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  #11  
Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

Now if one of those containers was filled with bottles of wine........
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

Since the Navy lost Culebra as a target range, maybe tey could start using these containers as targets? The mostly submerged ones would be great for torpedo runs.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

Hylyte-
The problem with not affiing devices to all 17 milliuon containers, is that those containers are constantly moving. If you put tags on just the outside containers, now you've got to generate a manifest, send workers into the yards, manually affix them and test them, and eventually? You're going to add a boatload of hand labor in the yards, and still wind up tagging ALL the containers because everntually, they'll all be outboard containers.
Get 'em down to one chip, one battery, integrated antenna, hard shell...you might get them down to five bucks a piece, installed. Time 17 million cubes. Call it an even hundred million dollars. And the question remains, will that save someone any money? Insurers and shippers won't even discuss what the numbers are.
And then, after the hundred million in tags (which would probably be much higher for "milspec" durable tags) you'd still need to maintain a tracking system to monitor them. And if a tag failed--now you'd be liable for the consequences. Ah, wait, the insurers can sell liability insurance for that, now they can be motivated!
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

If a ship carries X # of containers, it's required to have the same # of locator units attached to the containers. They are reusable. They get attached at loading and removed at unloading. There's big money in shipping. At least they should be responsible for their crap when it gets dropped in the sea. This seems like an obvious solution. Mass-produced, these would cost them beans. Container ships need to abide by the same rules about discarding debris as everyone else. They should be on the hook for any costs to retrieve debris they lose when located by these transmitters.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

they should be on the hook for any damages those lost containers do too
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

smurph-
"They get attached at loading and removed at unloading."
You haven't heard of "Union Labor" have you? the containers are stacked at the port, the ones that will be loaded on top of the stack, may be at the bottom on the dock. And if they aren't, now someone has to go climbing to locate them.
That would make the "tagging guy" into a Teamster and a rigger, and he's going to charge a lot more than the tags cost.
Come on guys, job number one is not the technology, it is finding a way to make the financial side work. Make that work and everything else falls in line. Ignore that, and nothing else matters.

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Shoulda woulda coulda. There are very good traditions which have become law which say a shipper is not responsible for the damages done by flotsam. Which is what those cubes are. You want to change a thousand years of nautical law?
Great, start the petition ! Saying "shoulda" ain't gonna impress the folks who need to change international treaties and national laws.

Make the financial case, and everything else will follow. Ignore it, and you're wasting your time.
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

Even if the SPOT brand equipment doesn't pan out or the current crop of containers isn't compatible, if the idea is sound and saves money the industry WILL respond. Cool idea, I hope your buddy is successful!

Brad

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
When the primary/only road block to a great business challenge is the cost of technology, that's just the bees knees. That is why God placed sun-starved introverts on the earth called "Engineers" to deal with things like that. They love that sh&t. Ideas that challenge cultural norms, parochial thought, and governmental protectionism are the big problem areas. I think this problem is solvable. But not easy though.

I wonder what the price/per for SPOT for 17 million containers would be, not to mention an alternative technology that some geek dreams up? Scale helps.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

I don't often agree with HS, but on this subject I think he's right..

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Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
Even if the SPOT brand equipment doesn't pan out or the current crop of containers isn't compatible, if the idea is sound and saves money the industry WILL respond.
The idea might be sound - but - as as already been posted, this sort of system simply doesn't save industry money - it costs!!.. unfortunately.. and big time.

The issue of salvage of lost shipping containers has been pushed back and forth many times in many directions over the decades since containers were invented - and the concept of satellite tracking of containers isn't new either - but unless someone can come up with a better container design and build (perhaps one that is half-reasonably watertight would be a start) one that's lighter and cheaper (made of CF perhaps?) there is absolutely no value in salvaging them and it is far cheaper, easier and less liability and risk for the insurance companies to simply write them off - hoping the greenies don't notice the new "reef" complete with toxic chemicals oozing out of it.

The best idea I've ever seen tried was a simple 4" hole cut in the top and bottom sealed with a thin zinc cover plate that was supposed to corrode through and sink the thing after a few hours in the ocean - but even that added +50 cents to the construction cost of an ordinary container so it wasn't widely used... but at least it didn't need a battery!
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Last edited by Classic30; 03-07-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

When I was stationed in GITMO, many years ago, those containers came by barge. A tug hauled what everyone called the "supply barge" down once every two weeks. Every single thing going into or coming out of GITMO went by container on this barge.

Unless one has been built, there isn't a pier big enough for a container ship. In the old days when the Battleships would go down there for REFTRA, they were tied out to the Battleship docks in the middle of the harbor and the crews were transferred with liberty boats. I don't think anything bigger than a sub tender can actually dock there.
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Re: Watch Out for Lost Containers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
I don't often agree with HS, but on this subject I think he's right..

The idea might be sound - but - as as already been posted, this sort of system simply doesn't save industry money - it costs!!.. unfortunately.. and big time.

The issue of salvage of lost shipping containers has been pushed back and forth many times in many directions over the decades since containers were invented - and the concept of satellite tracking of containers isn't new either - but unless someone can come up with a better container design and build (perhaps one that is half-reasonably watertight would be a start) one that's lighter and cheaper (made of CF perhaps?) there is absolutely no value in salvaging them and it is far cheaper, easier and less liability and risk for the insurance companies to simply write them off - hoping the greenies don't notice the new "reef" complete with toxic chemicals oozing out of it.

The best idea I've ever seen tried was a simple 4" hole cut in the top and bottom sealed with a thin zinc cover plate that was supposed to corrode through and sink the thing after a few hours in the ocean - but even that added +50 cents to the construction cost of an ordinary container so it wasn't widely used... but at least it didn't need a battery!
Exactly... Lots of 'Dreamers' around here... (grin)

Gotta admit, the irony is pretty rich, on this issue... Hell, as we've once again been recently reminded, fellow sailors are abandoning yachts on tradewind passage routes without sinking them, and yet we expect shipping companies to invest millions to help ensure our safety out of the goodness of their hearts?

LMAO!
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