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Inspecting damage to cargo containers is a potentially dangerous, but essential, part of operating cargo ports. Now one of the world’s biggest and busiest ports has developed a way to conduct these inspections safely and more quickly than ever before.
The normal way of inspecting cargo containers is to lift them onto a special frame which supports the crate so an inspector can climb underneath it safely.
New ‘Checker Device’
But operators of the Hamburg Container Service GmbH, in conjunction with Hyster, have developed a new “checker device” that allows inspectors to see all six sides of an empty cargo container without having to take the time to set the cargo down on the inspection frame.
Instead, the checker device locks the container to a forklift at a height of 6.2 feet so the checker can look for damage.
In most ports, safety rules prevent inspectors from looking at the underside of a cargo container while it is suspended from a mast — even if it is securely locked into twist locks. At a port like Hamburg, where about 500 cargo containers are loaded and offloaded from ships daily, this process can slow down the entire operation, not to mention costing port operators and shippers additional fuel charges and time.
Cutting out the step of having to set the cargo container down onto a frame significantly speeds up the inspection process and streamlines operational efficiency.
The checker device was just one of several new innovations introduced at this summer’s TOC Europe trade show, held in Rotterdam.
Hyster also introduced its new ReachStacker line that features a new Cummins QSL9 engine that meets Europe’s tough new Stage IV/Tier 4 emissions standards. The vehicles offer 25% more efficiency in fuel usage.
Chris van de Werdt, Hyster’s European big trucks division manager, said the company is always seeking ways to serve its port customers.
“We have further enhanced our product offering to support ports and terminals by helping to reduce the cost of operation,” van de Werdt said in a news release. “Hyster remains the only full line supplier providing a complete range of lift trucks and associated solutions to transfer goods from ship to store in port centric operations, from reach stackers and container handling trucks to lift trucks.”