Loading and Securing Cargo in Shipping Containers

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When you receive your shipping container, no doubt you’ll want to maximize the space – whether you plan on using the unit as container offices, a sea freight container or a storage facility.

Image by BBC World Service (1)

So let’s begin at looking at ways to prepare different scenarios to best fit shipping container engineers.

Packing Household Goods

When it comes to packing up your household possessions in a sea freight container, without even understanding shipping container engineering specifications, you know that you won’t want your goods moving around and potentially becoming damaged in transit. Here are a few tips:

  • Wrap and pack personal items in strong cardboard boxes and reinforce the bottom of the boxes with a good amount of tape. Fill the boxes to capacity and use smaller items to fill in empty spaces.
  • Shipping container structural properties are strong enough to protect your goods, but do remember to distribute the weight of your possessions throughout the unit and use up all available space. Anything that might move should be strapped down with the container’s lugs. If the container does not come standard with lugs, such container modifications can be requested.
  • By maximising freight capacity, you will ensure that cargo won’t shift during transportation.

Securing Cartons

Shipping container engineering allows for a great deal of space for standard cartons. If the container is packed effectively right from the start with cartons that suit the size of the particular unit, you can efficiently and completely use the space in the vessel.

Loading Cargo

While loading cargo has previously been done manually, nowadays forklifts and pallets are used which go a long way to preventing damage or displacement of the cargo amongst the shipping container engineering.

In order to make the best use of space possible you should ensure that the pallets are loaded into the shipping container in such a way as every inch of space is filled and there is no room for manoeuvre.

Filling Empty Spaces

If you find that you are left with a few empty spaces when filling your converted shipping containers for sale, you can use empty air bags. Air bags are ideal for narrow spaces that are hard to reach and difficult to fill and they’re easy to use. Simply insert the air bag into the space and then insert pressurised air. Inflate the bag to a point where it is making contact with the cargo.

Stowing Drums

Typically drums shipping container engineering allows for drums to be stowed vertically. Drums mostly hold powders and liquids, so complete pre-loading inspections need to be conducted and that’s why drums should be stowed with the bungholes facing up.

If drums are to be stored in layers, plywood flooring should be used for each layer and a pallet can be placed between the container’s door and drums to eliminate any gaps.

Reefer Containers

Reefer containers can be used according to the sea routes being travelled. However, the refrigeration unit should not be engaged and the containers should be used dry. While this will mean that the loading capacity will be smaller than typical dry containers and securing methods will be a little limited, the change of temperature inside the container can be moderated.

Shipping Container Engineering and Unpacked Machinery

When planning to pack your shipping container, you need to put careful thought into handling cargo along with the lashing methods you will use for the relevant cargo. Cargo weight can be restrained with lashing once everything has been loaded. Do remember to choose an anchor for your lashing that is going to be strong enough to hold the specific cargo without doing it damage.

Loading Unpacked Cars

Ropes are usually used when cars are loaded into shipping containers. The ropes work in such a way to form a four point lashing, extending from lashing rings. The car wheels are secured with a vehicle-chocking device.

It’s important that enough room is left between the cars and sides of the containers to facilitate some degree of movement.

No matter what you will be loading into your shipping container, make sure that the shipping container engineering allows for capacity packing and the best possible securing systems.