The safe delivery of goods, from one point to another, lies in the hands of the transport and freight company handling the job. Australian and international transport laws are stringent, with safety standards regulating the industry, keeping both cargo and persons involved safe. Transporting heavy loads in shipping containers, on land or at sea, comes with a number of regulations.
Installing the right load restraint system ensures the safety and security of all cargo in shipping containers when in transit. Workers are kept safe when goods are packed and constrained correctly. Load restraint equipment such as shipping container restraints should be used to prevent nasty accidents from happening, during and after transit.
What else can you do to ensure your or your client’s goods are safe during and after transit? Read on as we share five valuable load restraint tips for shipping containers so you can rest assured that you’re complying with all safety procedures.
5 Load Restraint Tips for Shipping Containers
1. Understand the Regulations Governing the Transport of Shipping Containers
Familiarising yourself with the regulations governing the transport of shipping containers is a good place to start. This way, you can be sure your company is complying with all local and international laws regulating the safe transport of cargo.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) states the minimum requirements needed for safe handling and transportation of cargo and dangerous goods. This includes the packing, loading, and secure transport of bulk cargo in shipping containers.
Complying with the CTU code is essential when deciding what equipment you should use to pack cargo securely in shipping containers. Using the guidelines of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units will give you a checklist, highlighting how to pack and secure cargo in containers for safe and secure transportation.
2. Use Good Quality Shipping Containers
Shipping containers are tough and can be used for years. Their average lifespan can be 15 years and even more. But you still need to inspect them regularly to ensure they’re in good condition before transporting cargo. A damaged shipping container can become a hazard during transit, resulting in mishaps that could end up being costly, both for you and your client.
Checking the structure and condition of the shipping container before loading goods gives you peace of mind it’s still suitable for safe and secure transportation.
3. Pack Cargo Correctly
The correct packing of goods in a shipping container is important if you want to comply with load restraint regulations. Shipping containers shouldn’t shift during transportation. While having the right load restraint equipment helps to keep the unit in one place, the cargo should also be secure inside. This means packing the goods tightly to prevent any movement during transit.
Dunnage bags, foam or empty pallets should be used to fill up any gaps between loaded goods in shipping containers to minimise movement. Tie downs and lashings can be used once all accurate calculations of forces on cargo have been done. Use the CTU code guidelines to assist you when doing these calculations.
Weight distribution is also important. When packing goods into a shipping container make sure there’s even weight across the width and length of the unit. It’s also essential not to exceed the maximum load mass allowed for both the container and transport vehicle.
4. Use the Right Load Restraint Systems
Load restraint systems keep containerised cargo secure while minimising any movement during transit. These systems do differ depending on the weight of the cargo you’re transporting and the mode of transport. Before using a load restraint system, consider the strength and load capacity of all components.
Securing solutions include shipping container restraints manufactured to meet stringent health and safety workplace laws. Container safety door straps reduce the risk of workers being injured should cargo have fallen against the doors during transit. You must also regularly perform inspections of load restraint systems to ensure they’re in good working order.
5. Use a Container Checklist
Using a container checklist every time you load means you’ve covered all grounds! A checklist can include the following:
- Inspection of container structure and all components.
- Correct packing such as load mass, no gaps between goods, even weight distribution and use of load restraint equipment such as lashings.
- Correct loading of the container with the use of the right load restraint system and shipping container restraints such as safety door straps.
It’s your responsibility to abide by transport and freight laws, including having the right load restraint systems in place. But it always helps to have experts on your side. So, contact our team at Load Restraint Systems on 1300 577 797 and we’ll make sure you’re using the best safety equipment when transporting cargo in shipping containers.