Crating & Packaging for Ocean Transport

Ocean transportation has been the way the world gets goods from one place to another for centuries but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Throughout this significant span of time, numerous transformations have taken place in the realm of ocean freight shipping, including alterations in the types of vessels used as well as the durations required to traverse diverse bodies of water. Most notably though, ocean transportation has gotten much safer because of the technologies implored to safely store goods during the transportation process.

There are a range of ways to help your goods reach their destined port in the identical condition they left your hands. Continue reading to learn some of these methods to keep your cargo as safe as possible during ocean transports.

Ocean-Specific Considerations

There are several aspects to shipping freight via ocean liners that complicated the shipping process in ways that air and land transports don’t need to worry about. For example, the open ocean is incredibly humid, so goods must be packed accordingly and far from the harshness of the ocean’s humidity. Coupled with the potent corrosive properties of salt, this combination presents a serious threat to all types of cargo, with metal items and delicate electronics being particularly susceptible to damage.

Fortunately, damage can be avoided by taking the proper measures to shield goods from the humidity and salty air during oceanic transit. Employing vapor-barrier bags serves as an effective deterrent, effectively preventing moisture from reaching the items within. These specialized bags encompass the items and are subsequently sealed, followed by the extraction of air using a specialized vacuum system. Additionally, it is common practice to use activated desiccant in sealed bags, which help to absorbs any moisture that may have gotten near the bag.

Humidity indicator cards are also implored for many ocean freight transports. These cards are inserted within the bag and allow for assessment upon the item’s arrival at its designated destination, providing valuable insights into the extent of humidity exposure. For situations demanding real-time monitoring throughout the journey, humidity indicator plugs that extend through the vapor-barrier bag can be utilized, allowing for humidity levels to be checked at any given time.

Keeping Cargo Stationary

Keeping cargo stationary during ocean transports can prove to be challenging, especially during inclement weather. While goods transported via truck, train, or plane may experience slight jolts due to uneven roads, tracks, or turbulent air, such movements tend to be relatively inconsequential compared to the roughness of the open seas. Despite the best efforts of ocean freight companies to circumvent treacherous waters, there are instances where evading 10+ foot waves becomes an insurmountable challenge, subjecting massive cargo ships to the whims of the sea and rendering them comparatively powerless.

Because of this, the manner in which cargo is packaged and crated takes on heightened significance when it comes to ocean freight shipping. This encompasses the careful blocking and bracing of the item within a crate or alternative container. Simply occupying the remaining space within a container with cushioning materials often proves inadequate in mitigating damage should a cargo ship encounter exceptionally rough waters. The involvement of a packaging engineer becomes paramount when shipping goods via ocean transport, relying on their skills and expertise to navigate this demanding terrain.

This item was protected from moisture damage with a vapor barrier bag before being crated.

Wood Crating for Ocean Transports

When it comes to preparing cargo for ocean transportation, the proper crating techniques using wood play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of the goods. There are many essential factors to crate cargo effectively for ocean transport including:

  • Choosing suitable wood: Selecting the appropriate type of wood is essential for crate construction, especially for ocean transports. Hardwoods like oak, birch, or maple are commonly used due to their durability and strength. It is essential to avoid using softwoods that are more prone to damage and decay by the ocean’s humidity.
  • Sizing and structuring of crating: The crate should provide ample space for the cargo while ensuring a snug fit to minimize movement during transit. It is also essential to reinforce the corners and joints with sturdy nails or screws to enhance the crate’s overall strength.
  • Proper blocking and bracing: Securely block and bracing cargo within the crate helps to prevent shifting and/or movement during rough sea conditions. Using foam or cushioning materials can protect fragile items and fill any void spaces to avoid potential damage caused by impacts or vibrations.
  • ISPM 15 compliance: Logistics managers much ensure compliance with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM 15) if using wooden crates for international shipments. This entails treating the wood to eliminate pests and obtaining the necessary certification.
  • Waterproofing: Applying a waterproof sealant or coating to protect the wood against moisture and saltwater exposure is crucial for preventing wood decay and preserving the integrity of the crate during the ocean voyage.
  • Clear labeling and documentation: Clearly labeling the crate with essential information such as the destination address, handling instructions, and any specific handling requirements helps to ensure that all relevant shipping documents and paperwork are securely attached to the crate for easy identification and customs clearance.

After being protected by a vapor bag, the item is built a crate with a blocking and bracing system, this is so it does not move around during transportation

Working with a Trusted Logistics Partner

If you’re in need of a shipping partner to help with your next ocean transport, contact us for a free quote on your shipment!

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