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Why you should use dunnage bags for container bracing

Supplier: Fromm Packaging Australia
29 September, 2015

"My container arrived and the cargo is damaged and unstable. Product is scattered across the container floor and pallets are no longer unitised… How do I avoid this happening again?"

Properly bracing container cargo is one of the greatest vices faced by modern exporters. With potentially thousands of dollars at risk if a single container arrives with damaged cargo, it is extremely important to know how to properly protect yourself.

In the past, loads have been braced by using a combination of empty pallets, 2x4's, and empty cardboard cartons. These methods simply aren't enough to properly protect normal cargo, let-alone any fragile or breakable cargo, so the use of dunnage is on the rise.

Dunnage bags, also known as airbags, air cushions, and inflatable bags, are used to properly secure and stabilise cargo. Dunnage Air Bags are used to restrain movement of cargo loads in trucks, overseas containers, or railcars.

They fill voids, brace loads, absorb vibrations, and protect cargo from in-transit damage, better than any other form of bracing ("dunnaging"). Dunnage bags provide convenient and cost-effective cargo stabilisation in ISO sea containers, closed railcars, trucks, and oceangoing vessels.

Why do you need this protection?

The most common causes of freight damage is cargo rocking from forward to back, and double and triple decked skids bouncing or vibrating in transit. When your cargo is improperly secured, you can often end up with damaged or messy cargo which can lead to disgruntled or lost customers.

Valuable time is wasted putting your damaged freight back together at the destination terminals and the necessity for "Re's" (recouping, restacking, re-banding, re-shrink-wrapping, and re-working the load) adversely affect dock production and strain customer relations.

What are the benefits of using Dunnage Air Bags?

The transport and logistics industry is in an ever-changing fight for survival. Fuel costs and taxes continue to climb, insurance premiums soar and increased wages continue to consume the bottom line.

Operational improvements must be made to maintain profit margins. Air Bags will have the biggest impact on the load factor (a carrier's largest single expense). One of the primary goals of the shipping quality process is to improve organisational productivity.

Time spent installing air bags will be saved at the destination terminals, because the carrier can eliminate the "Re's". At the same time, better use can be made of container space.

Air bags permit double and triple-decking of skids, and stair-stepping can be eliminated. With air bags, fragile freight can be loaded anywhere in the trailer. Skids can be double or triple-decked, air-bagged either in front of, or behind (or both) the fragile freight, to achieve maximum cube utilisation.

Since the use of air bags will permit normal loading behind the fragile freight, eliminating the need for stairstepping improves the load factor, and reduces line-haul or transportation costs.