Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cargo Ship Roller Unloading

Fast removal of cargo.
  [vote for,

Unloading a cargo ship can take days. I say have one side wall of the ship on hinges, and make the floor out of rollers. Open the side so that the wall acts as a ramp, and tilt the ship. The bottom of the ramp could just be a rollered platform, where containers can be moved while the ship is reloading.
Worldgineer, Aug 25 2004

(??) underwater container unloading http://www.halfbake...ntainer_20unloading
Inspiration for this idea. [Worldgineer, Oct 05 2004]

Herald of Free was a RoRo http://college.hmco...00_heraldoffree.htm
[po, Oct 05 2004]


       Not side, back. Load and unload like a ro-ro, only the wheels are on the ship, not the cargo. Like it though, world. Definate croissant.
wagster, Aug 25 2004

       sorry, what's a ro-ro [wags]?   

       having recently visited the panama canal and costa rica's "dry canal" i too was wondering about solutions to this.   

       [world] in your idea, are the individual containers resting on a pallet type floor that is moved with the containers over the rollers?   

       i had thought of the side opening, but envisioned all of the individual containers being stacked onto a big pallet floor which would be removed en mass with a gigantic stationary forklift type apparatus.   

       i think the two ideas could be combined so that instead of a forklift a single large pallet could be pulled over the rollers onto the dock by locomotive power instead of tilting the ship, which may be dangerous, no? (+)
xclamp, Aug 25 2004

       \\tilt the ship\\ uh huh, have fun with that
swimr, Aug 25 2004

       Ro-ro = roll-on, roll-off ferry. Doors at front at back. Safer than opening the entire side of the hull. And yes, [swimr], I second that.
wagster, Aug 26 2004

       OK, tilt, roll and...death.
harderthanjesus, Aug 26 2004

       Sure, front and back will work fine. I don't see anyone's problem with tilting - it wouldn't need to be much of a tilt. Though powered removal doesn't bother me, so that would be fine.   

       I had envisioned the rollers would directly contact the containers. Though I can imagine inconsistant geometry of containers coming in the way, so I like the pallet idea.   

       Ok, modified idea: Pallet floor on rollers. Rollers on side or back wall that hinges open. Rollers on dock. Winches and cables are used to pull the pallets from the ship, winches and cables and pulleys are used to pull (pre-filled, ready to go) pallets onto ship.
Worldgineer, Aug 26 2004

       I was more thinking of horribly crushed dock workers.
harderthanjesus, Aug 26 2004

       Note to dock workers: Don't stand in front of moving containers.
Worldgineer, Aug 26 2004

       I don't understand this idea. So I'm waiting for more specifications and I'm staying neutral for now.   

       What are the advantages over ordinary container cranes?   

       The cranes pick and place the containers in a predetermined order, placing them immediately where they're needed.   

       Isn't your idea going to jeopardize this orderly way of picking and placing?   

       I'm not sure what the advantages are.
django, Aug 26 2004

       Speed. The only advantage is that you aren't limited to having your ship stuck for a few days unloading and loading. Pull the cargo out, roll new stuff in, and take off within a few hours. The organization of cargo can now be done per pallet. Have many smaller cranes organizing and sending out cargo quickly, instead of one crane doing all of the work slowly.
Worldgineer, Aug 26 2004

       it takes days to load or unload a cargo ship using pick-and place cranes.   

       if you could get all of the containers off the ship onto the dock, the ship could be reloaded the same day on be back on its way. the cranes would still be used to place the containers on trains and trucks but the ship wouldn't have to sit in dock waiting for it to happen.   

       of course you'll need a bigger dock, because you'll have more cargo coming in and waiting to go out.   

       (apparently i was typing at the same time as [world] so...what [world] said :)
xclamp, Aug 26 2004

       It's a nice idea, but indeed, you'll need quite some extra dock space (which might be quite expensive). And the technical feasibility of container ro-ro's must be determined by worldclass engineers. :-)   

       But if all this is accomplished, it would save big money and time.
django, Aug 26 2004

       [po] I live in Belgium and I vividly remember the accident with the Herald of Free Enterprise.   

       It was the doors which weren't locked well. So I think most ship builders would be wary of hulls with hinges and doors.
django, Aug 26 2004

       There are easy design fixes for that, such that even if the door opens your ship won't sink. For instance, have an air chamber that can alone keep the ship afloat.
Worldgineer, Aug 26 2004

       A lot of containers are stacked on top of each other, the stevedores stack them tight and they lock them into each other. In order to discharge them, they need to come out LIFO last in first out. I dont see how only one layer with rollers would help unless the containers actually have rollers built in and are "intelligent" but thats way too expensive - anyway
Trodden, Sep 01 2004

       [Trod] I'm picturing a bunch of stacks, each stack on rollers.   

       [scout] Yes, you're going to need more land. But that's a cost of having much more capacity. My guess is that the shoreline space is much more valuable than the inland area that would be used for sorting.
Worldgineer, Sep 01 2004


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