on a container ship
page is about how we were doing the cargo operations during my voyages
the German vessel CONTAINERSHIPS VI in summer 2005. As I worked on
board as deck
rating this describes the works the ratings have to do.
1 hour prior to arriving in port or as appropriate the deck crew
starts unlashing the containers and opening the clips on the hatches
after mooring those of the deck crew who form the cargo watch (usually
1 or 2 deck ratings) are lifted on top of the containers in a special
with openings which is called lash-box to undo the bridge fittings and
with which the containers are arrested against each other.
- Now the
containers get lifted away by crane or gantry. The watch keeper has to
supervise this and to make sure that all twist locks are open and the
runs smoothly. He has to take care that he is seen by the crane driver
the danger of getting hurt. It is important to keep clear from any
through the air and it is forbidden to stand in the same bay as the
unloading each tier either the watch keeper or in most ports the
stevedores have to climb on top of the next containers to take away the
locks so that the crane can plug in and pick them up. This happens
lash box or by using a ladder. While on top of the containers it is
move with great caution as there is no handrail. In strong winds or
weather the use of a harness and life line are compulsory.
- When the last
tier on a hatch cover is unloaded the hatch cover needs to get
prepared for opening. For this all remaining twist locks and all lash
has to be secured so that it cannot fall into the hold or foul the
- Now the
hydraulic pump gets started. Caution: hatch covers must not be moved
when the ship has list. In that case it is necessary to inform the
that you are intending to open the hatch so that he can return the ship
even position by pumping the ballast water from one side to the other.
- After checking
that nobody is on top of the hatch cover the hatch gets opened.
- Now the crane
removes the containers from the hold. In case of 20ft containers
stored inside the hold cons need to be taken away between the tiers.
starting with the loading the hold has to be prepared for the new
containers. It needs to be checked for any items lying around or for
that might have occurred during the unloading. If there is time it
might be a
smart idea to sweep the ground. In case of 20ft containers to be put
cons must be set in place.
- Now the crane
starts lifting the containers inside the hold. It is necessary to
check that the containers are placed on the cons so that they cannot
the ship starts rolling.
- It is also
very necessary that the containers are placed in the spaces noted in
the loading plan. This is especially important for heavy load
influence the stability and for containers with dangerous cargoes which
get positioned in accordance with IMO guidelines. Any changes, problems
damages must be reported to the watch officer.
- In case of
reefers these must be connected with the electricity as soon as
possible and the temperature gets noted on the loading plan.
- When the hold
is full - or all containers that are planned to get inside are
placed inside the hatch covers get closed. After closing it is
prepare it for the containers on top. This means that the twist locks
put in place according to the loading plan and the lashing material
be needed must be laid out in vicinity.
completing each tier the twist locks are laid out on top of the
- If there are
more than 2 tiers of containers on deck the watch keeper has to
connect the uppermost containers with each other with bridge locks and
- Either during
the loading or immediately afterwards the are done according to
the lashing scheme of the ship.
- The clips of
the hatch covers get closed and all openings into the hold get
closed and secured for the sea voyage. The twist locks get locked and
remaining material is stowed away.
page was updated 10/07