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Choice of packaging for various commodities - general cargo ships guidelines

Guidelines on the choice of packaging

Packaging perform the following three basic functions, which we may call the three P’s of packaging, namely: protection, preservation and presentation.

Some broad guidelines to be followed in the choice of packaging technique include the considerations which follow.

Goods should be well stowed within the package, evenly distributed and properly secured. Items completely filling the case or carton contribute to the strength of the whole package. Items which do not completely fill the package must be cushioned against shock or vibration.

There must be adequate internal bracing or securing using battens (bars of wood) or dunnage (mats, wood shavings, etc.). Where the consignment consists of a number of small packages, it is preferable to consolidate them into one load by strapping and securing them to a wooden pallet base (a portable platform for storing loads).

The assembly of cargo into the largest practical unit consistent with the handling, weight and dimension requirements reduces the danger of theft to a minimum. There is also the advantage of reduced handling stresses, as larger units require the use of mechanical handling equipment rather than crude manual techniques.

Pallet packing is quite suitable for goods carried in containers although they may also be carried by conventional methods. In this case, however, there is the risk of breakage during transfer, or on forwarding and handling operations. In selecting the appropriate type of package, account should be taken of the probability of cargo being "overstowed" by other packages in warehouses and cargo holds.

Appropriate strapping and banding techniques should be used for all packages. The regulations of the destination country as well as those of any transit countries should be checked in order to ensure that they do not prohibit certain types of packing material, particularly material which is harmful to the environment. The re-use of second-hand cartons or cases should be avoided as they are more liable to collapse or and may invite pilferage (stealing in small quantities) if the contents become exposed.

To improve the handling of bigger volumes of cargo, the design of the package should match the dimensions of the product so as to save packaging and freight costs. From the shipper's point of view, it is desirable that the following considerations should be borne in mind in order to minimize the cost of freight:

It is essential that waterproof wrapping for the contents and waterproof lining for packages should be provided, particularly when the packages are likely to remain in an unprotected area, such as the customs area.

Over-packaging in the name of protective packaging should be avoided, in order to make optimum use of the carrying capacity. This is particularly important in air transport where packages are consolidated into pallets, igloos or containers.

Powdered or granular material should be packed preferably in flexible multiwall bags which are adapted to the requirements of the material, taking into account its chemical and physical characteristics.

In the case of pressed bales (canvas packages of merchandise), it is advisable to use an inner wrap of waterproof paper below an outer or primary cover of fiberboard material, over which heavy jute or a similar cover can be provided before strapping.

In designing or choosing a suitable package, it may be useful to consult, wherever possible, the consignee and obtain reports from his end about the packaging of specific products moving on specific routes. It would also be advisable to ascertain from consignees to what extent handling gear, port equipment, etc., are available at the port of destination, what inland transportation facilities are available and if the goods have to be moved to inland centres.

In export packing, consideration should be given to the "presentation" aspect of the package: the design; colour, embellishment of the packages, which could produce a favourable reaction in the export market and improve the competitiveness of the product.

Information required for packaging

The type of packaging required depends on the:

Other useful articles :
  1. Methods of refrigeration

  2. Refrigeration is essentially the removal of heat through the process of evaporation. We choose to refrigerate commodities such as fruits and vegetables because we want to prolong their “practical shelf life” – the time from harvest until the product loses its commercial value.
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  3. Reefer cargo stuffing

  4. it is essential that all products are treated correctly prior to stuffing. Even though the temperature, ventilation and humidity are all optimal during the entire voyage, products will only arrive in perfect condition if the pre-treatment has been performed correctly. Successful shipping begins at the product sourcing area.
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  5. Growing demand for container refrigeration

  6. On deck refrigerated containers are generally serviced by clip-on air cooled electric motor drive cooling units. The units are plugged into the ships electrical system by way of suitable deck sockets.
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  7. Frozen products packaging requirement

  8. Proper packaging procedures will help protect frozen cargo during transport. Frozen products do not require air holes in the top and bottom of the cartons. Air flowing around the load is sufficient to remove heat that has penetrated the container. The cartons should be stacked directly on top of each other to take advantage of their strength in the corners.
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  9. Packaging & stowage guideline for reefer cargo

  10. Packaging plays an important role when it comes to protecting the cargo. The packaging material must be able to support a stacking height of up to 2.4 metres (7’10’’). The material should be able to withstand humidity without collapsing, and should allow the passage of an adequate vertical airflow through the cartons in order to maintain the desired temperature..
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  11. Choice of packaging for various commodities

  12. Goods should be well stowed within the package, evenly distributed and properly secured. Items completely filling the case or carton contribute to the strength of the whole package. Items which do not completely fill the package must be cushioned against shock or vibration.
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  13. How to keep cargo fresh ?

  14. Proper ventilation of fresh, chilled products is necessary to remove the heat, carbon dioxide and other gases produced by the cargo. Heat is removed by continuously circulating the internal air, whereas carbon dioxide and other gases are removed by replacing the internal air supply with cooled fresh air..
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  15. Loading precautions for refrigerated cargoes

  16. Refrigerated cargoes include meat carcases, carton (packed) meat, fruit, cheese, butter, fish and offal. Ships are specifically designed for their carriage, with separate spaces in holds and ’tween decks, each fitted with suitable insulation and individual control of ventilation. Ordinary general cargoes may be carried in the spaces at other times, the temperature being regulated accordingly for the type of cargo being carried.
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  17. Role classification societies maintaining seaworthiness of vessels

  18. classification societies publish rules and regulations which are principally concerned with the strength of the ship, the provision of adequate equipment, and the reliability of the machinery .
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  19. Periodic survey requirement by classification societies

  20. To maintain the assigned class all steel ships are required to be surveyed and examined by the Society’s surveyors at regular periods. The major hull items to be examined at these surveys only are discussed here..
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