Friday, April 23, 2010

Eliminate Tonnage Worries When Loading Freight Into Shipping Containers

London Conference and Product Launch Concerned with the Same Problem
Shipping News Feature

UK – US – Cube cutting was (and sometimes still is) the scourge of the shipping world. By reducing declared dimensions of lighter cargoes unscrupulous shippers and agents can slice a percentage from export costs and claim administrative error if and when discovered. With evidence of previous misdemeanours having vanished with delivery of the freight only current shipments can be subject to scrutiny and penalties usually just a rate adjustment. Offenders are easily caught with a simple pass of a tape measure; the weight of goods in a shipping container however, is a whole different ball game.

This week saw the confirmation that a conference on the problem of misdeclared weights for shipments of freight is to take place in London in June. Simultaneously, on the other side of the Atlantic, a company has produced a product that not only resolves the problem of overweight stacking, but loads the container as well !

Firstly 29th June will see the Hilton London Canary Wharf Hotel hosting a one day conference to examine the problem organised by the UK-based maritime PR company Dunelm Public Relations who say there is evidence, mostly anecdotal but some more authoritative, indicating that shippers cannot be relied upon always to make accurate weight declarations when booking cargo. Yet carriers still accept declared weights and rarely if ever seek to have them verified.

Obviously weighbridge facilities are available for most port related situations and drivers routinely weigh in when delivering but Dunelm argue that some sectors, for example RoRo ferries carrying both trailers and trailer borne containers, have no requirement to weight before embarkation.

Often the problems encountered aboard container vessels themselves are due to bad stowage of the vessel and it is obviously imperative that correct information is available for those responsible.

Dunelm’s managing director David Cheslin reports that initial interest is strong:

“Although we are only now starting to market this event, delegates representing deep sea and short sea carriers, P&I clubs, classification societies and terminal operators have already registered. Sadly though, even at this relatively late stage, I am unable to find a speaker willing to explain why the carriers are seemingly not taking active steps to enforce their own ‘best practice’ guidelines.”

Details of the conference can be obtained directly from Dunelm PR here.

Meanwhile next week sees Container Stuffers LLC (CSL)exhibiting their C- Loader container loading and weighing system. Using the company’s equipment the Auburn, Washington firm claim that, using their equipment a twenty or forty foot box can be loaded in as little as 12 minutes as opposed to 45 driving inside and stowing the goods. The added bonus is that the equipment also records the weight of goods loaded.

David Haywood, Director of Sales & Marketing for Container Stuffers explained, “Essentially, CSL’s equipment embodies two revolutionary concepts. First, treating the entire container load as a single unit and second, aligning the motive power with the longitudinal axis of the container. If Malcolm McLean revolutionized the way ships are loaded with the invention of the container, we complete his work by revolutionizing the way those containers are loaded.”

The C-Loader progressively measures and balances the total load by a built-in scale weighing system and generates a manifest specific to the individual container while reducing the typical damage to the shipping container during the loading cycle. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. CSL’s approach to loading cargo eliminates Carbon Monoxide exposure by staging the load outside of the container pre-empting the need for the forklift to enter the container during loading cycles.

Together with their sister product, a container log stuffer called the K-Loader, CSL will be exhibiting the C-Loader at North American Material Handling Logistics Tradeshow 26th to 28th April at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

Photo:- The C-Loader