Transit is the most dangerous part of the shipping process. Learn how to protect against it.
No amount of proper wrapping can protect against voids between those pallets once they’re loaded into trailers because no matter how you place the pallets in a trailer, you’re going to have voids which will allow for pallet movement during the journey. Pallets tend to move from side to side during the journey. The same can be said about front to back movement, as well as up and down movement, as the truck travels down the road.
Shippers have come up with a variety of ways to secure their pallets to attempt to protect them during transit. Some use blocking and bracing methods with lumber or metal bars; some use fasteners, tie-downs, strapping, or lashing techniques. Whatever the method they use, it is critical to ensure that the pallets, and thus the products on them, do not move, no matter how rough the ride may be.
Proper blocking and bracing has the largest impact on the load factor – a carrier’s single greatest expense. One of the main goals of the shipping quality process is to advance productivity. Any potential time lost installing dunnage at the shipper’s facility will be saved at the destination terminal because the carrier can do away with the 5 Rs: reworking, restacking, re-shrink wrapping, recouping, and re-banding. Consequently, more efficient use of container space can be made at the same time, allowing for more products to be shipped in a single container.
It is important to understand that, in general, most loads will shift to some degree due to the various movements that occur inside a transport container. The importance and need for proper load securement methods will prevent damage and potential injury to people handling products during loading and unloading.
A study conducted by Carolina Supply Chain Services, LLC in the early 2000s presented load unitization and securement methods inside trailers for the grocery and food distribution industries and found that, with respect to dunnage used to prevent the shifting of loads, nearly 48% of shipments had no stabilization within the trailers and 7% of stabilization devices that were installed failed when used.
Today, the most cost effective ways to fill the voids on trailers, most effectively blocking and bracing your shipments, is the use of dunnage air bags to fill the void spaces left when pallets are loaded into a trailer.
- Economical: In homogeneous loads, a single dunnage air bag can potentially brace an entire trailer. Damage rates decline, labor is reduced, and the cost of the type of materials is greatly reduced compared to other securement methods, such as metal or lumber.
- Eliminates Potential 3 Dimensional Cargo Movements: Load shifting is the major cause of transit damage. By correctly bracing the load to mitigate movement in all directions, damage is eliminated.
- Easy to Use: The bags can be installed in minutes with very little physical labor involved. The bags can also be easily deflated and quickly removed for fast and easy unloading.