Huge container ships, where are the limits?


Francisco Javier Madiedo Acosta 




Large port operations with several cranes working at a speed of at least 25 movs/h  if they work one at a time and more than 50 movs/h if they work in pairs, this means that if 5 cranes work at the same time It would move at least between 125 and 250 conts every hour.

The most important terminals far exceed them.

The reefer containers that must be connected or disconnected and verify their correct functioning, containers with dangerous goods, containers with large pieces with very heavy special pieces (boats, propellers, etc.) that need special attention, sometimes moved as Break Bulk. Care of the lashing of special pieces or containers that are loaded up to ten heights on deck.

In some terminals, it is allowed to take fuel at the same time, which requires that the vessel be fully upright to read the tank soundings and know exactly what fuel is being taken and not cause a fuel overflow. They also discharge pollutants from special tanks (sludges) to special transportation, take provisions of all kinds, pass inspections or surveys, have crew changes, etc. All this is done by the big operators of these huge ships and they intend to continue doing so, with  reduced crews, poorly paid, poorly trained, which is the breeding ground for accidents and maritime pollution.

They work 24 hours a day navigation, mooring ... with any weather condition.

I think National Governments, IMO, EMSA ... must take special care to legislate and protect more the citizens and demand that shipowners comply with the laws.

What kind of training and operational knowledge about vessels have the responsible for the operations of the terminal? Do they have knowledge of shipbuilding, the stability of the ship? Have they ever sailed in container vessels?

Do they have certificates that certify their enough knowledge and experience to be responsible for terminal operations?

What are their knowledge about the segregation of dangerous goods, the strenght of the gears used in operations ...? Should not they have an accreditation of their knowledge?

Accidents do not happen casually, but because of lack of foresight and other commercial interests.

We can imagine for a moment, what would happen in a collision between a huge loaded container ship and a passenger ship with 8,000 people on board ? with the hope that it is a hypothetical case that never happens.

How many accidents have big container shipping companies had in the last five years? What pollution have caused?

The control of CO2 emissions is the most important, but also the pollution of the sea