Thursday, 21 March 2019

BLOK Container Systems

There is a regulatory and environmental imperative to reduce emissions from shipping which accounts for 2.4 per cent of global CO2 emissions (ICCT 2015), 13 per cent of SOx emissions and 15 per cent of global NOx emissions (Guardian 2017). The options are to change fuel type which requires considerable time and development work, or in the short term to encourage ‘slower sailing’. According to a Transport & Environment analysis a ship speed reduction of 25 per cent leads to a reduction of fuel consumption and emissions of 58 per cent. But to maintain the return on capital and ‘slow sail’ efforts must be made to cut the turnaround time in ports. To cut turnaround time there are two options being to add more expensive cranes, or to multi-lift containers at much lower cost. To lift more containers there are two options. For laden containers stronger cranes, reinforced quaysides and tandem spreaders are required. But a quicker and much less expensive option is to use BLOK Spreaders for empty container moves which represent 24 percent of all containers moved (higher or lower in different locations depending on the balance of trade) which can be managed with existing cranes and quaysides. To achieve four times faster cycle times for the STS cranes BLOK Trailers (which are double width trailers) can be used to replace four single trailers, again increasing efficiency. A barrier to speeding up the process is the manual removal of twistlocks and that remains one of the most hazardous aspects of container handling. The more pricey option is to use two automatic twistlock removers but again there is an opportunity to make savings with a BLOK Trailer and BLOK Rig. The final piece of the jigsaw is to guarantee the strength of tandem lifted containers and their liftlocks which is also addressed by using the BLOK Rig and BLOK Cert, a certificate that confirms the testing of the lifting container. 
The System currently comprises five products which can be used in a ‘pick and mix’ way for different handling systems or all together for maximum efficiency 

BLOK Products 

BLOK Spreaders are spreader adaptors stationed at the port and convert a single spreader into a tandem lift spreader able to lift blocks of 2 columns of VTLs in one lift. 
• Lifts four containers of any length 20ft, 40ft, 45ft, 53ft. 
• Adapts to Single, Twin and Tandem lift spreaders 
• Adapt Single and Twin lift spreaders to lift two columns of VTL containers 

BLOK Trailers guide, transport and feed BLOK-LOCKs into the corner castings. Automatic jigging speeds up spreader operations. 
• 8 TEU of containers quickly received off the ship 
• Quickly delivered to the ship 
• Accurately jigged 
• Accurately held for faster spreader pick up 
• Automatic twistlock fit and removal off quay 

The BLOK Rig automatically strips and feeds SATs into the corner castings. BLOK Rig will remove and fit the twistlocks from containers in single, tandem and VTL. The basic manual Rig can fit four twistlocks automatically under a container, and remove four twistlocks automatically from a container. 

The BLOK Cert system also makes use of the BLOK Rig. When required, it is capable of applying a proof test load to the container and twistlocks to verify and certify that they are good and safe for lifting in Vertical Tandem Lift (VTL). When the test is applied the BLOK Cert system electronically generates a certification with the details of the tested container/twistlocks which follows on to the destination port and certifies that the paired containers can be safely handled in VTL. 

BLOK Container Systems Compatibility 

The system is compatible with existing infrastructure. On the quayside, there are no surprises as the BLOK Trailers are just five metres wide the same as RTGs. So transporting eight teu in one pull down the quayside is not a problem. One driver replaces four. Likewise, one terminal tractor replaces four. 
STS Cranes are well able to lift 45 tonnes and more these days. So even 8 40fts would not overload the crane and that is contemplated at a future date. Terminal tractors, forklifts, side lifts, reach stackers, gantries rail and rubber tyred, can all be utilised within the system. 
Training to those familiar with container operations, twistlocks, lashings, terminal driving, stacking, crane driving, twistlock consolidation, have little to learn. 
Equipment control can be easier than currently carried out. Each twistlock, each BLOK Lock, each container, each weighing, can be recorded on the land side before the vessel loading rush. Any damaged container will be identified and sidelined before loading. 

Safety Summary 

Because manpower is now transferred from the quayside more than 75 per cent fewer risk events take place such as accidents between vehicles and personnel, stevedores attaching and removing twistlocks, container loads missing trailers, transporters along the road in general, crane location adjustments and so on. 
Stevedores can now inspect, stack, and twistlock containers into VTLs, not on the quayside, not on the deck, but in an orderly environment and therefore safe on dry land away from the hazardous STS loading zone. 
Lifting four containers off the BLOK Trailer is the same as lifting a single container, but obviously with fewer lifts, fewer operations. 
Once on deck the VTLs are ideally stacked with automatic twistlocks deployed. This means that the only lashing operation on deck is with lashing rods. 

ensile steel throughout w maintenance simple construction which leads to the lowest TCO 

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