As an export lashing supplier in Australia, we know that restraining loads inside shipping containers is essential to transporting and shipping cargo. If a load is not properly secured inside the container, it can cause severe damage to the property inside the container and to personnel who work in the container yard or warehouse ‒ particularly when unpacking.
Here are several tips for safely unpacking and unloading shipping containers, which is the most dangerous part of the shipping cycle. Several items could have moved or come loose during transit, increasing the risk of personnel injury.
Take Caution When Maneuvering The Container
Container yards can be busy, and it can also be challenging to see all the containers. Add to this time pressures and lots of traffic, and you have a recipe for potential injuries.
Always ensure you adhere to all traffic regulations when maneuvering containers, and do not take any safety shortcuts. The use of mirrors, good lighting, and a second pair of eyes to assist with maneuvering can significantly improve safety.
Use Caution When Opening The Doors
When shipping containers are transported over long distances, cargo can come loose if it is not properly secured. If the items have come loose inside the container, it could be dangerous to open the doors as the items could fall out, damaging the product.
Therefore, it is advised that containers should be opened with caution. Bolts should be used to prevent the doors from opening suddenly, and two sets of people positioned laterally to the container should be in place to open the doors safely.
Securing devices can also be placed to protect items that might fall out upon opening the doors. If there are chemicals inside the container, a respirator mask should be worn to reduce the risk of intoxication.
Take Care When Releasing Restraints
When releasing cargo restraint devices such as cargo lashing, it should be done with caution. Goods and packages should be inspected to ensure they are not loose and have not moved in transit.
It is also advised not to detach all the restraints at once but to instead detach the nearest to the front first and to unload whatever cargo you can before disconnecting additional restraints.
Use The Correct Mode Of Transport
When shipping containers are placed on top of trucks with platforms that are inadequately dimensioned or improperly constructed, there is the risk that load shift could cause the container to move and/or fall off the truck.
Suitable slings should be used for forklifts when loading and unloading, while the industrial trucks used to transport the containers should be adequately dimensioned and regularly inspected to ensure that they are in good condition. Any transport routes should be preplanned as not all roads can accommodate industrial-sized trucks.