Episode 26: MSL and LC - abbreviation with meaning

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

Episode 26: MSL and LC - abbreviation with meaning

Some may know the saying:

"In court and on the high seas, you are in God's hands".

This expresses that one is helpless and without influence on what is happening.


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 26: MSL and LC - abbreviation with meaning


This is partly true of maritime transport. The oldest cargo securing regulations probably already existed in maritime shipping.

Everything had to be tightly lashed and stowed to prevent the cargo from shifting, the ship from becoming unstable and possibly even sinking.

Since today's ships still float according to the same physical principles and the sea with its manifestations of wind, waves and currents cannot be assessed 100% correctly even with the latest technology, safety factors must be used.


The CTU-Code 2015 describes this in detail in Annex 7, Chapter 2.4.

That brings us to MSL and the LC. MSL stands for "Maximum Securing Load" or operational strength and LC for "Lashing Capacity" or lashing force.

The MSL corresponds to the LC. The abbreviation MSL is predominantly used in maritime transport, while the abbreviation LC is usually used in land transport.

These abbreviations represent load values for securing devices or equipment that must not be exceeded during load securing.

They are usually specified in kiloNewtons (kN). The securing means can be ropes, chains or belts, but also anchor points on vehicles or lanyards.

The basis for determining the MSL or LC is the respective breaking force. In other words, the force at which the securing means or device fails.


Here is the example of a broken shackle that had a breaking load of 306kN and was loaded well above the allowable MSL.

The load should have been a maximum of 153kN.


Example of an iron bar which is constricted by stretching and then breaks off.


The CTU Code shows in Appendix 7, Chapter 2.4.2 this table with MSL values for different securing means.

This information is based on the: Guidelines for the proper stowage and securing of cargo during carriage by seagoing vessels (Resolution A.714(17)) (CSS Code).

This is a detailed set of rules with calculation examples for specific loads. Another factor is introduced there.

The safety factor CS (Calculated Strength) for complex load securing situations to compensate for the uneven distribution of the acting forces.

When calculating these difficult loads, it can take the following values: 1.5 if no horizontal angles are taken into account, 1.35 if horizontal angles are included, and the factor 1.2 if the acting forces are essentially known.

The CS value is calculated by dividing the MSL by the assumed factor (1.5; 1.35 or 1.2).

Care should always be taken to ensure that the securing means have a comparable elongation, are as similar as possible and do not pass over rough surfaces or sharp edges.

With regard to elongation, the effective lengths should not differ too much.

Interested readers can visit the link: https://www.tis-gdv.de/tis/ls/inhalt3-htm/ on the page of the TIS-GDV to get more information or download the CSS code.

For the normal shipper, who merely stows the cargo in the container, the above explanations are merely background knowledge in order to be able to correctly classify and understand the various designations and abbreviations.

Your Sigurd Ehringer.


Stefan KotschPurchasing at Rothschenk - 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„. 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


Share this post

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Your email address will not be published. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert


Dear Customers. Our shop is a shop for companies and commercial customers (B2B-shop). Unfortunately, orders by private individuals cannot be taken.