Hapag-Lloyd touts new steel floor boxes as the future of containers

Hapag-Lloyd has created a new steel floor container, which it claims can carry heavier cargoes than existing wood-floored boxes.

“The steel floor container is the future. It was designed so that all types of cargo could continue to be transported in it . But it has one major advantage over wooden floors: Much larger loads can be loaded into it per running metre, which makes it particularly interesting for heavy goods like machines,” said the German line’s head of special cargoes in a release.

Hapag-Lloyd statistics show a wooden floor teu can load 4.6 tonnes per metre, while a steel floor box can load 7.6 tonnes per metre. The difference is even greater with a feu box. While one with a wooden floor can withstand a load of three tonnes per metre, the steel floor one can withstand twice as much.

Another advantage of the new container, according to Hapag-Lloyd, is a much higher number of lashing rings, which makes securing loads easier and more efficient. Lashing rings in containers with steel floors have 2,000 kg pull load . By way of comparison, for standard containers, this figure is 1,000 kg for the rings on the floor and only 500 kg per lashing on the upper rails.

Another bonus with a metal floor, Hapag-Lloyd states is that the container can always be delivered clean and free of residues from the previous loading. Unlike wooden floors, steel does not absorb any odours or liquids resulting from possible leaks. The slightly wavy shape of the floor also prevents the cargo from sitting in any moisture if liquids have escaped or if condensation has formed.

The tare weight of steel floor containers is also about 150 kg lighter than those with traditional floors. This, in turn, means that the customer can load a higher load weight.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Interesting move, but it does sound like the max gross capacity is the same or v similar, I wonder how many shippers will see an advantage from this? It sounds to me like very few shippers will see this as a bonus?

    1. Max gross capacity will be the same but the payload should increase if the box tare weight is reduced. That is the benefit that HALO is trying to promote.

  2. HALO’s PR machine is going into overdrive as if they have invented something revolutionary, but steel floored containers have been around for decades. Even my last employer (who is hardly a main supporter of container shipping) had a fleet of steel floored containers dedicated to carrying paper reels.
    It is all very well touting the benefits of the steel floor and, after many years of dealing with expensive floor repair claims, I would agree that floor boards are delicate things but it is difficult to nail chocks and dunnage into a metal sheet.
    Hopefully there will be notices in the ‘new’ containers saying that no welding is permitted!

  3. Doesn’t say whether recessed ‘lashing eyes’ are incorporated into the design if, as Martyn says, cargo chocks cannot be secured to the floor. Otherwise some loads could move in the direction of the doors.

  4. Anything that has more, and stronger, lashing points in a container gets my vote! More lashing points means lower “stuffing and strapping” costs, and fewer cargo damage claims.

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