Why Is Proper Container Lashing Vitals On Board Ships?
The shipping containers help to transport various products around the world. Millions of containers are being shipped worldwide in thousands of active container ships when you are reading this article.
The container ships are increasing their capacities every year to carry more containers. This has led to a concern about the safety of the ship, its crew members, and also the containers. There have been many disasters associated with it in the past few years, and some of them have been reported in detail to the site. A few of these incidents occurred due to the containers falling off the ships, and that is why container lashing has become an important practice.
It is essential to secure the cargo and lash the containers properly for general safety. It should be done according to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code). The principles of container lashing include:
- All the containers should be secured properly in a way that neither the ship nor the crew members present in it are put at risk.
- Proper planning, supervision and execution are vital for securing the cargo in the right way.
- The people who are given the responsibilities of securing the cargo and lashing the containers should be qualified and experienced enough to do the job.
- Even the person planning and supervising the stowage and securing cargo, should be well qualified with enough relevant experience.
- In all cases, improper storage and securing of the cargo might lead to potential hazards, which might impact the securing of the other containers on the same ship.
- When it comes to measuring the stowage and securing the containers, decisions should be taken following the weather conditions. This is essential because the weather conditions might have an impact on the overall experience of the intended journey of the ship.
- The master should take all the decisions related to shipping handling, especially in bad weather conditions. They should consider the type and position of stowage of the cargo and also decide about the lashing arrangements.
However, it is to be noted that the responsibility of inspection and replacement of the cargo lashing devices falls on the ship operator. They should have appropriate certification so that they get accepted by the Classification Society as well as the other governing bodies.
There is a wide range of lashing equipment and even computer software available that helps to reduce the occurrence of collapsed stows and lost containers in the sea. However, it can only happen if the ship operator can maintain the lashing equipment in their intended conditions and follow the requirements of the CSM well. Monitoring, inspections, and timely replacement of the equipment along with proper execution are very important here.