The container ships should have a total gross weight that is prescribed by the CTU. “For CTUs not marked with their maximum permissible gross weight, tare weight or any other features, any of these values should be known before packing starts. According to CEN standards, a swap-body of class C (7.15 m to 7.82 m) will have a maximum gross mass of 16,000 kg and a swap-body of class A (12.0 m to 13.6 m) will have a gross mass of up to 32,000 kg.” (‘Container Handbook’, 2007)
Moreover the containers should be packed with cargo in such a manner that the centre of their gravity lies at the longitudinal line that is present on the underside of the containers. “If the CTU floor is at a different height level than the loading ramp, a bridging unit may need to be used. This may result in sharp bends between the loading ramp and the bridging unit as well as between the bridging unit and the CTU floor. In such cases the lift truck used should have sufficient ground clearance to ensure that the chassis does not touch the ramp when passing these bends.” (‘Container Handbook’, 2007)
The cargo weight should also be spatially distributed along the bottom of the container in order to minimize the damage to the cargo. Adjustments need to be made if items of different height are loaded into the container as they can in-stabilize the container and its centre of gravity. “In no case should more than 60 % of the load be concentrated in less than half of the length of a container measured from one end. For vehicles, special attention should be paid to axle loads.” (‘Container Handbook’, 2007)
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