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Large container ship loses 250 containers. How?

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Large container ship loses 250 containers. How?

Old 3rd Jan 2019, 03:21
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Large container ship loses 250 containers. How?

German Spiegel reports that the MSC Zoe, enroute from Antwerp to Bremerhaven in rough seas, lost 250 containers.

How do these shipping containers break free with what seems to be a surprising frequency? Or are they designed to do so once a certain force point is reached? Does the shipper just consider these acceptable losses?
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 03:49
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Interesting question, triggered some research! The standard twist locks holding the container in place are only rated at 20 tons (per corner). A stack of containers in a storm is likely to experience forces considerably in excess of this. Preventive measures should include strapping down to the deck, but this may have been omitted ( a false economy).
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 03:50
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Mother Nature.
Human imperfection and the things they build.
Lloyds of London.

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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:20
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1500 containers a year is the average lost at sea I heard. If they sink it is OK but if they are full of furniture and other floatables they may only be a few inches below the surface, invisible until they take the keel right off an ocean going yacht!
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:34
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Stat I see is that ~10,000 containers per year are lost - that includes ships sunk as well as "overboards." Out of 200 million "container movements" per year. Those lost overboard must be the deck cargo - very hard to lose those down in the hold unless the hull comes apart.

There are various mechanisms for securing the deck loads, but an analogy for the most common:

Take 10-12 standard dominos, and place them upright on their "small ends". Push them tight together, back-face to "dot"-face. [[[[[[[[[[[ Each domino represents a stack of 5-7 containers. The full loading of the deck will be perhaps 15 of]those horizontal domino-stacks, running from bow to stern (e.g. perhaps 700-800 containers per ship as deck cargo)

*Bow*
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
*superstructure/bridge*
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
[[[[[[[[[[[[
*stern*

The containers in a stack are each twist-locked to those above and below at their corners to form a fairly strong unit. The base container in each individual stack is key-locked to the deck, and also lashed and turnbuckled. Independently. No stack or "domino" is attached to its neighboring stacks (for time/cost reasons in loading). The outer stacks exposed to wind and water get additional "wind lashing." Theory being that they will hold the inner stacks in place, like bookends.

IF an outermost, wind-lashed stack breaks free and topples, there can be an "inverse domino effect" as the less-supported inner stacks lose the bracing from the outer stack and also topple. I///////_. A whole athwartships "box" of ~60-80 containers can let loose in sequence.

In meadowrun's excellent photo, you can see a crewman "unlocking" a corner twist lock to separate a container from those below for off-loading (or cocking it for automatic spring-loaded locking, if that picture shows loading). Note the X-bracing per stack - but only for the lowest layer, and no interconnections between/across stacks.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:41
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Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
1500 containers a year is the average lost at sea I heard. If they sink it is OK but if they are full of furniture and other floatables they may only be a few inches below the surface, invisible until they take the keel right off an ocean going yacht!
Interesting number and something that never dawned on me in that you would wish the containers to sink completely. That would be a rude and nasty surprise to hit one lolling just below the surface.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:55
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Great explanation pattern is full - many thanks!
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 05:10
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Last Summer my sister-in-law sailed from the UK to the USA on one of ACL's ConRos, the Atlantic Star.

https://gcaptain.com/acls-new-conro-atlantic-star/

I know very little about container ships, but I was intrigued by the 'Cell guides on Deck', which appear to offer additional security to the containers. ACL claim to have never lost a container overboard in the last 30 years.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 06:12
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Was she crew or a paying passenger, would be interested in the second option?!
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 06:33
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Richard Branson's yacht Atlantic Challenger quickly sank on 16 August 1985 during an Atlantic crossing record attempt, after hitting what was suspected to have been a container floating just below the surface.

I remember the event well because my son was born just as the bow of the yacht disappeared on the TV in the hospital!
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 06:51
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Had a mate who was running some numbers on a damaged container vessel, even putting 200 ton strops on the containers wouldn't have made any difference.

When you got to the point the strops wouldn't fail then the anchor points would have ripped out the deck anyway. Thus creating even more damage.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 07:45
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Served on a ship called "Norwegian Challenger" plying the North Sea. The insurance company eventually gave us the "First Container To Reach The Beach" diploma and cancelled the insurance. We habitually lost containers and trailers on each winter vouage to the point where we returned to loading port and unloaded the remains with a bulldozer.
Not a very successfull design that one.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 07:49
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Originally Posted by Newforest2 View Post
Was she crew or a paying passenger, would be interested in the second option?!
Whilst I don't know the answer to your question, there is a well established market to travel as pax on a cargo ship...which seems considerably more enjoyable than being on a glorified shopping mall and gin palace populated by pretentious panama hat wearing tossers regaling everybody with their tales of cruises past......I also suspect there's no requirement to get dressed up like a mannequin to eat with the Capt.

This may offer you an insight as to what's available....

https://www.cargoshipvoyages.com/

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 3rd Jan 2019 at 08:06.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 07:56
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Pattern is Full, that pic shows upper containers overhanging the lower ones. Surely that is not how the would travel?
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 08:13
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Pattern is Full, that pic shows upper containers overhanging the lower ones. Surely that is not how the would travel?
Probably 45s stacked on 40ies.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 08:19
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Originally Posted by Ancient Mariner View Post
Probably 45s stacked on 40ies.
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No twist-locks when you do that?
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 08:48
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Originally Posted by Uncle Fred View Post
Does the shipper just consider these acceptable losses?
My wife's employer lost a shipment like that once. Took months to sort out the paperwork (and the customers had to wait until the replacements were manufactured and shipped).

What I wasn't sure I gathered, though, was whether it was possible to pay more to have your container placed in a less vulnerable location on the boat.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 09:25
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Parametric rolling (Google it) is often the cause of container loss.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 11:12
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
No twist-locks when you do that?
Zoom in on picture above and you'll see them.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 11:15
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Originally Posted by Mariner9 View Post
Parametric rolling (Google it) is often the cause of container loss.
Our problem was extremely short roll periods. Snapped chains holding down trailers like wet spaghetti.
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