Why is Container Stuffing Important? 

shipping container on truck being shipped to warehouse

In the Logistics industry, most shipments, especially from other nations, are transported by sea. Approximately 70% of this cargo is containerized. In this posting we’ll cover tips to load your shipment, so it arrives damage-free to avoid submitting insurance claims, schedule/time efficiencies, and ultimately revenue losses. The goal here is to perform container stuffing properly to avoid damage. It’s important to note that most damaged freight occurs as a result of simple human error. To remain on schedule, there is often a rush to meet the damage for more capacity, more shipments, in short, more everything but time. The result: millions, possibly billions of dollars worth of losses claimed every year. Over 65% of these losses are caused by incorrect stuffing and securing of the containers by time-constrained, untrained, and inexperienced workers. 

There are skills and techniques for safe, efficient, and swift container stuffing. Efficient freight loading saves the shipper some money, but safety should never be sacrificed to save a few dollars. In other words, do not overstuff containers. On the other hand, wasted space and unbalanced loads will cost the shipper time and money. It is a no-brainer that it is essential not to pack heavier packages on top of lighter weight loads to avoid damage in transit. Besides physical damage, other types of asset losses must be avoided. These include: 

  • Wet goods damage
  • Contamination damage
  • Refrigerated goods damage
  • Infestation damage

These types of damage do not require additional definition, and each can be avoided by freight loaders observing the following container stuffing methods: 

  • Uniform cargo: If all freight is of the same size, then the container’s total volume can be utilized. Just be certain to centrally balance the load between the front and rear axles.
  • Cartons and packages: For the greatest stability, we recommend that freight loaders bind the cargo in the same size/height blocks.
  • Bagged Cargo: Stow bags in interlocking layers as these tend to fall in the edges of the container, causing greater pressure on the walls of the container.
  • Drums and barrels: They should always be stowed upright. It is important to cover them with soft padding/dunnage.
  • Rolls: Keep this type of cargo stabilized by stowing it closely together and upright. The spaces in between should be filled with dunnage.
  • Palletization: It is recommendable to use one of the two common sizes for pallets, such as the standard type (1000mm x 1200mm) or the euro pallet (800mm x 1200mm). Depending on the load, the spaces in between could be filled with dunnage for greater load stability and security. 

So, as you may have realized, proper container stuffing is key to optimal supply chain outcomes. By taking the care initially to load containers correctly, the remaining steps in the transit of the cargo to its ultimate destination- retailers and consumers will be performed quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. 

To learn more about how Labor Loop’s teams of seasoned, qualified, on-demand freight loaders can protect your company’s bottom line, contact us today!