cheap
and they last a long time because there isnt any maintenance
. Only the reefers require any maintenance.
"Hydrostaticly switched self destruction"? Yep, that's what you need on board a ship all right. 14,000 containers all with a self contained bomb.
In a normal year, the average is 1382 containers lost overboard
every year. But as we can see, this year is not normal. 1800 TEU's lost
from the ONE Apus, 750 TEU's from the Maresk Essen (side note; in ocean shipping they measure in TEU, Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit, so a 40ft container is actually two TEU's).
driver hit the nail on the head
. Vessels have been deck stacking containers for years and years, but they have been raising the stack height as time goes by to get more containers on each vessel.
Stack heights are now up to 8 containers high. That's 64ft above the deck and probably another 35 to 40 ft from the waterline to the deck.
So basically you have a huge number of containers weighing up to 50,000lbs up to 100 feet above the waterline.
So some decent size waves beam on and as boat
driver points out, you exceed design limits. Not to mention if large waves are actually breaking against the sides.
No easy solutions, but stack height is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed.