What is Container Lashing-When all containers are loaded on ships, prior departure all containers are secured well so that they don’t fall off in the sea during rough weather.
Containers are secured with the help of bottle screw (turnbuckles), lashing rods, twist-locks, container stacker etc. This lashing do not let the containers to move from their places or fall off in to the sea. The container Lashing is regularly checked by the ship’s crew during sailing and before departure.
Container lashing-The container shipping industry is estimated to contribute about 52 % of sea trade which is highest among all other different types of transportation.
793.26 million TEUs(estimated) were handled in container ports worldwide in 2019
Transportation through container is considered as one of the fastest and easiest modes to transfer cargo. The container industry size and technology is increasing day by day, the container ship carrying capacity has risen to more than15000 containers.
What is Container Lashing on container ships
In earlier container ships :-
Cell guides were installed in the holds, the hatch covers were fitted with lashing points and the deck had container posts to facilitate loading of containers on deck,
Twist-locks, lashing bars, stacking cones or bridge fittings were used for lashing purpose
Modern container ships uses :-
Twist locks which is popular method and containers can be stacked up to 4 tiers high.
lashing bridge – solid steel structure running athwartships and placed between each 40′ bay running across the length of the ship, up to 3rd tier containers can be secured using turnbuckles and lashing rods
Computer lashing software and Cargo Securing Manual is used
Generally, lashing stevedore are responsible for lashing work, they are trained professionals , ship deck crew assist them in lashing operations.
Ship’s crew normally removes the lashing of the container prior arrival of port as it saves the time and discharging of containers can start immediately after berthing.
Every year the size and the capacity of these container carrier is increasing, whereby this increase and size and capacity is increasing concern for the safety of the ship and crew.
The sea has witnessed several Maritime disasters in last few years
Many incidents involved falling of containers off a ship due to weak lashing used.
In 2017 MV Ever Smart, a container ship reported to collapsed 151 containers and 42 containers to fall overboard and damaging 34 containers.
The MAIB conducted an in-depth investigation , which reported
• heavy pitching and hull vibration
• Containers not stowed/secured in accordance with the CSM
• Unsecured /Improper container lashings
General principles for safe lashing operation
- Qualified and experienced person with practical knowledge to given responsibility of cargo stowage.
- Personnel must be through with the application and content of the Cargo Securing Manual.
- Improper stowage and securing of cargo could be a hazard to the cargo and ship.
- Stowage and securing cargo must be appropriate to severe weather conditions.
- Stowage position and the securing arrangements of the cargo must be taken into account before any decision to be taken for alteration of course etc
- Personal protective equipments (PPE) (helmet ,safety shoes,hand gloves etc) must be worn at all times while on deck including vest with reflective tape,one should be cautious of loose items tripping hazard,etc.
- While carrying heavy loads like bottle screw, crow bar etc one should be very careful as not to slip or trip from any obstacles.
- Try not to walk under Gantry crane,hanging container etc.
- .Ship’s crew must regullary check for any loose turn buckle,if sighted loose must be tightened right away.
- .Any defective lashing gear found must be reported
Related Read : What is Stack weight?
Related Read : What is ship sweat and cargo sweat
CSS (Cargo Stowage and Securing) Code
• CSS Code provides international standard to promote the safe stowage and securing of cargoes, and advises to minimize the risks to the ship and personnel
• Advises for proper stowage and securing of cargoes
• Action to be taken during rough sea conditions.
• Advising any action for of cargo shifting.
• It ensures that the ship is suitable for its intended purpose
• ship is equipped with proper cargo securing materials
• Overall responsibility of cargo and crew remains on master of ship.