Episode 15: How does a Twistlock work?

Container identification | Who is responsible for load securing? | Friction value on the truck | Incoming container inspection

Episode 15: How does a Twistlock work?

The word is made up of the words "twist" and "lock".

So a technique that creates a lock by twisting.

This is the basic principle, of which there are of course various variations.

In this specific case, we are talking about twistlocks, which are used in container traffic.


Sigurd Ehringer - SeLogCon

About the author:

In a series of specialist articles from the field, on topics relating to containers and trucks, you will receive first-hand professional knowledge.
How to secure cargo correctly and what are the basics of cargo securing?

They are developed and presented by Sigurd Ehringer, owner of SE-LogCon:

  • VDI certified instructor for load securing
  • Reference book author
  • 8 years Project Manager
  • 12 years with the Bundeswehr (company commander)
  • 20 years of sales experience
  • since 1996 consultant/trainer in logistics
  • 44 years instructor/trainer in various fields

Episode 15: How does a Twistlock work?


Only the containers, which are stowed on deck, have to be connected with twistlocks.

This is not necessary for containers in the hull because they are held in the stack by the cellguides.


Before the container can be stowed on deck, the twistlocks must be manually inserted into the corner castings from below and armed.


There are basically two different types of twistlocks.

On the one hand, there are the manual ones, which must always be closed and opened by hand, as the following example shows.

They are often used in container stowage on land.

Locking open

Locking closed


The second version works semi-automatically and is used during stowage on the ships.

(Source: https://www.navacqs.de/produkte/container-lashing-equipment/semi-automatic-twistlock-if-56/)

The yellow tip must always be on top.

The twistlock is inserted manually from below into the corner castings and locks automatically.


As soon as the container is placed on top of another and the lower tips of the twistlocks make contact with the corner castings, they twist, tensioning a spring in the process and slide down into the corner casting.

If all four twistlocks are properly seated in the corner casting, the spring is relieved and it pushes the tip into the locked position.


To unlock, the orange button with the steel cable must be pulled out manually, e.g. with a rod, on all twistlocks and locked on the frame of the twistlock.

This tensions the locking spring and the twistlock tip rotates to the unlock position.

After that, the container can be lifted with the spreader.


Because there is no reliable automated solution yet, the lashers have to perform this activity in all weathers and around the clock.

To do this, they are moved over the containers with a work platform suspended from the spreader to unlock the twistlocks.


The twistlocks are designed for a load of 50 tons each and weigh approx. 6.3kg.

The picture shows the enormous loads that twistlocks have to withstand in the event of accidents.

Source: TIS-GDV


Stefan KotschPurchase - G&H GmbH Rothschenk


Picture company building Rothschenk
An employee of G&H GmbH Rothschenk sews a webbing strap to a dunnage bag.

On our own account:
Rothschenk. That's us.

Rothschenk is a manufacturer of load securing equipment for overseas containers. In the tranquil town of Aub in central Franconia, we develop, test and sell our own load securing equipment such as dunnage bags/padding, Lashing restraint systems, Edge Protectors, Anti-slip Mats, Lashing Straps and drum securement. You can get a small insight into our product world in our Online Shop: [R] SHOP24.

We develop for our customers, to whom also large corporations e.g. from the CHEMICALS-, BEVERAGES- and Automotive industry belong, individual load securing. Therefore we are used to come up with new products and solutions in our own research and test department.

We stand for quality "Made in Germany‚Äě. Not only in development, but also in production. Because we are the only manufacturer for load securing with our own production site in Germany. Real "Made in Germany" even.


>> Please use the comment function below for suggestions, additions and also for further questions.

We will, of course, respond promptly and professionally. Your Rothschenk Team


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