The shipping industry is growing fast and has distinguished itself from other industries by its worldwide reach and technological advancement. Worldwide shipping services are largely dependent on proper packaging and container stuffing that can withstand the turbulence and handling during its shipping. Cargo stuffing into adequate shipping containers keeping in mind the size and state of cargo is important. The blog is a detailed overview that will help you understand the vital role of cargo stuffing in the shipping industry.
What is cargo stuffing in Export- Import Shipment?
The process of loading goods into cargo containers is known as cargo stuffing. To smoothly carry out the containerization process, companies must ensure adequate and safe packaging. The packing of cargo into containers of the chosen type and size is based on customer requirements. A sturdy filling assures the integrity of the contents at their destination and secures the lifespan of shipping containers. Therefore, shipping companies monitor and regulate cargo loading until the containers are sealed shut.
How do you stuff cargo in a container?
In logistics, cargo stuffing starts at the container depot or warehouse. Products are often modified to make them compact, so it occupies less space by organizing into newer packages. Next is securing the cargo by loading them into secured frameworks like pallets or crates. The container must balance the load to remain sturdy and intact even during turbulences. Container lashing helps in securing the stacked boxes into place. After carefully placing the goods into containers the doors are closed and sealed to ensure proper packaging. Later these containers are lifted via cranes or forklifts for stacking or loading onto the desired modes of transportation.
Guidelines for pre-container stuffing
Before initiating the process of cargo stuffing, one must ensure that the chosen container is appropriate for the cargo. Proper container selection from a range of shipping containers is essential.
- The exporter should carefully analyze categories of containers to select from one-trip, used or special-built containers.
- Another crucial factor is the size of the containers. Based on the type of container, sizes 20′, 40′, and 45′ are generally available in the market.
- Different shipping container types may hold various types of cargo. It is essential to select the best container while delivering bulk or non-bulk cargo to the container depot.
- The container must be well maintained and free from rusting & wear and tear. It should be weather resistant to withstand all internal and external pressures. Hinges should be well repaired and in working condition.
Types of stuffing techniques
Every delivery has different needs; therefore, every packaging needs to be unique. Depending upon the cargo and mode of transport, here are the best-suited methods for stuffing cargo into containers.
Storing in cardboard cartons: Equi-sized cartons are the easiest way for cargo stuffing and storage in containers. Corrugated cardboard cartons are renewable, lightweight and multi-layered boxes. They provide added durability, shock- absorption, versatility, and affordability. They are suitable for packing electronic items and packaged food products.
Storing on pallets: The pallets are made from wood, plastic or metals. Their framework allows easy container transportation using forklifts. Equipped with high load-bearing capacity, it allows easy racking of bulk goods like fabric items and pharmaceuticals. It helps keep them elevated and away from floor moisture.
Storing in bags or sacks: These sacks offer less protection to the products and are put in cross-tiers to give stability. Smaller products such as fertilizers, grains, and dried fruits are stacked and braced across the door to keep it sturdy. Dividers are used between tiers to avoid package damage by chafing and friction.
Storing in a drum: Ideal for shipping liquid and solid bulk loads. It can easily store chemicals, fuels, liquids and food products. These steel cylindrical shaped drums offer rigidity, sustainability, and durability. Easy to clean, load and handle, they are stacked using pallets and ropes.
Storing in wooden boxes and crates: Despite being crafted of high-quality wood, they are lightweight to carry while being strong and versatile. Placed on pallets, they can be closely stacked and secured one above the other. It can reliably transport heavy and oversized machinery, electronic and fragile goods without damage.
Types of damages to cargo
Multiple factors contribute to cargo damage during the shipment’s stuffing or transportation. Mishandling of packages and equipment, overstuffing, incorrect temperature and humidity control, and negligence caused by shortcuts while stuffing are among the most common factors.
Physical damage to the cargo: Breakages during transit are mostly caused by poor cargo handling, including incidents like falling, and banging.
Wet damage to the cargo: Leaking of containers or seeping in of water or moisture from evaporation causes damage to cargo.
Contaminated cargo: The containers must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. If not, they might hamper the cargo by pollution and contamination, making it unusable for customers and industries.
Infested Cargo: Insects, rodents, and pests can seriously jeopardize the quality of goods and render them unusable. One must check the container for any such signs before loading.
Reefer damage to cargo: Goods put into reefer containers can cause rotting, bruising or decaying due to mishandling of reefer equipment or power failure.
Guidelines to prevent cargo damage
Container leasing or selling companies must always ensure a standard procedure to secure the cargo into containers. To ensure this, adhere to the pointers for cargo stuffing in the shipping industry.
- Check that the packing completely covers the items, and that the package fits smoothly into the containers with no loose ends.
- When working with different types of cargo, consider stacking them according to their weights and secure them properly.
- One cannot manually load heavy bulk cargoes. Therefore, cranes and forklifts make it easier to shift packages into containers without damage.
- Avoid overloading both while packaging and stuffing shipping containers.
- Label the packages if needed. Many containers are glued with warning or precaution signs and instructions to ensure proper handling.
- Empty spaces should be adequately filled with dunnage during packaging to avoid disbalance and damage to the cargo.
- Properly secure your cargo into containers using lashing and bracing techniques to improve stability
De- Stuffing of cargo containers
The containerization process is complete once the products have been transported safely and the cargo has been unloaded. Proper precautions must be taken to prevent cargo damage during the unloading of goods and handing them over to the destination client.
- Verify your shipment based on the container number provided on the documents.
- Externally investigate the container for any signs of external damage such as tears, breakage or leakage. Check for precautionary signs to be followed while unloading and adhere to them. The seal should be intact, and there should be no signs of tampering. If there are any, carefully note them down.
- Ventilate the container before entering and unloading it. This provides passage to gases or odors that might have accumulated in closed cells.
- Make a note of every package being unloaded and check for signs of internal damage.
- After unloading, remove all cargo residue and packaging material, including dunnage and pallets.
- After emptying the container stuffing, thoroughly clean and sanitize the container for subsequent use.
- Remove any prior labels and marks so that the container can be used by other users or voyages.
The total range productivity of the logistics industry depends on efficient containerization and transportation. Secure and durable cargo stuffing increases the chances of intact containers reaching their destination.
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