CMS - Container Monitoring System

CMS - Container Monitoring System

Container losses at sea are estimated at several thousand per year. Fires that are not detected in time and cargo going overboard as a result of heavy weather events not only lead to loss of value, but are also a danger to the crew, the environment and other watercraft. Further mechanical reinforcement of cargo securing is both technically and economically impractical and is not a solution to undetected fires.  

The innovative goal of the CMS - Container Monitoring System project is to substantially reduce container losses by digitizing cargo securing. An assistance system warns of fire sources at an early stage and provides the crew with recommendations for action to prevent the container stacks from building up. This is based on sensors distributed and networked throughout the cargo as well as model-based evaluation and prediction processes. Monitoring of the cargo on the ship's deck is made possible by instrumenting the securing elements (twistlocks) between the containers with robust and durable sensor technology. These smart twistlocks will be equipped with highly efficient wireless technology, allowing for several years of battery life and reliable data transmission in the highly shielded environment. Predictive evaluation methods that predict critical conditions in near-real time are a prerequisite for timely intervention by the crew. For this purpose, the acquired sensor data are combined with a hydrodynamic ship model, a hybrid weather model and a highly specialized stack model. For early fire detection, small temperature changes inside the container are separated from other temperature influences, such as solar radiation, based on the model. It is expected that cargo losses can be massively reduced in the future by these measures without influencing loading and unloading processes. Furthermore, the integrated load measurement enables the recording of real container masses during loading as well as the detection of container losses during the sea voyage.

Subproject: DatenSee - Usage of multiple data streams to derive adaptive course recommendations in seaways.

The sub-project "Usage of multiple data streams for the derivation of adaptive recommendations for action in sea state", aims to develop a seaways warning system and to support the underlying calculations by coupling multiple data streams. Here, acceleration measurements, weather data and simulation data are to be incorporated into an algorithm, which is to recognize critical situations and prevent container losses with appropriate recommendations for action. To achieve the overall objective, it is necessary to further develop the existing simulation methods in order to take into account the effects of ship and container stack deformation. Furthermore a concept for the consideration of meteorological data in an acceleration-based seaways warning system will be developed. Finally, the developed numerical methods will be applied in validated in ship model tests with flexible container stacks.


Project Acronym CMS
Project Title Entwicklung intelligenter Verbindungselemente für Schiffscontainer
Duration 2023-07-01 - 2026-06-30
Principal Investigator Moustafa Abdel-Maksoud

Malwin Wermbter, Johanna Serr



Project partners


This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany.