Rendering stowage of goods better and safer
In fact the goods are no longer placed in the ship’s hold loose and, consequently, slinged for heaving and afterwards stowed and rigged and secured together with similar (or totally different) kinds of cargo, a procedure where, notwithstanding the outer packaging, it could easily suffer damages due to, say,
improper, subsequent or rough multiple handlings or loadings.
Preserving the goods from pilferage or breakthroughsEvery container, once entered into the Terminal to proceed on board, is inspected and then sealed. They are, consequently, un-sealed only at final destination by the last Receiver (Unless in case of an inspection by Customs Authorities).
Protecting them during transporthe container offers the goods maximum possible protection because:
it is watertight letting no rain or sea water in those which are, say, positioned on deck;
if stowed in the hold (even if more containers are stacked one on top of the other) offers the goods more safety as it is protected by the metal box;
No matter how adverse the weather conditions might be, the container cannot move as it is located in specially designed “cells” locking it in position (that’s why a container vessel is also called a “cellular vessel”.
Reducing the packing costsIn case of shipment on a conventional vessel, it is necessary to arrange very strong (and, consequen- tly, heavy, costly and hardly recyclable) specific packaging for the goods as they, placed in the hold, might have to bear the weight of subsequently laden tears of different potentially heavy cargoes laden in accordance with the foreseen discharging ports sequence.
For deck cargo it is, on top of the above, also necessary to schedule waterproof or watertight packaging preserving the goods from getting soaked.
All this is, of course, remarkably costly compared with the very light packaging, if any, from time to time necessary to ship goods into a container.
Remarkably lowering the shipping costsOn a cellular vessel thousands of containers are loaded belonging to hundreds of different clients; this pays for transport costs which are lower as they are shared among more operators. Nevertheless this must not lead to thinking that costs might rise in the event of extremely few containers being presented for loading bound to a specific destination. As we are dealing with “liner vessels” prices are virtually fix as they may suffer very narrow fluctuations, mainly due to fuel cost increase, which are, anyhow, normally in the range of very few Euros.