The Liner Shipping is one of the major markets of the Shipping industry, offering the most effective way of transport (the largest part of the transport is done by sea) unitized goods worldwide.
The Liner shipping directly affects our modern lifestyle, which is characterized by the need to consume products.
Four (4) are the steps that are required to implement the process of transportation of a good (container) from the point of production at the hands of the final consumer along supply chain.
- The product, after the production at the factory, which mainly is in a different location from the retail stores, is subjected to the Packaging operation, which is composed by the following 5 stages:
1st stage: The final product is placed in the Primary Pack, which is the type of packaging that appears on the shelf of retail store in various forms such as a bottle, tube, box, bag, barrel, etc.
2nd stage: Primary pack is placed in Intermediate Package that accumulates a number of unitized primary packs, which may be packer, tray, box etc.
3rd Stage: The Intermediate Pack is placed in the Shipping package that accumulates a number of intermediate packs that are found mainly in the form of the carton, in barrels, trays, bins etc.
4th stage: The Packaging Shipping is placed the Container, the most common types are 20 or 40 feet, depending on the type of transported goods, so are divided into:
- Open tops used for the effective loading of cargo.
- Open sides used for sensitive products, such as fruits and vegetables. Flat racks are used for large goods such as vehicles, machinery or heavy industrial equipment.
- Tank containers used for many types of liquids such as chemicals, wine and vegetable oil.
- Refrigerated used for cold-type loads.
5th stage: The container loading into the transport vehicle, which is mainly truck or rail.
- The transport vehicle of the containers is directed to the port. There are many modern ports both in developed and developing countries that having suitable facilities and special equipment for the efficient loading/unloading and general management of containers. Thus, the container is placed on the containership at the appropriate place thru the implementation of new technology and information systems that contribute to facilitate the departure of the ship without delay.
- During the sea transport, which in most cases requires a certain amount of time, because it makes intercontinental routes between Asia, Europe, South America Africa, the container is treated as Pipeline stock and is managed in accordance with the safety conditions. The containership sometimes makes stopovers to the port of calls before reaching to the final port. So, with the arrival of the containership at the destination point the specific container is detectable among others containers by special cranes and after follows the unloading process. The container is transferred either directly from the crane to the transport vehicle (truck, wagons) to the distribution center or stored in a special area (terminal within the port area, which is managed by the terminal operators), until it is decided to be transferred in the final point).
- The transportation of container at the Distribution Center (Hub) aims to empty its content and distribute the boxes at warehouses in which they will be subjected to further processing (in Primary Packs) before the final transfer to the retail store from where will be made the purchase by the final consumer.