Transporting large, bulky and heavy goods is best done using shipping containers. Knowing how to pack a shipping container the right way is essential if you want your goods to arrive at their final destination in one piece! Whether you’re a freight forwarder handling your client’s cargo or a moving company transporting household goods from one country to another, the way you pack the load matters.
Hiring a professional shipping container transport and logistics company to move your goods gives you peace of mind your cargo is safe and secure during transit. But, they can’t guarantee your goods will arrive in one piece if it hasn’t been packed correctly in the first place! Read on as we share tips on how to pack your shipping container for intact transit from A to B.
How to Pack a Shipping Container: 5 Tips for Safe and Secure Transport
1. Use the Right Size Shipping Container
Shipping containers commonly come in 20ft and 40ft lengths and 8ft widths. Cramming goods into a smaller shipping container because you’re trying to save on costs will result in damaged items before transport even happens! It’s easier to load goods safely when using the right size shipping container for the quantity, weight and dimension of the goods being packed. It also means they’re secure during transit.
2. Inspect the Shipping Container for Damage
Shipping containers are durable and have a lifespan of up to 15 years or more. But it will lose its structural integrity quickly if handled poorly during use.
Before packing the shipping container, do a full inspection of it to ensure there’s no damage to its structure. Look out for:
- Holes in the floor or on the sides
- Weakened panels or bars
- Damaged hinges on the doors
- Broken handles
3. Use the Right Packing Material
You need the right packing material when transporting goods. Securely wrapping goods before loading them into a shipping container protects the items. Effective packing material includes:
- Bubble wrap
- Brown wrapping paper
- Old comforters or blankets
- Mover’s blankets
- String or rope
- Tie-downs or ratchet straps
Use a marking pen to label the packages for easy identification during inspection by officials or when unpacking at the final destination. If you’re handling dangerous goods for shipping, the shipper must abide by certain government regulations for the correct packaging and labelling of such cargo.
4. Load the Right Way: How to Pack Shipping Containers
Packing a shipping container in the right order will ensure your goods arrive safely at the other end. The right way to load it includes the following:
- Light and heavy appliances: These should be loaded at the front of the container, on the floor. Load lighter items on top. Place strips of cardboard between items to prevent friction and shifting during transport.
- Light and heavy boxes: Heavy boxes should be loaded towards the front of the container, on the floor. Load lighter boxes on top of heavier goods. Make sure the boxes fit snugly and fill any gaps with an empty box or padding such as a blanket.
- Vehicles: Remove any protruding parts such as the radio antenna. Fold the side mirrors inwards. Use wooden blocks to block the wheels from the front, sides and back. Attach securely to the floor of the container to prevent shifting during transit.
Securely bracing goods prevents the cargo from shifting during transit and rendering the container unstable. Reduce movement by ensuring there’s a tight fit when packing the container.
When transporting freight in shipping containers, transport and logistics companies are required to abide by regulations such as container weight declarations (CWD) for transport on heavy vehicles. Avoid overloading and exceeding the weight capacity of the shipping container and vehicle transporting the load for legal reasons but also the safety of people and goods.
5. Use Professional Packing Services
If you’re still uncertain how to pack your own shipping container, use transport and logistics experts that include packing and unpacking services. Well-trained experts know how to pack goods securely while ensuring the load complies with national and international transport regulations. Companies offering packing services are also already equipped with the right packaging materials.
Using experts to handle your freight packing requirements also means mass management is factored in. They will also use the correct load restraint for safe and secure transportation of goods.
If you’re packing your own shipping container, use these tips to give you peace of mind your goods will arrive safely at their destination. Give our team at Dawson’s Fumigation & Logistics a call on 03 9314 2222 for more advice! We’re the experts you need for tailored transport and logistics solutions in Melbourne. With a comprehensive fleet that includes side loaders and trucks, we can offer easy freight solutions at competitive prices. We also stay flexible, to help our clients—including exporters and freight forwarders—get the solutions they need within a suitable timeframe.