How to stuff cargo inside a container

Imagine that your cargo is being transported in a container that has not been properly secured. This could lead to serious damage to your goods during transit. It is crucial not to underestimate the significance of packing and securing your cargo properly, especially when the container travels overseas.

A container is designed to protect your cargo and while containers can resist every sort of stress and pressure, it is still essential to take the necessary precautions.

Here are some tips regarding securing your cargo during transport

  1. Choose a suitable container according to the type of cargo you will load.

  2. Use airbags (inflatable dunnage) to absorb sudden impacts and prevent the load from shifting.

  3. Use wooden barriers that secure the goods on the floor and are about 1-meter height.

  4. Use quality lashing straps (such as Cordstrap) combined with wooden barriers (“dunnage”) to strap the cargo to the container, with no room for moving. Just the slightest move of your cargo may lead to packaging wearing out, as movements may be repeated for days.

Make use of the wooden floor and nail wood to it. Be mindful that there is a receiving end as well, so try to secure the cargo in such a way that it is relatively easy to remove the lashing/dunnage at the point of destination.

  1. Do not load cargo into a container if the packaging is damaged.

  2. If you use clamps or other loading tools, make sure the cargo packaging can withstand them;

  3. Make sure your cargo is tight and secure. If necessary, use, for example, empty pallets to block off open spaces. Insecure cargo may shift during a sea voyage, causing a smash or imbalance to the container.

  4. Beware that many destinations require any natural products (such as wood used for bracing!) to be bug-free; a certified fumigation treatment is required in such cases. Do your homework, especially if you ship to a new destination for the first time.

  5. Use nets to secure fragile cargo.

  6. Distribute the weight evenly inside the container, so avoid placing heavy stuff on one side of the container. Be aware not to exceed permissible weight concentrations per square foot of deck or the total gross weight noted on the container door.

  7. Place the heaviest items on the bottom for stability.

Don’t mix up liquids and dry cargo. Place the liquids at the bottom and dry cargo on top of them.

Packing your cargo logistics

If you are using wood packaging materials, you should look for ISPM regulations in your destination country before packing. Contact related officials (customs or customs broker, for example) in advance. You can discuss it with your destination country consulate. Most of the time, a fumigation certificate should be sufficient.

Different countries in the world have different levels of restrictions. Types and forms of such documents may vary from country to country. So please check the country's regulations prior to stuffing your cargo.

It is helpful in the process to have a workflow that explicitly documents taking a picture of fumigation stamps on the blocking wood. That does not only document the material condition, but may even prevent shipping containers with the wrong wood used.This has been a brief outline to assist in the process of loading your cargo. If you have any doubts about the best practices for packing your container, I would strongly recommend you use a professional packing company to ensure that your cargo reaches its destination safely.