Cargo is transported through land, air, or water which requires special care and attention to safety in order to ensure prevention of human, material, or financial loss, damage, and contamination of cargo. Depending on the type of cargo, different cargo handling and securing equipment are used to hold shipments in place while cargo handling or transporting. If the safety of the cargo is not taken seriously, the consequences are very serious and irreversible. Safety of cargo involves safe packaging of cargo in containers, prevention of tampering of the cargo container and safely transporting of the container to its final destination.
The shipper is responsible for the packaging and labelling of the cargo to protect the contents from damage during transportation.
Few safety tips for cargo packaging in a container are
- Usage of proper shipping supplies like cushioning materials, appropriate lashing, and labelling
- Cargo must be secured on all sides to prevent shifting during transportation, in particular towards the door
- Empty spaces between packages and container walls must be filled. Fill empty space using materials like wooden dunnage, boards, stowage gratings, airbags, empty packages, foam, corrugated cardboard, and used tires
- Cargo to be secured with the help of special lashing points on top and bottom side rails and on corner posts
- Use materials like wooden beams, planks, squared lumber, intermediate floors and partitions to dissipate pressure, and divide cargo in the container
- Use nets to secure cargo in sections
By following the above tips on ensuring cargo safety, you can avoid the movement of loose items of cargo which can prove dangerous and seriously injure personnel.
Transportation of cargo not only involves safe packaging of the cargo but also reducing the risk of theft while in transit. Cargo theft is the situation where trucks and transport trailers full of products are stolen and sold in the black market.
Few cargo container security tips that can be put in place to ensure maximum safety to your cargo are:
- Use a reputable carrier to ensure safe transport of the cargo
- Use one or more weather-resistant heavy duty locks like padlocks, lock boxes, inner bolt locks, and cross bar locks to prevent thieves from breaking into your container
- Use electronic tracking to keep track of vehicle and shipment movement
Apart from taking safety precautions to pack your cargo and ensure container security, you also need to ensure safety guidelines are followed while transporting the cargo to its final destination.
Few tips for transporting cargo are:
Properly secure the cargo
Ensure proper stuffing of cargo into the container with proper lashings and tie-downs in place to prevent movement of cargo during transportation. Adhere to weight restrictions to maintain the stability of transport vehicles.
Expect weather fluctuations
Transportation of cargo involves transit under various weather conditions which can affect the cargo. To avoid wastage of cargo due to damage, it is important to invest in containers that can keep goods safe while also ensuring proper packaging is used to prevent moisture formation.
Declare organic cargo
Cargoes containing vegetables, fruits, plants, and any other organic product are treated differently depending on the place of origin and destination as they are time and weather-sensitive products. It will also make the carriers aware of the products’ possibility to perish while in transit.
Properly Insure Your Cargo
Sometimes accidents do happen despite taking all safety precautions which can cause damage or delay the cargo from reaching its final destination. It can be a natural disaster or theft. It would be prudent to ensure that proper insurance coverage is taken for the cargo to prevent potential financial loss.
The goal of safety measures while transporting cargo is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries during transit and cargo handling. While no cargo being transported is completely immune to the risk of theft, usage of technology can help to mitigate these problems to a great extent and help to ensure safe transportation of cargo.