Stuffing and stacking containers


The Club is concerned at the continuing incidence of damage to containers and cargo from within containers, and of damage to containers and contents from the collapse of containers in stack.

Losses continue

This article is a reminder and re-enforcement of earlier advices, and reference should be made to the following Carefully to Carry reports:

Report No.11 - July 1983,

Report No.12 - December 1986,

Report No.13 - April 1989.

Reference should also be made to such booklets as Stuffing & Stowage by ScanDutch, and to similar publications by Atlantic Container Lines and Hapag Lloyd, for example, with their excellent descriptive line drawings and practical advice, and to the catalogues of container securing components and securing systems available from all reputable manufacturers such as Coubro & Scrutton, Conver and Peck & Hale.


The stuffing of containers is not just a ship operator’s problem. Containers are often packed at places which may be many miles, and sometimes even several days’ journey, from the marine loading terminal. It is therefore important that everyone involved with the packing of containers, at whatever stage in transit, should be fully aware of the stresses that can be generated in the structure of the container itself and in and around the cargo within it, during transportation by road, rail or ship.

It is also, of course, essential that containers are in sound structural condition each time they are put into service, and that the containers themselves are suitable for the cargo to be carried.

It should always be borne in mind that the side panels, the end panels, and the roof panels of an ISO container are not normally strength members. Beneath the floor timbers there are metal cross-bearers and it is generally those bearers which provide the floor’s strength.


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