Workplace Health & Safety

Tips on Spotting Structurally Defective and Off-Loaded Containers

This bulletin is intended for all those involved in the handling of containers.

The ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert handle close to 5 million containers per year, and this number is still growing. All these containers are handled several times during the course of the year by different jurisdictions through the intermodal chain of transportation. The IMO, in a global survey, has determined that roughly 10% of containers in circulation are structurally defective.

The most crucial weight bearing components of a container are the corner castings. Below are examples of defective corner castings that have been spotted at Vancouver terminals. If you see any corner castings with such deformation, do not handle them any further and report it to your foreman.


Other components of a container to keep an eye on are bent corner posts, and upper and lower rails. The container’s floor is supported by cross beams. In order for a container to be structurally sound there cannot be more than three cross beams missing, nor can there be any side by side cross beams missing.

The weight of the contents inside a container must be as evenly distributed as possible in both the width and length of the container. There should never be more than 60% of the total weight within half the length of a container.

For more information on how to spot defective containers, click on the link below for a thorough power point presentation.

Container Inspection Program (PowerPoint)


An Injury To One Is An Injury To All!

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