1.1 CTUs are designed for intermodal transport. They are capable to be transferred from one mode of transport to another by rolling or lifting. A swap body can be carried on a road vehicle or on a railway wagon. A freight container can be carried on a road vehicle, on a railway wagon, on an inland barge or on a seagoing vessel. A road vehicle can be carried on a railway wagon, on an inland barge or on a seagoing vessel (ro-ro ship). A railway wagon can be carried on a seagoing vessel (railway ferry).
1.2 When CTUs are handled, it should be ensured that all handling devices such as lifting appliances and internal movement equipment are in good condition and suitable for the intended purpose.
1.3 On completion of handling, CTUs should be secured to the means of transport as appropriate for the specific transport mode.
1.4 A CTU which is leaking cargo or obviously unsafe for further transport should not be loaded onto a means of transport.
Transfer by Rolling
2.1 Swap bodies are carried by road on special swap carrier vehicles. The carrier vehicle is capable to be lowered on its wheels and to roll under the swap body standing on its supports. By lifting the vehicle to its normal operating position, the swap body is taken onto the chassis of the carrier vehicle. Then the support legs are retracted.
2.2 Road vehicles may be rolled onto a ship driven by their own engine. Semi-trailers are normally carried on board ships without tractor unit. They are loaded to and unloaded from the ships by specific port internal movement vehicles. These vehicles should be conspicuously painted or marked and fitted with a flashing or rotating yellow beacon. The drivers’ cab should provide good all round visibility, with minimal obstruction of the driver’s view. Only authorized persons should be allowed on the ramp or any vehicle deck while vehicle movements are taking place. The movement of persons on foot on the ramp should be strictly controlled and minimized.
2.3 The cargo decks of railway ferries are equipped with several rail tracks which can be accessed by a movable ramp which is fitted with rails, capable to be connected to the rail tracks on board. The maximum permissible kink angle between the ramp and the level of the rail deck in the ship is restricted and depends on the type of wagons shunted into the ship. In specific cases this angle may be as low as 1.5°.
Transfer by Lifting
3.1 Before lifting a CTU, the handling staff should ensure that the lifting equipment is safely attached to the CTU and that all securing, fixing and lashing devices have been released.
3.2 Swap bodies for combined road/rail transport and also purpose built semi-trailers for combined road/rail transport are equipped with standardized recesses for being lifted at four points by grappler arms attached to the spreader of a crane or reach stacker. Thus they can be transferred from road to rail and vice versa.
3.3 Lifting of freight containers (refer to ISO 3874)
3.3.1 The most appropriate method to lift a freight container is the use of a top lift spreader. The spreader is locked by twist-locks to the top corner fittings of the freight container. This method can be used for all freight container sizes fitted with top corner fittings, in an empty or packed state. When the spreader cannot be attached directly to the corner fittings, e.g. in case of over-height cargo, slings or chains can be used and connected to the spreader so that the lifting force remains vertical.
3.3.2 The side-lift frame is designed to lift a freight container by the two top corner fittings of one side and to take the reaction forces on the bottom corner fittings of the same side or on suitable corner post areas above those corner fittings. This method can be used on all sizes of empty freight containers. In the case of packed freight containers, this method is suitable for 20-foot and 10-foot freight containers only.
3.3.3 The end-lift frame is suitable only for the handling of 20-foot and 10-foot empty freight containers. The frame is designed to lift a freight container by the two top corner fittings of one end and to take reaction forces on the bottom corner fittings of the same end or on suitable corner post areas above those corner fittings.
3.3.4 A top lift sling can be used for empty freight containers of all sizes. The freight container is lifted by all four top corner castings with forces applied other than vertically. Lifting devices need to be properly engaged, hooks always be placed in an inward to outward direction. In the packed state, this method is suitable only for 10-foot freight containers, provided that the lifting forces are applied at an angle not less than 60° to the horizontal.
3.3.5 A bottom sling is used in connection with a cross beam spreader bar. The freight container is lifted from the side apertures of four bottom corner fittings by means of slings which are connected to the corner fittings by means of locking devices. Hooks are not suitable for this connection. This method can be used for all freight container sizes in an empty or packed state. For packed freight containers the angle between the sling and the horizontal should not be less than 30° for 40-foot freight containers, 45° for 20-foot freight containers and 60° for 10-foot freight containers.
3.3.6 When a freight container is provided with fork pockets, it can be lifted by means of forks under certain conditions. The forks should, ideally, extend the whole width of the freight container, but under no circumstances should they extend less than 1,825 mm into the fork pockets. This method can be used on 20-foot and 10-foot freight containers in an empty or packed state with the exception of tanks and pressurized bulk containers which should not be lifted by forklift trucks at all. Where there are no fork pockets, the freight container should not be lifted by forks in any state.
3.4 Railway wagons may be lifted and may change bogies when the railway ferry operates between countries where the gauge of the track is different. In such cases, the railway wagons should be suitable for an easy exchange of bogies. The involved ferry ports provide specific equipment for this operation.
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