A new system which treats lifting four or six empty containers as a single block using the same principles as the lifting of a six-pack of beer cans has been developed with the company behind the invention claiming the development can save the industry billions of dollars while also improving safety for terminals and shipping lines.
“Moving relatively light empty boxes, which represent over 20% of total in port container moves often one by one with powerful cranes and vehicles is incredibly inefficient,” said BLOK-Container Systems (BCS) sales and marketing director, Selwyn Rowley.
Repositioning empty containers costs the shipping industry $15-$20bn a year – up to 8% of a shipping line’s operating costs – according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
“By deploying BLOKs of containers linked with BLOK-Locks and specially developed BLOK spreaders and trailers the whole container handling system can be speeded up dramatically using existing cranes and terminal infrastructure which will save money, speed up vessel turnaround, ease congestion and make the whole operation safer on land and sea,” he added.
Martin Clive-Smith, CEO of BCS said: “This is a rare project in which the whole industry will benefit from improved safety and commerce, with minimal changes in infrastructure and practices required.”