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The ONE Apus “dump” must have some folks wondering how containers are secured.  The answer is lashing, and it is not new, but it has changed over centuries.  Today’s lashing rods are an outgrowth of containerization, attempts to prevent what happened with ONE Apus and many other vessels.  See the turnbuckles on the lower ends of the lashing rods, to tighten not too much but just right.

See more turnbuckles  here, with the top ends connecting near the corner twist locks.

Here you see lashing rods between each of the stacks. Lashing rods bolster the twist lock connections, lower and upper corners, between containers on a stack. 

Here closer up you can see the rods and the twist locks.  Lashing requirements can be learned here. The gray structure below is a lashing bridge, which serves both as a platform for crew who attach the lashings and an anchor for the lashing rods.  On corners of containers are interlocking cones.  A short video on the hazards can be seen here.

Lashing bridges throughout the vessels can be seen clearly when a vessel carries no containers above the deck.

ACL prides itself on never having lost a container overboard because of these substantial structures between rows of containers.

Looking elsewhere around some ships, you may see a panel marked AMP.  No, it’s not an amplifier for the crew rock band.  AMP, alternate marine power, allows a vessel to plug into “shore power,” thereby reducing emissions in port.  You may have heard of “cold ironing,” which this equipment facilitates;  anyone downwind benefits from the improved air quality.

Follow the blue stack downward to see the location of this AMP panel.

Another vessel, another configuration.

A few years ago, I saw one here on Cosco Prince Rupert

port stern quarter, and also on

MOL Gratitude.  I saw the first of these back in 2014 here.

And while we’re looking at details in the stern quarters, . . . check out the basket.  It’s certainly not the first hoop I’ve seen on a ship.  While we’re looking at this photo, check out the two roller fairleads, through which dock line is led to mitigate harmful line chafing.

All photos, WVD, who wishes you “happy looking.”

Thanks to Les Sonnenmark and Peter Lellow for helping me “see” what I was just looking at.  Last week I got some fotos of Düsseldorf Express leaving the sixth boro via the KVK.  See anything different?


Watch the vessel . . . .


There . . . the aftmost starboard container.  What is so special about it?


Here’s a foto Peter sent me . . . a container ship in port hooked up to shore power.  Cold ironing . . . I’d heard about it but never known what it looked like.  I don’t know if the service already exists in Port Elizabeth . ..  but this vessel is equipped.


Click here and here for more info on the system to reduce ship emissions in port.

I took the first three fotos.  Thanks much to Les and Peter for directing and educating my eyes.

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June 2022