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Old 22-01-2021, 12:27   #16
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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).

boat 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.
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Old 22-01-2021, 13:55   #17
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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In addition to locator beacons and some of the other ideas expressed above, these hazards to navigation should be sunk by naval gunfire at the earliest opportunity.

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They are designed to sink by themselves, which they do, if the cargo inside is not very buoyant.
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Old 22-01-2021, 15:09   #18
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

Thanks nightdiver for a good sumarry of the issues.
So it seems that the container shipping industry has built to a stack height that is ok in say 90% of the sea states they will encounter, but at risk above that.

Are there not any SOLAS regulations in place, similar to Plimsoll Marks that would limit the height of stacks in certain seasonal routes?
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Old 22-01-2021, 15:29   #19
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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Thanks nightdiver for a good sumarry of the issues.
So it seems that the container shipping industry has built to a stack height that is ok in say 90% of the sea states they will encounter, but at risk above that.

Are there not any SOLAS regulations in place, similar to Plimsoll Marks that would limit the height of stacks in certain seasonal routes?
Now that might be implementable. My only experience with ships relative to cyclone/hurricane seasons was being told by a Russian radio operator one time on the VHF that they sailed in all weather, and were not overly concerned by cyclones. He was not a container vessel, though.

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Old 22-01-2021, 15:36   #20
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

My understanding is that most containers are lost because the one at the bottom collapses and then the tie-downs for the ones above become compromised. The only way to fix this is to either use robust containers or limit stacking heights. It appears that there is no pain to the shipping companies for loosing thousands of containers a year other than insurance costs. Meanwhile, everyone is appropriately up in arms about pollution in our oceans. What will it take to get the attention of the shipping companies?
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Old 22-01-2021, 16:33   #21
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

For those who keep suggesting devices to allow the containers to sink: -
many of the containers are filled with highly buoyant products and packaging. A zillion large holes in the container and it still won't sink. Even if it does sink,even with a satellite tracker the contents may still be deemed as pollutants.
We have polluted the ocean with chemicals and plastics. We have destroyed fish stocks and damaged nearly all the ocean habitats. All without too much concern or acceptance of responsibility, so why worry about a few thousand containers?
Oh I see! The concern is suddenly personal when our precious yacht gets holed.

Maybe the responsibility should be sheeted home to the miscreants. If the ship arrives in port with a loss of any containers, then the shipping company principals should be directly personally accountable for the retrieval costs of the lost containers.
If you lose a wheel off your car and it ploughs into someone's shop front, I think in most cases you would be held responsible even if you claimed the wheel came off due to rough weather. You would also be responsible for collecting the wheel rather than just leave it lying on the road. Surely the same principle applies to the shipping industry.
I bet if the principals of the companies were held directly responsible then solutions would suddenly, near magically, appear. Until there are no consequences for the polluters, nothing will change. Harass your local MP, put articles in the local press, get your local yacht club involved. Unfortunately, items on this forum are simply "preaching to the converted".
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Old 22-01-2021, 17:06   #22
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

Even if the lost boxes are found afloat the problem is how to recover them at sea ,as stated most boxes that float are the result of the goods inside,l dought if the insurance industry would pay for the extreme cost of recovery at sea . Ps 16yrs deck officer Australian merchant marine .⚓️⛵️
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Old 22-01-2021, 20:24   #23
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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Besides, cruisers and racers are a very small percentage of the whole population.
Ann

...and that percentage gets smaller every time a cruiser of racer hits one.
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Old 23-01-2021, 13:06   #24
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
In addition to locator beacons and some of the other ideas expressed above, these hazards to navigation should be sunk by naval gunfire at the earliest opportunity.

Our boys and girls would have a blast!
While at first glance this would appear to be a viable solution, a brief examination shows a number of reasons it wouldn't be practical. First, the locator beacons idea is not practical, so there is a very good chance that the wayward containers would not be found. Worse, shooting the container is no guarantee that the container would sink. If the cargo was itself buoyant, it might just distribute more pollution. Third, sorting out responsibility in international waters would be quite the issue.


I am sure that the sailors of various navies and coast guards would love the opportunity, but I just don't see it as a viable option.
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Old 23-01-2021, 13:33   #25
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

If the failure mode is lower, outboard containers becoming unable to retain upper outboard containers, then one solution it to bridge upper outboard containers to upper inboard containers before leaving port. That way either all of the containers fall overboard or none do. The containers already have attachments points all around. Not difficult or expensive to implement this.
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Old 23-01-2021, 14:26   #26
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

Outboard containers see highest acceleration forces due to ship roll, based on their greater distance from the ship's roll center. Additionally, outboard containers see direct wind loading and in some cases direct wave loading. It is understandable that failure of container lashings will occur disproportionately on outboard containers.

By connecting the top outboard containers to top inboard containers with either cable or frame lashings, the chance of lost containers can be reduced at low cost, benefiting all.
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Old 29-01-2021, 09:33   #27
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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Along with the 2000 previously lost, is it not time for a mandatory law.... that every container be fitted with a locator beacon that can be activated by salt water if lost overboard?
Why not some sort of programmable timer? On immersion: it's got 12 hours before a valve open and sinks the danged thing?

And HOW are these buggers coming loose in the first place?
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Old 29-01-2021, 09:34   #28
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

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Hydrostaticly switched self destruction.
AMEN!
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Old 29-01-2021, 09:59   #29
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

How about just making them put a small hole in the bottom and a pressure relief valve at the top so if it goes overboard it eventually fills with water and sinks. Then we dont need any more policing
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Old 29-01-2021, 10:21   #30
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Re: ANOTHER 750 Containers overboard

all the talk about the container being the bad guy...
what about the watch habits of the sailors.....
what do you do at night especially on dog watch, aka noon to 06???
how can you avoid the hazards to navigation, as it is not their fault that you slammed into them while resting your eyes...
there is so much to watch out for at night and so many sailors going below for their full nights sleep..... do your electronics watch for local fishers and shrimpers and rocks or do you merely plow thru em..... and how can you guarantee your electronics wont fail on you while you sail blindly thru the flotsam and jetsom of the oceans.....
there is so much your own eyes can tell you that your electronics dont see. oh yes and tronics do fail.
part of trip planning is examining the prospective route for nav hazards and drift.
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