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The headline certainly catches the eye – how can slow-steaming harm a container? Well, it’s all about the lashing forces. Boxes may be correctly tied when a ship leaves port, but when the “optimal trim” – whereby ships can cut their fuel usage – is implemented, often at the insistence of the the owner or charterer, the dynamic forces could change and exceed maximum permissible levels. During good weather this is unlikely to happen, notes consultancy BMT, but different motions could result in damaged cargo.

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