Structural optimization of cell guides on container ships - CellGuide

Project name:
Structural optimization of cell guides on container ships

Project members:
Aleksandar-Saša Milaković, Leon Kellner, Simon Haberl, Sören Ehlers

Funding party:
BMWi-Förderprogramm „Maritime Forschungsstrategie 2025“


Container shipping is considered to be one of the most important means of freight traffic worldwide. Owing to the difficult conditions at sea, loss of cargo occurs from time to time, resulting in substantial financial losses and endangering human lives. Therefore, the innovative design solutions to increase the efficiency and the safety are needed.
The aim of this project is to optimize dimensioning of reliable and efficient technical solutions of cell guides used to secure containers on ships. This pertains both to the conventional manned ships, as well as to the autonomous unmanned ships of the future. The development of the novel cell guide technologies should enable efficient cargo securing without the need for lashing.


The project is divided into following tasks:

  1. Development and implementation of an adaptive cell guide concept as a retro-fit solution for load securing.
  2. Development of a numerical method for determining sea loads in the time domain.
  3. Development of a parametric method for dimensioning and optimizing ship structures, in particular deck frames and cell guides for load securing.
  4. Development and implementation of a concept for the integration of a self-organizing, self-powered (micro-energy harvesting) and wireless sensor network for continuous load monitoring, risk analysis and simulation of load securing.


[1] Ehlers S, Remes H, Klanac A, Naar H. A multi-objective optimisation-based structural design procedure for the concept stage – a chemical product tanker case study. Ship Technology Research, Schiffstechnik, 2010; 57(3): 182-197.
[2] Ehlers S. A particle swarm optimization-based procedure to obtain a crashworthy ice-classed LNG tanker. International Conference on Collision and Grounding of Ships and Offshore Structures (ICCGS), 2013, Trondheim, Norway.
[3] Ehlers S. High strength steel in crashworthy ship structures. Journal of Ship production and Design, 2012; 28 (1); 1-9.