Clouds Ship corner... welcome to my world
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    Registered User Elite Member Cloud23465's Avatar
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    Talking Clouds Ship corner... welcome to my world

    Well... Welcome to what will be my little corner of the world. I'm going to bring information on what I know of the industry from my research (and work in). A container... what is it? Think of it as a removable trailer, Unlike your standard 53 foot trailer that truck drivers haul, Contaiers can be remove from the chassis which hauls it.

    This is a standard 40' conainer, but they also come in 20' and 45'. The have to different hight levels 8' 6" being a standard container and 9' 6" being a high cube. There is also Reefer (refrigeration) containers that keep parishable goods cool or frozen.

    Now there are several modes to transport the containers... the obvious is by truck, but there is also Rail too. intermodal as it's know as where Containers are stacked on train cars. There generally double stacked (see photo) to maximize transport to help lower cost. Trains in some areas can run miles long with train cars like these.


    But, the whole process really begins when the ship thats carrying the container pulls into a port to discharge the containers. The ships that containers come on are huge... how big? The Emma Maersk (Pictured below) is 1302 feeet long, 184 feet wide, Her hull stick up 99 feet out of the water and has a draft of 50 feet below the water. She can carry 156,907 dead weight tons and has a 109,000 hp motor that can carry this ship up to 25.5 knots (about 30 mph). She can carry 11,000 twenty foot contaiers or 6,500 40' containers.


    Well thats the introduction and a bit of information to get you clued into what this is all about. Next will be equipment that handles containers... then I start showing the disaster photos.

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    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    When I'm cruising, I sometimes get a chance to watch container loading & unloading when the ship is in port with cargo vessels nearby. I look forward to reading your insider perspective, Cloud.

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    Registered User Elite Member Cloud23465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campy View Post
    When I'm cruising, I sometimes get a chance to watch container loading & unloading when the ship is in port with cargo vessels nearby. I look forward to reading your insider perspective, Cloud.
    I look forward to informing anyone who whats to know about this field and answer any questions they may have about somthing.

  4. #4
    How long does it usually take to load/unload one of those big container ships?
    Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

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    Registered User Elite Member Cloud23465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck31003 View Post
    How long does it usually take to load/unload one of those big container ships?
    One that that Maersk ship... Proabably about 24-48 hours to do a really big amount It all depends on how much is unloaded and loaded back, and how many cranes they put to work on the ship. As large as this one is the more then likely put 5-6 cranes working on it at once. But this is the biggest and thats at max.

    But your average ship is about 900 feet long and 140 feet wide and carries between 4,000 to 6,000 20' TEU = Twenty-foot equivalent unit . A 40' container counts as 2 so keep that in mind. But most of those ships range about 24-36 hours becauses they use about 2-3 cranes at once so it's pretty close the same amount of time.

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    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud23465 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck31003 View Post
    How long does it usually take to load/unload one of those big container ships?
    But your average ship is about 900 feet long and 140 feet wide
    Really? Why so wide? Because I know 965' and 106' are the limits for the Panama Canal, and it seems odd that they'd design them so they'd fit by length but go so far over in beam.

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    Registered User Exalted Member Fireand'chutes77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud23465 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck31003 View Post
    How long does it usually take to load/unload one of those big container ships?
    But your average ship is about 900 feet long and 140 feet wide
    Really? Why so wide? Because I know 965' and 106' are the limits for the Panama Canal, and it seems odd that they'd design them so they'd fit by length but go so far over in beam.
    I'd think for stability concerns. They stack the containers three or four high on the deck, not to mention down below, so I'm thinking they need some lateral force to counterbalance the top-heavy-ness.

    (But then, I don't know too much about container shipping. )
    Carpe Navi: Because you never know when you'll get to go boating at government expense again.

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    Registered User Elite Member Cloud23465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud23465 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck31003 View Post
    How long does it usually take to load/unload one of those big container ships?
    But your average ship is about 900 feet long and 140 feet wide
    Really? Why so wide? Because I know 965' and 106' are the limits for the Panama Canal, and it seems odd that they'd design them so they'd fit by length but go so far over in beam.
    Yeah, Panamax are getting to be a thing of the past. Panama had to make a major decision to either spend about $5 billion dollars to make bigger locks or loose out on major revenue. the 140 feet wide ships are the suez class ships (that uses the suez canal instead of the panama canal).
    The ships arn't getting any smaller...thats for sure and panama figured that out so thats why there going to make bigger locks for the bigger ships.

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    Registered User Elite Member Cloud23465's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireand'chutes77 View Post
    I'd think for stability concerns. They stack the containers three or four high on the deck, not to mention down below, so I'm thinking they need some lateral force to counterbalance the top-heavy-ness.
    Your right about below deck. They can stack 9 and as much as 11 deep below deck and now there looking at 7 and even 8 high on the decks.
    here's some more information on ship classes and sizes
    Ship Classes
    Future ship sizes

  10. #10
    I'd think that since a container ship can do all the business it can handle running from China to the container ports in western Mexico and back again, the Panama Canal isn't even an issue: they just run the Pacific over and over. I've heard that since containers are cheap to buy new in China and shipping them back deadhead is costly, that there's a surplus of containers building up in North America from the trade gap. I saw one place... (seeks link)

    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE-037.htm

    It's a portable museum. The walls are made of containers, and the rest of the exhibit could be packed into them and carried by train.

    I'm a truck driver, but I don't carry intermodal freight like many other carriers do. It's a shame, because it really makes sense from a variety of standpoints: rail is more cost-effective and fuel-efficient per ton than trucks, and if the trailer or railcar has a mechanical problem, you can swap the whole load to another one without breaking the seal on the container or hand-lumping the freight from one to the other. Plus, some of the container trailers can be telescoped for various lengths of container, for one forty-foot, two twenty-foot, on up to the big 53' containers used for domestic shipments. Those are too big for the standard ship equipment, but they're at the size limit for rail and truck trailers.

    The reefer containers with electric cooling are really amazing to me. We have reefer trailers at my company, but they work by direct-gearing the reefer compressor to a small diesel engine, meaning we can't plug them in to keep them going, they need fuel all the time, and if they run dry they need mechanical work to be restarted. (Air in the fuel line is a game-killer for a diesel). The reefer container trucks carry a generator slung under the chassis, but on ships or trains the containers are plugged in to central powerplants. If the generator stops working, you can plug it in to an extension cord at a truck stop and wait for repairs, or plug it into the truck's APU, a much better system in my opinion. I once had a reefer quit in a drop yard, it wasn't my load but I was there at the time, and even after we fueled it it couldn't restart. 20,000 lbs of frozen pizzas, ruined.

    The only mode of transport that can't use those type of containers is air, because a plane is round and they're square. Cargo and passenger planes use a special, trapezoidal cargo container that matches the shape of the body. However, a current pet design concept among aviation futurists is a new breed of rigid hybrid airships that can fly at low altitude and speed (120-some MPH), and carry several forty-footers across the country in a day.

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