The use of containers has given an enormous incentive to scale up in shipping and increase in cargo volumes.

The closed nature of the container conceals possible damage until arrival at the final destination and the container operator will be unaware of such damage. Whereas claims on dry cargo containers generally concern theft and pilferage, water damage, sweat damage, poor stowage and temperature damage.

Container collapse

Container collapse may have many different causes. The exact cause may be a combination of various occurrences and effects. A collapsed stow or damaged container conceals many traces of evidence.

BMT Surveys has extensive experience in the investigation of collapse of container stows and has an outstanding track record in forensic investigation and providing independent advice to shipowners, liner companies and P&I Clubs for loss-prevention and claim / litigation procedures.

Calculations of lashing and securing forces

Stowing containers on board a sea vessel is more than just 'stacking boxes'. In general cargo, common sense can be deployed. The stowage of containers is very much based on complex calculations of forces for which the use of computers and lashing software is recommended. BMT Surveys has trained staff to operate the software and to calculate these forces.

All elements which are part of the container lashing and securing system are subject to strength requirements as imposed by the Classification Societies. Equally so, a container is more than just a steel box; it is required to meet a substantial amount of regulations on dimensions and strength. The International Organisation for Standardization has set guidelines for function and dimensions in order to make the container and lashing system exchangeable between different ships and different transport modes.

A large range of tests and simulations can be conducted on a laboratory scale, however the real test always occur at sea, when the container and equipment is in operation on board. BMT Surveys has a significant track record of setting the right test criteria and co-ordinating tests through reputable test facilities, amongst others, BMT’s in-house test laboratories.

Our services in this area include:

  • Calculation of forces in lashing components and container structures
  • Case review for lawyers and arbitration proceedings
  • Expert witness
  • Consultancy for loss prevention projects, regulatory bodies and training manuals
  • Market intelligence and trend analyses
  • Loss prevention audits (office and ship)
  • Testing of lashing equipment and containers
  • Hydrodynamic modelling of ship motions (In combination with BMT ARGOSS)