A twistlock is considered one of the most popular and powerful locks that are used to secure containers on ships, as well as to assist in connecting containers to trucks, busses, and other vehicles. The lock consists of two parts – including a male and a female connector. The female connector does not include any type of moving parts, but rather a solid construction that comes with a hole at the bottom of the connector. The male connector, however, does contain a moving part that is fitted into the oval hole that is found on the female connector. Once fitted, the moving part is rotated to secure its fitment. 

Container Locks For Ships

Even though there is a standard design for twistlocks that were originally developed in the 1950s, companies have taken the design and made certain modifications. This allowed for a more extensive range of locks to be released – providing specialized functionality that is exceptionally useful for securing containers on ships. Different types of twistlocks are now found on the market, and it is important for companies to understand the functionality of each. This will ultimately ensure the right type of lock is chosen for the particular containers being secured. This will also help to lower the risks involved with the shipment of these containers. 

Double Ended Container Twist Locks

Double Ended Container Twist Locks

Double ended container twist locks were originally developed with the idea of providing an effective mechanism for cases where containers are stacked vertically. The load rate of double ended container twist locks is 500kN. In the majority of cases, this type of lock will be constructed with forged steel material to provide a sturdy product for stacking up to 16 containers on top of each other. A handle is located on the front region of a double ended container twist lock – this handle is not only used as a locking mechanism, but also provides a clear way of having a visual representation in terms of whether or not the containers are appropriately locked. 

Shipping Container Weldable Twist Locks

Shipping Container Weldable Twist Locks

Shipping container weldable twist locks are exceptional when it comes to durability. This type of lock is usually galvanised, which helps to significantly enhance the overall performance of the lock and makes it a more secure option compared to some other options. The lock measures about 175mm x 140mm x 135mm. These locks have a 500kN rating. They are also compliant with both Australian and European standards, ensuring the locks can be used in most situations. There are two types of shipping container weldable twist locks – including an option where the two structures are welded together. The other option includes the use of slipper shoes. 

Bolt On Twist Locks

Bolt On Twist Locks

Bolt on twist locks are also durable and made to last for a significant period of time. These locks are relatively unique and were made to assist in bolting down a container to a specific area, such as to a region on a ship or another type of structure. This is a type of static twist lock that is usually not frequently locked and unlocked, but rather bolted in order to support a longer-term storage of a container. A 16mm steel plate is utilized with a bolt on twist lock. The lock has four holes added to its structure, which provides for an easier connectivity. Bolt on twist locks is often utilized when containers need to be bolted to concrete slabs. 

Side Twist Locks

Side Twist Locks

Side twist locks are often utilized in cases where multiple containers will be added on top of each other. The locks are installed on the sides of the shipping containers. In the majority of cases, the lock will be connected to both the container and the floor on which the container needs to remain. There are, however, other uses for side twist locks. In some cases, the lock may be installed to the upper container in a row. This allows for rooves, aerials, and other structures to be easily attached. When multiple floors of storage are required, a side twist lock may also be used to avoid the need for additional legs to be provided for support. 

Transverse Double Ended Shipping Container Twist Lock

Transverse Double Ended Shipping Container Twist Lock

The transverse double ended shipping container twist lock has many similarities to the standard double ended shipping container twist lock, but with some unique features. Similar to the standard option, the transverse double ended shipping container twist lock was designed to allow multiple containers to be stacked on each other. This particular option, however, provides a 90-degree offset in its rotation. In turn, it is possible to mount containers on top of each other at a 90-degree angle, instead of having to ensure an accurate parallel placement of the containers that are being stacked. 

Semi Automatic Twist Lock

Semi Automatic Twist Lock

A semi automatic twist lock is used in a similar way as a standard double ended shipping container twist lock. The difference, however, is the fact that this type of lock has a mechanism that will automatically lock upon connection between the male and the female parts of the structure. The lock will have a structure on both the bottom, as well as the top regions of the container’s corners. Containers can be stacked on top of each other. These locks have a 10-tonne load rating, making them ideal for storing multiple empty containers. 

Twist Locks For Trucks

Twist locks are not only useful in cases where containers need to be added to a ship, but can also come in handy for road vehicles – particularly for trucks. There are a number of different twist locks available that can be used for trucks, depending on the specific purpose that the lock will serve on the truck it will be installed on. In many cases, the twist lock will assist in securing a specific container onto the truck, avoiding the container from moving or falling off while the truck may be in motion. 

Truck Twist Locks

Truck Twist Locks

A standard trust twist lock is considered one of the best options that can be utilized for securing a shipping container onto a trailer. This can be useful during the transit of the shipping container. The lock has a special construction that makes it an ideal option for being installed on a truck’s trailer and can usually be easily welded on the bed of the trailer. There are different options available in terms of truck twist locks, including both long handle options and short handle varieties. In some cases, truck twist locks will be used to secure a container to a caster or trolley as well.  

Tilt Tray Twist Lock Lift Lock

Tilt Tray Twist Lock Lift Lock

While a standard trust twist lock is appropriate for normal trailers, there are cases where they will not be the right option. In cases where a truck is equipped with a tilt tray, a tilt tray twist lock lift lock would be needed. This type of lock is equipped with a sprung plate. This allows for the pins to be placed into an upright position instead of downward, which helps to accommodate the tilt tray equipped in the truck. Once fitted, they provide a much safer approach to both loading and unloading shipping containers, without exposing the user to the same dangers as a standard truck twist lock would in case the truck has a tilt tray. 


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