Blok-Container Systems (BCS), the company that engineered a new system able to lift four or six empty containers as a single block, has upgraded its innovation with a new BLOK-Trailer that speeds up use of tandem lift spreaders.
BCS expects that the new product will be available to purchase later this year as the new trailers are patent applied for and currently under construction.
The company has claimed that BLOK-Trailer, initially conceived for 'BLOKs' of four or eight empty containers (see video below), may now be the key to the quicker use of tandem lift spreaders moving laden containers at terminals around the world by saving valuable time trying to align the load with individual container trailers.
BCS stated in a blog post that its demonstration of the BLOK-Container System last year resulted in Hutchison, a port operator, reporting that its tandem lift spreaders would not gain the time savings due to inaccurate trailer alignment.
The company has claimed that it has now overcome this problem as BLOK-Trailers are able to transport laden containers in accurate alignment with the crane so that the tandem lift spreaders can pick them up quickly or lower them down quickly on to the trailer together.
Repositioning empty containers costs the shipping industry US$15-20 billion a year – up to 8% of a shipping line's operating costs – according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
It stated: “The new system also helps to address safety concerns. If the laden containers or indeed empty containers have come from the deck, then they will also have projecting down from their bottom castings , four twistlocks each which are currently often removed manually whilst the crane dangles the containers in the air.”
Selwyn Rowley, Director of Sales and Marketing for Blok Container Systems, said: “The combination will be of great assistance to terminals faced with the challenge of loading and unloading bigger ships faster and more efficiently.”