Loading a shipping container effectively, efficiently, and safely requires planning and skill. You want to ensure each container being shipped is packed properly to reduce any damage that can occur to the contents during shipping. Getting goods across the ocean and over roads to their final destination can mean travelling through all kinds of terrain and weather. So, how can you secure your load?
Here are 5 top steps to consider when you load your shipping container.
Pay Attention to Load Distribution
Those engaged in expert shipping container loading know that one element reigns supreme: the distribution of your goods. When contents aren’t loaded properly, they can be crushed and destroyed, resulting in lost profits and value for customers.
So, where to start when it comes to load distribution? Well, when dealing with lighter loads, begin by filling up the floor space. Do this step first. In this way, each piece of cargo can help support the other. You want to avoid tall, unsupported towers that can tumble during transit.
Fill up the floor at an even height, and then move on to the next layer. The less free space you have, the less your content can move about.
An alternative way to load your shipping container is by loading the contents floor-to-ceiling and building a bulkhead. This is a wall that will keep the goods from toppling over.
In addition, it’s advised that you keep your cargo’s center of gravity low when you load your shipping container. You’ll want to place the heavier contents on the bottom and lighter items on top. This can help prevent heavy items from falling.
Place the heaviest items in the center of the container, and on the floor. Build out by keeping the heavier items as close to the bottom of the container as possible. It’s also important to know your container’s maximum load and never exceed it.
Stack Liquids and Dry Goods Appropriately
Are you loading liquids? Always place liquids near the bottom of your container and below any dry goods. This ensures that, if they leak in transport, they won’t spoil the dried goods. If you think that any of the goods being packed in your shipping container are incompatible, such as goods that are prone to creating moisture along with those that need to stay dry, seek separate containers for shipping.
Pay Attention to Gaps
When you load your shipping container, you also want to pay attention to any gaps. Sometimes you have to leave gaps, such as between barrels and drums. If this type of cargo doesn’t have enough space, vibrations in transport can cause wear and tear on the drum’s seams, which can lead to leaked cargo.
With all cargo, place dunnage or protective padding material between cargo gaps for protection. Try to place your gaps in the center of the container and to rely on the container walls to secure your cargo on the outside.
Protect Your Cargo From Damage
Finally, if you need to, tie the contents of your container to its sides with straps and use wooden bracing to secure items on the floor. Any steps you can take to minimise damage in transportation can be key.
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