Rights, duties, and liabilities of a carrier, a consignor, and a consignee are defined by the rules of transport of goods. The rules of international and domestic transportations are laid down by the supreme authorities and transport companies.

Carriers use different methods for securing cargo in a container or a truck. One of the important conditions for transportation is safety.

Cargo must be evenly distributed in a body of a truck or in a container to prevent destabilization of the vehicle and not to complicate the control of the vehicle. Cargo must not shift, fall off the vehicle, or cause any other dangerous situations.

According to the European Commission Transportation Department, up to 25% of accidents involving trucks are caused by inadequate cargo securing.  Improperly secured cargo can cause severe accidents and lead to loss of cargo, loss of vehicle, loss of human lives, and cause environmental hazards.  

To secure cargo for transportation, the securement system is used. A securement method is a combination of the following elements: vehicle structure, securing devices and equipment.  When choosing a securement system, the cargo’s size, shape, strength, and characteristics must be taken into account. 

Cargo securing aids

The vehicle structure includes floors, walls, roof, tie down anchor points, partitions, stakes, and posts. All elements of the structure must be strong enough to withstand forward force of 0.8 g, rearward force 0.5 g, sideways force of 0.5 g, and upward force of 0.2 g. For a successful transport, all elements must be in good working order.

At Kvaver Ltd. we use only certified handling equipment which is in accordance with the current standards. We do our best to protect the cargo of our clients. 

Securing devices include synthetic webbing, chains, wire ropes, manila ropes, synthetic ropes, steel strappings, clamps and latches, blocking, front-end structures, grab hooks, binders, stake pockets, winches, D-rings, pockets, bracing, friction mats. 

Examples of Cargo securing

The securement devices and equipment may be damaged due to contact with cargo; therefore, special protective elements are used that cover the sharp edges of the cargo and allow to thoroughly secure it during export and import transportations.

Blocking and bracing must be strong enough to prevent splitting and crushing by cargo or securing devices. When using wooden blocks or planks, hardwood is recommended, properly seasoned and free from rot or decay, knots, knotholes, and splits. 

Our consultants at Kvaver Ltd. will help you calculate the number of necessary securement devices for your cargo. There exist common rules for establishing the number of tie downs, and there is special software for modeling cargo securement.  

If cargo is not placed next to the headboard, its length does not exceed 1.5 m, and its weight is 500 kg or lighter, it can be attached by a minimum of one tie down. If the length of cargo does not exceed 1.5 m, but its weight is over 500 kg, a minimum of two tie downs is required. 

If cargo is prevented from forward movement by a headboard, a minimum of 1 tie down for every 3 m is required. 

Machinery and fabricated structural items, due to their shape, are fastened by special methods. 

In case of low friction between cargo and deck (e.g. snow, ice, sand, gravel, or oil), it is recommended to use tie downs attached to the cargo, means to improve friction (friction mats or tie downs that pass over the cargo), and blocking. 

Every securing device is characterized by a working load limit which is marked by the manufacturer and shows the maximum load.  

The working load limit for a securement device is the lowest working load limit of any of its parts: tie downs and tie down rings. The weakest element is chosen. 

The minimum working load limit for international transportations is 50% of the weight of the cargo. For better prevention of movement, more securement devices must be used.

Containers should be packed and cargo secured in accordance with guidelines for packing cargoes other than bulk cargo in or on cargo transport units (CTUs) for carriage by any means of transport at sea and ashore. Air transport has not been taken into account. The CTU packing guidelines published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labor Organization (ILO) of 02.05.1997 supersede any previously applicable container packing guidelines.

Figure 1:

Securing the cargo in the door area: the free space between the cargo and corner posts is filled with squared lumber.

Figure 2:

Securing the cargo in the door area: the cargo is braced back from the door using a beam fitted into the side wall corrugations.

Figure 3:

Securing the cargo laterally: the free space between the cargo and side walls is filled with wooden dunnage on the left and with an airbag on the right.

Methods of stabilization and securement of cargo in intermodal containers:

  1. Blocking and bracing is a load securement method in which wooden or metal bars are used to reduce or inhibit front to rear shifting of cargo. In some cases plastic forms are used.
  2. Fasteners are large bolts and nails used for cargo stabilization and bracing wooden blocks.
  3. Dunnage includes scrap wood to fill voids in cargo, wooden boards for forming “cribs”, and modern mechanical dunnage systems. Dunnage isolates the cargo and prevents its shifting during movement of vehicle or vessel.
  4. Strapping is used to create a transportable unit. In practice, steel, polyester, polypropylene, nylon, paper, and composites are used as strapping. Straps are sealed with a seal and notch joint, sea-less joint, or via welding.
  5. Lashing is a cargo securing method used to minimize shifting. Ropes, cables, wires, chains, strapping, and nets are used for lashing. These elements are anchored to the container and produce tension from the top of the cargo.
  6. Dunnage bags are mostly used for homogenous cargo (food products, electronics, roll paper, etc.). Dunnage bags are often used in combination with strapping and lashing. It is a convenient securement method which has been used in sea, rail, and road container shipping for over 40 years.
  7. Tie downs are used to secure heavy loads with tie down straps or tensioned chains.
 Attention! Cargo securement issues must not be disregarded; the insurance company may deny coverage of the cases involving inadequately secured cargo.

Our company provides service of packing, loading, securing, and transporting goods. 

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