In Rotterdam, the largest container port in Europe, land is scarce and expensive, and container depots use their square metres as efficiently as possible by stacking empty containers up to eight high. When a storm is imminent, depots have their hands full with securing the containers using tie ratchets or removing layers from the stack. A time-consuming job. “I’ve been working with containers all my life, and especially at empty depots you’ll encounter many problems during storm situations,” says Sjaak de Vos, director of Windbreaker International. “When I was still director of container depot Mainport Container Services (formerly Mainport Rotterdam Services) in Rotterdam, one of my supervisors once made a prototype of a connecting piece that connects the corners of the container – the corner castings – to each other, so the top layer becomes one solid block. It was a good idea, but nothing was done with it because there were still steps to be made in the execution.”

Like Lego

De Vos entered into a collaboration with research organisation TNO in Delft, which further developed the idea, tested it and searched for the most suitable material. “Steel, for instance, is much stronger, but it is way too heavy. Carbon is light, but far too expensive. We decided on the strongest form of cast iron, twenty centimetres long and weighing six kilos. The connector allows you to connect the containers in the top layer, just like Lego. It takes about five minutes extra to screw the Windbreaker into the corner castings. However, you will easily win back this time in case of a storm. Then you will barely have to worry about it.”

Fonte: http://brazilmodal.com.br/2015/internacional/less-storm-damage-in-the-port-of-rotterdam/