Port boss takes action after containers fall

| 26/03/2020 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service
Containers that toppled down at PACI storage yard on North Sound Road Tuesday

(CNS): After two empty containers fell off a stack at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands’ storage facility earlier this week, Acting Port Director Joseph Woods has issued an order to reduce the number in any stack from six to five, pushing the North Sound Road storage area to its limits. Woods explained that on Tuesday a crane operator in the process of loading a container onto a truck bed moved it over a stack of six empty containers but clipped the one on top, causing it and the container below it to topple over. 

Cayman News Service

Although the crane structure has the capacity to pass over six containers, as there is room for a seventh container to go over all the stacks, it seems the moving container managed to clip the top of the stack it was passing over. The containers did not fall to the ground, however, as they were lodged on the side of the crane system. No one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

“The system was checked to ensure that the operator had the container he was moving lifted to the maximum height the machine can lift to and we confirmed that it was,” Woods told CNS. “At the maximum height the operator would have expected the container being moved to clear the one at the top of the stack, but the clearance was not sufficient and during motion they made contact.”

As a result and two previous similar incidents, he has directed that containers will no longer stack six high. From this point they will be stacked no higher than five containers, which will give crane operators sufficient clearance. But it will limit the storage space available for what appears to be Cayman’s continued appetite for imports, even in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woods said that there are plans to expand the yard on North Sound Road but this change to the system will reduce the storage capacity for containers from 720 containers to 600 at a time when the yard is already almost full. In the meantime, he will be removing empty containers until later in the year when the expansion plans could go ahead.


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Category: Local News

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    port authority……a perfect representation of the caymanian civil service…zzzzzzzz

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Another poor Caymanian stupid excuse for poor workmanship. The crane works great everywhere but Cayman islands.

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    • Yep says:

      Am I crazy or is every comment on cayman news service from some disgruntled expat who mumbles and moans about Caymanians? Now I agree it’s a bad workman blaming his tools but Jesus lol.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Pardon my bluntness but this was a really dumb explanation by the Port Director. Please revisit this Joey and give the public something that makes sense.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Is there a way for the public to purchase any of these excess containers?

  5. Port User says:

    It is blatently obvious that none of the commentators have any experience of handling shipping containers.
    I was not there so can only speculate, but can easily imagine how this particular accident could have happened. without the operator being at fault.
    If you weren’t there and couldn’t do the job anyway: shut up!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go on then since you are an expert – explain it. Because us simple folk don’t understand how a crane designed to handle containers stack 6 high school ends up catching the top layer without either a mechanical failure or an operator error.

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      • Port User says:

        Hint: Ask yourself this:

        How tall is a container? Can you tell the difference when standing on the ground 60 feet below the gantry picking up a container in the middle of the stack?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Two previous incidents.

    One should of been enough

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  7. Port Deflector says:

    There must have been tens of thousands of containers moved on this site in the years since it was constructed and this is the first accident, which caused no damage. Put it in context.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the operator could not count that high?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Great management, I guess next time it happens the solution will be to drop the height to 3.

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  10. ContainIsTheGame says:

    Unfortunately the Containers weren’t “contained”. We hope for different results with COVID-19.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s just make houses out of them. It’s about all we can afford.

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    • Ain’t taking cheese off my cracker says:

      That wouldn’t do, that might put ALT, Flowers and some big developers out of business.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Why is the “Port Director” consuming so much cargo capacity by stacking and warehousing so many empty containers? We have two 7 story cranes that cost millions, and because of dough-head operator error, we need to reduce the stack to 5? These are all management and training problems, unrelated to equipment or capacity. More stinky baiting of the public to blindly authorize big capex projects for the least transparent and least accountable department…it never ends! AG/ACC/SIPL team needs to shine their lights into the Port, investigate the conflicts, and start cleaning house and/or pressing charges.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My boat motors run just fine. No checking needed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What I took from the article is that there is a flaw in the design or installation of the crane. So until the is sorted out reducing the height of the containers is the right thing to do.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Although the crane structure has the capacity to pass over six containers, as there is room for a seventh container to go over all the stacks, it seems the moving container managed to clip the top of the stack it was passing over. The containers did not fall to the ground, however, as they were lodged on the side of the crane system. No one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

    “The system was checked to ensure that the operator had the container he was moving lifted to the maximum height the machine can lift to and we confirmed that it was,” Woods told CNS. “At the maximum height the operator would have expected the container being moved to clear the one at the top of the stack, but the clearance was not sufficient and during motion they made contact.”

    It’s one or the other – if it has the capacity to pass over six containers this would not have happened unless there was operator error. If the clearance was not sufficient then it does not have the capacity. Sounds like the operator screwed up and then raised the container the rest of the way and said it was all the way up when it hit…should be pretty easy to verify. Try it again!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!

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    • Anonymous says:

      about to say the same.

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    • Comfort Scott says:

      It is interesting that in the article no mention was made of container height. I believe that the most common container height is 8’6″ whilst the high cubes are 9 ‘6″ tall.
      Were any high cube containers involved in the present or previous incidents? Can the gantry safely handle high cube containers stacked 6 high?

      • Anonymous says:

        And if it can’t surely the operator is meant to check – the crane limits must surely be a specific height or a specific number of containers of a specified height – not six containers any height you like.

    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t know the design clearance but it’s possible for cables to stretch, metal to warp and containers to sway. All of which could cause a collision if the design clearance is small and designed around perfect container specifications

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Dark Energy was the cause ….

  14. Anonymous says:

    He already has some stacks of 6. So previously the crane could clear 6 and now magically it cannot? Hmm. Either the mechanism is broken – surely its under warranty – its operator error, or the clearance has been reduced by the containers being improperly stacked, the tire pressures deflated or the pad is uneven. Finding the problem and fixing it seems to be the more sensible approach than just shrugging your shoulders and accepting a 16% l;oss in capacity.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    He already has some stacks of 6. So previously the crane could clear 6 and now magically it cannot? Hmm.

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