Stronger, safer, cleaner - what the new Steel Floor Container is all about

The steel floor container is a new, unique innovation of Hapag-Lloyd. In an interview, David Piel, Senior Manager Special Cargo, explains the advantages it offers compared to conventional boxes with wooden floors.

What types of cargo is the steel floor container developed by Hapag-Lloyd suitable for?

The steel floor container is the future. It was designed so that all types of cargo could continue to be transported in it . But it has one major advantage over wooden floors: Much larger loads can be loaded into it per running metre, which makes it particularly interesting for heavy goods like machines. By way of comparison, a 20’ wooden floor container can load 4.6 t/m (tonnes per metre), but a steel floor container of equal size can load 7.6 t/m. The difference is even greater with the 40’ box. While the one with a wooden floor can withstand a load of 3 t/m, the steel floor one can withstand twice as much.

What advantages do steel floor containers offer our customers?

The steel floor container can transport much higher (point) loads per running metre than a wooden floor. Another advantage is a much higher number of lashing rings, which makes securing your load even easier and more efficient. There are up to 66 rings in a 20’ container and even up to 100 lashing eyes in the 40’ box – on the floor longitudinal rails, ceiling longitudinal rails and the corner posts . Compared with containers with wooden floors, all lashing rings in containers with steel floors must have a breaking strain of 2,000 daN, meaning they are rated with approximately 2,000 kg pull load . By way of comparison, for standard containers, this figures is 1,000 kg for the rings on the floor and only 500 kg per lashing on the upper rails.

What’s more, the container can always be delivered clean and free of residues from the previous loading. For example, imagine a container has just transported oil drums, machine part or animals skins, was then cleaned, and is then supposed to transport food or clothing. Unlike wooden floors, steel does not absorb any odours or liquids resulting from possible leaks. The slightly wavy shape of the floor also prevents the cargo from sitting in any moisture if liquids have escaped or if condensation has formed.

The tare weight of steel floor containers is also about 150 kg lighter than those with traditional floors. This, in turn, means that the customer can load a higher load weight.

David Piel is Senior Manager for Special Cargo at Hapag-Lloyd

This innovation is also meant to contribute to more sustainable shipping. How does Hapag-Lloyd's steel floor container benefit the environment?

The higher stability of the container means that it can be used for much longer, and this stability can be guaranteed over its entire service life. What’s more, the floor wears away much more slowly, which means that it needs to be repaired less often and that doing so requires less effort. This, in turn, means that fewer resources are used and that less effort is needed to clean it. But the biggest factor making the container more sustainable is that it is made entirely of steel, which makes it 100 percent recyclable.

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