A British company has developed a new system to lift four or six empty containers as a single block.
BLOK Container Systems (BCS) developed the system using the same principles as the lifting of a six pack of beer cans.
The empty containers are lifted as a single block by using the company’s BLOK-Locks to link them, and specially designed BLOK spreaders and trailers.
BCS claimed that the new system can lead to significantly faster vessel turnaround using existing cranes and terminal infrastructure, thus saving money, easing congestion, and improving safety of operations.
BCS’ CEO Martin Clive-Smith said: “This is a rare project in which the whole industry will benefit from improved safety and commerce, with minimal changes in infrastructure and practices required.”
According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the shipping industry spends approximately US$15bn to US$20bn a year to reposition empty containers, accounting for up to 8% of a shipping line’s operating costs.
Selwyn Rowley, BCS sales and marketing director, said: “Moving relatively light empty boxes, which represent over 20% of total in port container moves often one by one with powerful cranes and vehicles is incredibly inefficient.”