|5.1 Containerized and modularized loads|
|Section 3.2 of the CTU packing guidelines, entitled "Packing and securing", states that the cargo in a CTU must be made secure to prevent cargo movement inside the unit. In addition, it is pointed out that the method of securing the cargo should not itself cause damage or deterioration to the cargo or the unit. A tight stow from wall to wall should also be sought where possible, if cargo of regular shape and size is loaded. Since void spaces cannot always be avoided, it is pointed out that the cargo should be appropriately secured by using dunnage, folded cardboard, airbags or other suitable means.
The best and most economical way of carrying cargoes is in box containers, if the cargo dimensions allow easy, tight packing of the containers with transit trays for motor vehicle components in a 20' box container.
In the stuffing example illustrated, the cargo is slightly narrower than the door opening. The door opening itself virtually matches the internal dimensions of the container . The trays for transporting motor vehicle components therefore fill the container almost completely. Since the trays interconnect, all that is needed for longitudinal securing in the door area is squared lumber or empty pallets.
If such cargoes are loaded loosely stacked, gaps in the door area may be braced with wooden lattices, pallets or equivalent materials or simple structures. Any small gaps that may remain against the container side walls can be filled with boards, laths or the like.
If package dimensions are not adapted closely enough to container dimensions, deficiencies regularly arise, which lead to cargo losses or greater labor costs and use of materials.
The telescope cartons should have been a few centimeters wider. Other aspects which merit criticism are the strapping with steel straps and the lack of edge protection. The bases of this combined packaging are only suitable for stacking if the tare weights are relatively low or the overstowed cargoes have adequate loading capacities.
In transit, the small amount of play between the cargo and the container walls could result in damage to the packaging and possibly also to the contents.
Lateral dunnage consisting of boards or similar materials can reduce possible play during carriage sufficiently to reduce the risk of damage.
However, it is better to use interlayer dunnage to stop packages in the upper tiers from exerting any damaging pressure on cargo below them (1) and to rule out completely any sideways movement by using appropriately securely and firmly fitted materials (2).
The packing example illustrated below is also deficient in certain respects:
The pallet base used here is certainly an improvement on the previous example with the telescope cartons, since the different arrangement of the boards makes the contact area larger:
Steel straps are unsuitable for strapping cartons. The provisional edge protection is inadequate. It would be better to use wide plastic strapping with appropriate elasticity and sufficiently strong edge protectors:
The label on the package states that the container is bound for Melbourne. For voyages to Australia and New Zealand, it is essential to comply with regulations on the infestation of lumber by the Sirex wasp.
The CTU packing guidelines give the following general instructions:
Marking often constitutes the only communication between the cargo shipper and the warehouse, packing and handling personnel. Labels on shipping packages should therefore be conspicuous and clear. The small characters used here for the marking "fragile" cannot be deemed adequate. Such markings generally relate to the package contents. The condition of the package gives the impression, however, that it is the packaging that is fragile here.
Where contents are fragile, clear labeling with an appropriate DIN or ISO symbol, i.e. an upright glass, is absolutely essential:
However, it is clear from the picture that the shipping package has already been bent, because the packaging was too weak, despite the provision of hardboard to distribute pressure and the fact that the package stowed over it was not excessively heavy.
Although it would theoretically be possible to mark packages as weak using symbols forbidding overstowage, this is not really a practical suggestion as so much stowage space would be lost.
Packages should also be so constructed that they are able to withstand normal stacking loads in the means of transport used for carriage.
If the intention is to provide goods with particularly high levels of protection, it is best to use tested packaging or to have packaging which has been developed in-house tested by independent institutes.
It is also possible to package normal goods in packaging whose strength or loading capacity is in line with the law on hazardous materials. The Annex to the IMDG Code contains regulations relating to stack pressure testing, which state that test packages which contain goods comparable to the original cargo should be stacked at least 3 m high. At the end of the test period, the packaging must neither lose its cargo nor deform or become unstable.. The minimum test period is generally twenty-four hours, though twenty-eight days is prescribed for certain packages. With the exception of bags, this stack pressure test is prescribed for all types of packaging.
Under no circumstances should gaps be left in the cargo during stowage, as they are the main cause of cargo damage.
The gaps must be filled. It is important to fill gaps with boards, squared lumber, pallets or similar materials using large bearing areas. If sensitive cargoes are being carried, large areas around the goods or packaging must be lined. With relatively heavy cargoes, large areas of lining are also necessary at the container walls. In the example illustrated, there was just room for a particularly thin pallet (6):
Airbags are not suitable for such small gaps and load-securing foam is only suitable for rail and road transport due to its low "recovery".
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