Every year more than 100 million containers are transported around the world.
All cargo transported is subjected to external forces due to acceleration, deceleration and changes of direction.
Containers literally go through hundreds of thousands of movements in all directions during a journey on roads, seas and railway tracks.
Exporters often mistakenly declare: “My container is full and the cargo has no room to move, so I don’t need to secure it.”
After loading a container, it may appear to be filled to capacity.
But will this still be the case after thousands of constant movements on board a vessel, truck and train?
Packaging will compress and goods will settle after being subject to all the forces that occur during transportation.
A 10cm void can grow to a 40cm void which creates an increased risk of cargo damage and potential bodily harm. Opening the container doors at the final destination can be a very dangerous operation when cargo has shifted and has started leaning against the door.
You may have heard others say: “Our products are so heavy – they won’t move.”
But keep this in mind – a 20,000kg piece of cargo will move just as easily as one of 100kg.
So where to begin?
The CTU Code of the International Maritime Organisation is a good start when you’re preparing for an export shipment.
This CTU Code provides clear rules and regulations as to how cargo should be secured and provides clarity about your responsibility in the transport chain for securing the cargo.
What can you do?
To prevent cargo movement and ensure your cargo conforms to CTU-codes you can take a number of measures including:
- Polyester lashing
- Ratchets straps
- Steel chains
- Dunnage bags
- Timber blocking and bracing
Securing cargo does not require rocket science. Just make sure you pick the correct certified load restraint materials for the job, which are strong enough to do the job.
Seeking advice from a Cargo Restraint Specialist is a smart thing to do.
Companies such as Cargo Restraint Systems can assist you with training your loading crew, make load calculations and provide you with the correct materials to do the job in a safe manner.
Cargo Restraint Systems specialise in Cordstrap one-way lashing systems to secure cargo in containers, on flat racks or direct break bulk on ships.
Cordstrap is a global leader in research, development, manufacturing and training in one-way load securing.