Posted on January 29, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie

Cargo is vulnerable at all times at sea. Stacking containers and lashing them down isn’t enough to guarantee your cargo will arrive undamaged.

During a voyage your ship will face heavy rolling and pitching. Parametric rolling is particularly challenging to manage and is specific only to container ships.

Increases in the size and technology of the shipping industry, the container ship is now able to carry more than 15000 containers.


It’s fair to say the size of a container vessel is ever increasing. More cargo is being transported at one time, and the size of the ship has to cater for this. New container ships have large bow flare and wide beam to decrease the resistance generated when the ship fore end passes through the water. This makes it streamlined with the hull.

As the wave crest travels along the hull, it results in flare immersion in the wave crest and the bow comes down. The combination of buoyancy and wave excitation forces push the ship to the other side.

Similar result happen as the bow goes down in the next wave cycle resulting in synchronous motion. This leads to heavy rolling up to 30 degree in a few cycles. This type of rolling is known as Parametric rolling.

There are several steps that can be taken to try and lower the risk of damage to the cargo while at sea.


Lashing can be one of the most effective ways to protect your ship during transit. It’s important to understand the plan and order of lashing and unlashing.

Any reefa containers require extra attention when plugging and unplugging during the loading process.

Then during the voyage, the lashing must be checked at least once a day and tightened whenever necessary.

The number of times you check the lashing should be significantly increased as the ship hits rough sea of heavy weather. You may also need additional lashing.



Refer containers must be checked and monitored several times per day. Frequent monitoring is required in case the refer container malfunctions.

The process of monitoring, managing and recording data from the containers takes manpower and time.Undetected for this amount of time, a loss of power results in spoilt cargo, unplanned delays and extra costs.

TempTrack is a new product that can save the crew time and the shipping company a great deal of money. It’s the latest technology developed by ARX Maritime to simplify this process. It eliminates the need for manual checks, and minimises the risk of wasting costly cargo. It is the first universal cross-brand reefer monitoring system.

During loading, the small magnetic TempTrack securely clips to the reefer. It independently accesses and monitors the cargo critical information. A change in this information triggers a real-time alert which is sent directly through the inbuilt wireless network to the cargo control room. The self monitoring system saves time and money by enabling the crew to respond instantly.

The data from the reefers is stored in our cloud-based system giving managers accurate and up to date figures. Then the device’s Electronic Data Intercharge (EDI) system allows for the seamless transition of data once in port.


Containers carrying dangerous goods should be checked at regular intervals. Similarly to hitting rough sea, the number of times they are checked per day should be increased compared to non-dangerous cargo. They should be checked for leakages or damages.


Poor weather conditions could cause leakages from water and oil systems. This is known as wet damage.

Regular sounding of cargo hold bilges is of utmost importance for early detection of problems related to water or oil ingress in cargo holds.

Bilges must be checked once a day in normal weather condition and at regular intervals of time in rough weather. When the ship is at port, cargo hold bilges must be drained into holding tanks.

There are many ways to try and protect your cargo, and with the latest technology these processes are becoming much easier to manage and document. For more information about TempTrack and how it could help your business, visit Arx Maritime and scroll to the TempTrack page in products.

Posted in Operations

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