Whether by sea, air, rail or truck – a large number of demanding transports need to be realized every day. Goods that do not fit into standard sea containers due to their size or weight often pose challenges for companies in their freight management: How can those items be safely packed and loaded for sea transport? Henning Behrmann, Agent Export/Import Sea at Hermes Germany GmbH, provides answers.
Securing goods with proper packaging and loading techniques
If goods are to be shipped from one place to another, it is not just a matter of finding the fastest and most effective transport route. The first step is to determine suitable packaging and loading of the goods to ensure that the contents are secured and do not suffer any damage during transport. This becomes a challenge especially if the cargo is particularly large or exceptionally heavy. Henning Behrmann, Agent Export/Import Sea at Hermes Germany GmbH, explains what options companies have and how to proceed in such special cases:
Demanding goods require customized solutions
Successful transportation of challenging goods and commodities starts with precise planning – and that requires diligence and expertise. First of all, we create a concept for the implementation of a standard or special transport, which includes proposed solutions to the packaging and loading problems. To do this, we determine which containers are needed for the transport, whether standard sizes are suitable or whether an individual solution must be found for particularly large or bulky freight. It is important to make optimum use of the special equipment – especially in times of constantly rising costs, this creates competitive advantages.
If the goods do not fit into a standard sea container, there are various options for stowing them properly and professionally. Flat-rack containers, for example, have two end walls but are open at the sides and top, thus offering more room to maneuver. They are convenient when cargo needs to be handled from the top or side. At the same time, these containers have a very strong floor construction, so even particularly heavy goods weighing up to 40 tons can be securely stored inside of them. Numerous lashing rings and also the attachment of stanchions allow the contents to be secured in accordance with legal requirements.
When standard solutions don’t work: Customized packaging solutions
In addition to flat racks, there are open-top containers available. Instead of having a fixed roof, they are open at the top and can be covered with a tarpaulin if required. They also offer the possibility of transporting loads with bulky sizes, such as tall machines or components that do not fit into a closed standard container. Another alternative is to transport the shipment as break bulk loosely on the container ship.
If the capacities of flat racks and open-top containers are not sufficient, conventional loading is required. For this, we create tailor-made packaging solutions – regardless of whether the goods are heavy cargo, individual items or entire plants. For the individual packaging, which complies with the internationally recognized standards of the freight association HPE e.V., we use various wood materials, which can also be combined with other materials such as metals or cardboard packaging, depending on the requirements. We take into account the shape, weight and volume of the shipment and mark it clearly so that it can be identified and monitored during transport.
Top priority: Securing the cargo
Another important aspect of packaging is the fact that oversized or particularly heavy goods are protected from the mechanical or climatic effects of transport at sea, so that they do not slip or tip over even in heavy waves, for example. Whether flat rack, open top, break bulk or made-to-measure packaging – sufficient lashing possibilities for standard-compliant securing are indispensable for us in order to ensure that the goods reach their destination undamaged. For loading, we check whether special lifting and transport equipment is required and also include the load-bearing capacity and stability of the loading area in the planning.
Certainly, we gain new experience and knowledge with every project. In addition, we strengthen our transport networks in the long term and continuously expand them. That way, we continue to successfully meet the complex and dynamic requirements of the industry. With experience and precise planning, we thus master the challenges of loading and packing even freight that has an enormous weight or unusual dimensions. When standard solutions do not work, we find a tailor-made solution for our customers.
You ask – we answer!
Henning Behrmann, Agent Export/Import Sea at Hermes Germany GmbH.