Container ship design has altered increasingly in recent years as they are seen more as the work horses of the oceans rather than the sleek thoroughbred yachts favoured by several Russian oligarchs.
It is just as well because their payloads are not the rich finery of the mega wealthy but the well-proportioned and stocked bulwarks of the largest vessels on the oceans, so huge that they dwarf the more beautiful playthings that have the temerity to contest the waters of the high seas. These megaton vessels plough the shipping lanes of the world several nautical miles from the tranquil harbours where the much smaller playthings of the rich wallow at anchor.
For as international maritime trade and commerce has increased exponentially, so the designers to take advantage of the economies of scale with increased numbers of containers requiring fewer ships to transport them across the oceans from port to port. The increase in containerised shipping has also seen the burgeoning of container ports throughout the world with its incumbent boost in port container services.
The majority of container shipping has been designed and built since 1980 and with the standardisation of containers some 20 years previously, businesses can regulate their container payloads to specific company contacts across the globe. Now shipping companies have also tackled the design and development of their containerised vessels to accommodate an increased number of containers being shipped across the oceans.
Port Container Services
This has meant that port container services have followed suit, upping their game to facilitate these economies of scale. Company merchandise has been transported in the past, loosely in the holds of ships with boxed packaging strapped to open decks. Business and not design was at the forefront of their minds. The advent of the container and its subsequent standardisation has meant that not only are containers stored below deck, they are also stacked several storeys high, well above the water line.
Container shipping lines have increased the capacity of their vessels unchecked over the last half century to keep up with this global trade expansion with fewer vessels enabled to handle ever increasing number of containers which has meant that the design of this shipping has had to be addressed. Vessels that had once been limited to the narrow and long format of tankers could now be designed and reconstructed for a wider girth while maintaining the previous lengths. Consequently, currently container ships are more than 1200 feet in length and more than 180 feet wide enabling each vessel to carry in the region of 11,000 of the smallest 20 foot containers.
Ports and port container services must also be given credit for addressing the complexities of these huge container ships with greater depths being dredged out of some harbours while the loading and unloading cranes have had to be elevated to ever increasing heights to be able to safely handle shipping containers. One can find more information about this by visiting portcontainerservices.com.au. Container ships designers should also be given credit for readily adopting computerised technology to ensure the seaworthiness, safety and equal distribution of containers throughout utilising specially programmed software.
Engine design has been at the forefront of containerised shipping as increased power was needed to drive these monoliths through ocean swells but the environment has not suffered as a result with greater fuel efficiency and eco friendly emissions than virtually any other form of transport.
With an insatiable thirst for information about the technology and construction industry, Francis Karlo Rushman is, on the one hand self confident but on the other a realist. With a Masters degree in Urban Planning, this architecture graduate loves nothing better that to solve problems on the job. He is a good listener, communicating well with his contractors and being creative with his solutions on spatiality, design or construction once he has heard his contractors’ input.