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Main features of hard top container

A container that is more stable, safer, versatile and convenient to stuff. It feature  loading ,unloading & improved stability with a watertight steel roof easily removed with either a crane or forklift in a few easy steps. The upper door header can also be swung out. 

Bulky or heavy cargo can be stowed much more conveniently and safely while still retaining the comprehensive protection of a standard container during transport. The hardtop container meets the technical requirements of a standard box, is available as 20' and 40' (40' also available in high cube).

Hard top container with special feature

Figure shows a hard top container with special feature - Hardtop containers can be  loaded more conveniently from above or through the door, as the roof can be removed with a forklift or crane. The upper door header can be swung open to  the side. 

Hard top container removable roof

Figure shows a hard top container with special feature

The hardtop container has a highly effective labyrinth rubber seal. This ensures the cargo is protected just as effectively against rain, water and other environmental influences as in  a standard container.

For stuffing purposes the roof can be raised manually with the locking handles without  a forklift or ladder,providing  an additional 7 cm (2'3 /4'') of loading height.



With a closed roof, the hardtop container offers the same  reliable protection as provided by a standard container.

Hardtop containers have more lashing points than other  container types. This guaran- tees reliable and convenient securing of cargo.

Where required, the hardtop roof can be stowed upright in the container during transport, reducing the inner width of the box by only 13 cm (5'1/8''). A tarpaulin may replace the roof upon request from shipper.


Main features of hard top container

The hard top container is ideal for :
With the roof removed and the doorheader swung out, it is much easier to load cargo using a crane via the door side. The steel roof of most series  is fitted with fork-lift rings so that it can be removed by using a forklift. The weight of the steel roof is approx. 450 kg (990 lbs).

In case  cargo has overheight the roof sections can be lashed to a sidewall inside the container using only some 13 cm (51 /8) of space.

If required, provide disposable tarpaulins for the transport which can be fastened to the walls on the outside using lashing devices.The hardtop container provides many  lashing devices to fasten  goods. The lashing devices on the corner posts and on the longtudinal rails of the roof and floor are capable of bearing loads of up to 2,000 kg (4,410 lbs) each, and those in the middle of the side walls up to 500 kg (1,100 lbs) each. Lashing to the side walls can only be done after the roof has been closed.

Fork-lift pockets for loaded containers. Utilizable for bulk cargo.  The roof can easily lifted by hand 70 mm (2’3 /4”), using the roof locking devices so that the door-header can be swung out without removing the roof.

This container type has been designed  for heavy loads. Whilst considering the technical data (including the permissible spreaded load limitations) please bear in mind the prevalent weight restrictions for land transport.

The duty of the Terminal planner/ Central planner is to carefully plan the loading on board so as to ensure minimum or no overstow of containers that will require to be re-stowed at subsequent ports. However same must be checked on board and if found, must be brought to the notice of the Terminal planner or Local agent for their information.





Other factors should be taken into account before accepting a containership cargo stowage plan :



Stacking Weights

Lashing strength

Dangerous goods stowage and segregation

Reefer Container Stowage

Out of Gauge Container Stowage

Special Container Stowage

20’ or 40’ or 45’ Compulsory Stowage Locations

Irregular Stowage of Containers

Hatch Cover Clearance (High cube containers Under Deck )

Other matters regarding cargo stowage as necessary






Summarized below are some basic container transport procedures. These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.


Safe cargo stowage and planning
When considering acceptability of a container cargo stowage plan, some basic check items, procedures / guidelines concerning cargo stowage shall be taken into account . Read more...

Safe Cargo operation

On Arrival Port, Prior Commencing Cargo Operation 1) The composition of cargo watch personnel shall be decided and duties well understood. 2) All personnel involved in the cargo watch shall be briefed regarding the expected operations and provided with a Cargo Discharge Plan . Read more...

Guidelines and procedures concerning containership hull strength & stability
When considering acceptability of a container cargo stowage plan, the following procedures/guidelines concerning hull strength & stability shall be taken into account:
a) Draft, Trim and Heel Draft restrictions at berth, approaches, passage and next port shall be taken into consideration and vessels maximum draft must be maintained within the applicable restriction. Read more...

Procedures for dangerous cargo handling and documentation
Handling dangerous cargo requires special care due to the inherent hazardous nature of the cargo and applicable carriage regulations.
Read more...

Procedures for reefer cargo handling
Reefer containers require special care after they are loaded on board ship. These containers need to be supplied with power, monitored closely for proper function and repaired as required in case of malfunction.
Read more...

Handling breakbulk,Out of gauge and open top containers
Break bulk cargo is usually stowed on flat racks and platforms. It is important to confirm that the break bulk cargo itself is properly secured onto the Flat rack or Platform prior loading on board.
Read more...

Containership operation: 2 in 1 (Two in One) Loading
The term 2 in 1 operation is normally used when two 20feet units are loaded in one 40feet bay underdeck. When such loading operation is being conducted, it must be ensured that the terminal staff is aware of the vessels lashing system.
Read more...

Containership operation: On Deck Loading of 20feet Containers
20feet containers loaded on deck must be spaced apart in order to leave room for lashing each container on the fore and aft ends.
Read more...

Containership operation: Opening closing hatch covers
Hatch cover operations are frequently carried out on board container ships but due care is necessary to prevent damage by incorrect operation.
Read more...

Containership operation: Cargo lashing
Regular inspection and maintenance of ships cargo securing devices must be carried out. These would include routine visual examination of components being utilized, lubrication of securing devices, repair of damaged securing devices and separating out and rejecting damaged/unusable securing devices.
Read more...

Containership Cargo securing
When containers are carried on deck, the ship is required to be approved for that purpose and the containers themselves are secured with twistlocks and lashings. These usually consist of steel rods and turnbuckles.
Read more...

Containership Cargo Securing Devices (Lashing Gear Box Containers)
Vessel shall account for all lashing gear box containers including bins prior departure from every port.
Read more...

Containership Cargo hold ventilation
Cargo holds of container ships are fitted with two basic types of ventilation systems, namely natural and mechanical. Mechanical ventilation could be of either the supply or the exhaust type.
Read more...

Safety navigation for container ships
While planning the passage for intended voyage the safety of navigation should be accommodated in, where it is both reasonable and possible to do so,
Read more...

Containership Cargo care at sea
Condition of Cargo (Container) Securing / Lashing shall be checked at least once daily and tightened as required.
Read more...

Containership operation: Safety of personnel
On board containerships there are several potential safety hazards in the cargo working area and these will have to be identified, made safe and monitored to ensure continued safety.
Read more...

Containership operation: wet damage in cargo hold
Water entered into vessel cargo holds may cause wet damage to the cargo inside containers especially stowed on the bottom, unless the bilge water is drained in a proper and swift manner.
Read more...

Containership operation: hull damage stevedores
In case a third party including stevedores is responsible for an accident caused by work, such as Cargo handling, Bunkering, or Loading ships stores or the like, the Master shall handle the accident with appropriate steps to claim for damages.
Read more...

Measures to protect the vessel side against stevedores injury
All working areas and accesses must be checked to be clear of any slippery matter and obstructions, be structurally sound and well lit, before stevedores come on board.
Read more...

Measures to protect reefer cargo deterioration
Check and monitor each reefer container as per voyage instruction, which requires some basic check items.
Read more...

Containership Navigation : Ships motion in a seaway
Ships are affected by movement in six degrees of freedom; rolling, pitching, heaving, swaying, surging and yawing. Of these, rolling, pitching and heaving generate the highest forces during heavy weather.
Read more...

Containership Cargo Securing Arrangement
Details of the securing system and its constraints are set out in the vessels approved Cargo/Container Securing Manual.
Read more...

Containership Cargo Operation : Common reasons for stowfall
Container stows often fail due to:

Container stacks being too heavy and too high overall, exposing the lower containers to excessive transverse racking and compressive forces due to the tipping effect.
Read more...

Containership operation : Ships motion in a seaway :parametric roll
The term parametric roll is used to describe the phenomenon of large unstable roll motion suddenly occurring in head or stern seas.
Read more...







Other info pages !

Ships Charterparties Related terms & guideline
Stevedores injury How to prevent injury onboard
Environmental issues How to prevent marine pollution
Cargo & Ballast Handling Safety Guideline
Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
Questions from user and feedback Read our knowledgebase
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