As the global economy grows each year and becomes more interconnected, container yards must undertake the growing demand of moving containers and loading and unloading ships. Approximately 80 percent of goods are transported by sea with an estimated fleet of 56K merchant container ships. This puts extreme wear and demand on container handling equipment.
A container yard is a busy place. In August of 2021, the Port Authority of Los Angeles released numbers showing that over 900,000 containers were handled in that month alone, bringing the yearly tally to just over 6 million containers. Container handlers, such as cranes and reach stackers, are critical to meeting these types of productivity demands for ports everywhere. However, unpredictable equipment fires happen frequently, significantly impacting productivity.
On container handlers, hydraulics drive the motion of the boom or arm and can also drive the wheels. Hydraulic oil spraying or leaking from this system and landing on hot components in the engine and hydraulic compartment causes 90% of fires in container handling equipment. Regular hydraulic system maintenance and inspection, procuring quality hydraulic hoses and components, and installing fire suppression systems can significantly reduce productivity and injury risks associated with hydraulic fire. Keep reading to learn more about how the fire starts and how to prevent it.
Container handling equipment is a major contributor to fires in container yards, with a significant percentage resulting from improper equipment maintenance. In a claims analysis by TT Club, a leading insurance provider to the international transport and logistics industry, it was found that 67% of costs related to fire were attributed to yard equipment.