The invention of the shipping container 60 years ago by Malcolm McLean introduced a revolution in global trade and changed world shipping forever.
Today, containerized transport is responsible for over 80% of all non-bulk cargo shipped worldwide. Every year, 20 million containers make over 200 million trips delivering goods worldwide via rail, road and sea.
The value of a container content varies substantially ranging from a few thousand to millions of dollars. Futhermore, the cargo ranges from bulk products to one of a kind machine parts.
Container port traffic
Container traffic is measured by the flow of containers in ports from land to sea transport modes and vice versa, in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU’s). The graph shows the rapid growth of container handling in ports globally in the last 15 years (source).
A rise in risk
In addition to increased volumes in transit, the ships carrying these containers are getting larger. Modern Triple E vessels can each carry around 20,000 steel containers. With these higher volumes and capacities, the chances of safety incidents increase, placing huge responsibilities on shippers – as one incorrectly secured container can have a disastrous effect.
Hazards in the container
During a trip from Rotterdam to New York, a container on the top row of a Triple-E vessel will travel an incremental 40 kilometers (25 miles) due to vertical and lateral movement. And with improper securing, packaging will impact on the inside of the container every few seconds causing damage to the contents.
A significant 65% of containerization incidents can be traced back to poor packaging and securing – risking harm to cargo, handling personnel and the environment.
Rules and regulations
It is important to remember that shippers are always responsible for the containers they ship. International rules and regulations apply to containerized transport. One of the key, globally accepted guidelines is the CTU Code, which provides guidance on correct cargo securing.
Other regulation relating to containers originates from the AAR and the IMO - who introduced approved methods of specifying Verified Gross Mass (VGM) in July 2016. Conforming to such rules and regulations reduce the chances of an incident – and also of claims or rejections in ports around the world.
Helping our customers comply
With over 50 years of cargo-securing experience worldwide, Cordstrap helps companies to safely transport hazardous and non-hazardous cargo in containers. As global market leader, we understand the way different cargos behave - as well as how to comply with the global legislation that applies to them.
Cordstrap’s container solutions are CTU compliant and AAR approved, reducing the risk of claims and rejections. They were specifically designed for securing drums, IBC’s, carton boxes, bags and cans on pallets and are recognized by customers around the world for their time and cost reduction as well as their safety.