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The crucial importance of understanding container securing point strengths

Today more than 100 million full containers are shipped around the world every year. To ensure the safe transport of these containers, their cargo needs to be secured appropriately. As the leading global cargo protection partner, Cordstrap are aware that many solutions are available to do this and that many of these make use of the container securing points.

The weakest link in the chain

A total securing solution is only as strong as its weakest link. In containers this weakest link is most likely one of the securing points. Maximum Securing Load (MSL) defines the maximum allowable load capacity of any device used to secure cargo  in a container. The lower securing points in a standard ISO container have an MSL of at least 1000 daN / 2200 lbf. The upper securing points have a minimum MSL of 500 daN / 1100 lbf.  

Some current solutions on the market claim an MSL of 4000 daN / 8800 lbf or more, while using two upper and two lower securing points.

This might be true if the MSL of the container securing points is ignored: but it is only safe to assume a total MSL of 2000 daN / 4400 lbf, due to the restriction in strength of the upper securing point.

This means that the cargo weight that can be safely secured is much lower than one might think!

MSL as a safe limiting factor

Although, the MSL of securing points is lower than the actual breaking strength, it is considered to be the maximum force that is safe to apply. This safety factor is used for good reason as there is a real risk in stressing the securing points of a container above their certified MSL.

The strength of the securing points therefore needs to be taken into account when calculating the weight that can be safely secured in a container. Especially, as surveyors are likely to reject the use of the upper securing points, if there is no calculation or CTU-code certificate available. (The CTU-Code is the IMO (International Maritime Organization) best practice in cargo securing). 

“The strength of any system is determined by the weakest link in the chain. In an ISO container, that link is often the securing points. Any business shipping cargo in containers needs to ensure that the securing solution they are using is safe, secure and compliant”

Perry van Berlo, Development Engineer, Cordstrap

The right advice on cargo protection

To safeguard your cargo in transit, ask your current supplier for full information on the specification and performance of their securing solution. Or, for expert advice on maximizing your cargo protection, contact Cordstrap by clicking here.

Ensure that you rely on the strongest securing solution and not the weakest link.

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