LOX has developed its remote container locking system (RCL) with the aim of replacing traditional manual methods of locking containers.
The largest users of container locks are the container shipping lines. The global cellular fleet is approximately 30 million TEU today, with new ships of approximately 1.25 million TEU launching every year. The deep-see container industry is therefore using in excess of 20 million locks, many of the old and in need of replacement.
Global container terminals have an annual throughput capacity of about 800 million TEU per year. Demand is growing, and terminals are keen to improve the efficiency of their operations. LOX has developed the RCL system in collaboration with DNVGL to meet the demanding requirements of the container shipping industry. Safety, reliability and durability have been core to the engineering of the system, which then adds on a new level of functionality through the wireless electronic communication. This allows the operator full control to release and lock the container locks, saving time during loading operations and avoiding dangerous manual work.
RCL System Application Areas
The remote operation of the RCL locking system makes it an ideal choice for use in RoRo terminals where containers need stacking and fastening on trailers.
RoRo ships often traffic high volume transport routes and place a premium on a fast turnaround in port. Currently, containers are often transported double-stacked on roll-trailers and are loaded and unloaded at the RoRo terminals at either end. The containers are fastened by various sorts of twistlock, requiring manual intervention. With high loads and restricted space, this can be dangerous work. The RCL wireless system can be fitted on to the roll-trailers and can lock and unlock the containers automatically, allowing operators to avoid entering the dangerous working area. The locking and unlocking can be automated into the loading procedures, changing the working process for shore personnel.
Truck, Train and Specialised Applications
RCL System Application Areas
The RCL system can be adapted for use in other areas of container handling, where the robust locking and secure remote activation can increase efficiency and safety for operators.
In many parts of the world containers are transported double stacked on railways, fastened with manual locks. In North America there are approximately 125,000 well cars for transporting twin-stacked containers. The LOX RCL system provides a way for the containers to be locked and unlocked remotely, allowing loading and unloading operations to be automated, reducing the need for personnel, and increasing efficiency.
Within large container terminals, containers are transported by trucks and require frequent locking and unlocking, often in a dangerous zone beneath operating cranes. Often current procedures involve the truck driver manually operating twistlocks. The LOX RCL system allows the driver to operate the twistlocks remotely, which are fitted to the trailer, from the cab.
Armed forces globally are adapting their supply chains and the life cycle management of their assets to meet growing requirements. Military Infrastructure and Logistics services are an essential element for the functioning of the armed forces, and solutions are currently mainly container-based.
LOX offers specialised secure locking solutions that can improve the efficiency of container logistics, able to operate in extreme conditions.