Request A Quote

Update : Oct 15 , 2022

Cargo handling operations open the doors for an array of significant safety concerns. Thus, it has become quite vital for shipping personnel to be well aware of the various considerations that must be contemplated while performing operations about cargo handling on ships. Knowing essential safety measures and, at the same time, formulating apt use of materials handling equipment are some of the wise ways to ensure that your cargo is held safely on ships.

Let’s explore the most common global shipment hazards and tips to protect shipboard cargo.

Wear and Tear

When a shipment contacts other cargo, numerous chances of experiencing severe punctures or wear and tears further result in significant shipment hazards. It, however, results from improper or inadequate internal packaging that leads the contents to face pressure through exterior packaging.


When a co-loaded cargo is loaded on top of a shipment, it results in crushing or compression. Severe damage is an outcome of unsupported exterior packaging. Internal packaging should be arranged to fill the open spaces while providing a rigid support to the external packaging. It eventually minimizes the chance of constriction or crushing of cargo.

Environmental Vulnerability

Cargo damage is severely conducted by climate and environmental conditions. Geographical conditions contribute significantly towards the damage of cargo during shipment. Water or humidity not only deteriorates the content of shipment but, at the same time, also ruins the solidarity of packaging. Adhesive, primarily used in corrugated cardboard boxes, eventually softens by moisture falling apart.

Handling of Shipment

Several hazards occur during the manual lifting of cargo, which is non-palletized, as it often drops or slides due to heavyweight. Even when lifted by a forklift, in the case of palletized shipments, there are vast chances of experiencing a fall or slide. Thus, a slight fall or slide causes severe hazards to the entire shipment, including the workforce.


There is a considerable possibility of experiencing a shock to the cargo during transit as it moves from multiple modes involving forklifts, conveyors, carts, et al. Thus the mode of transportation incorporates heavy shock to the packaging, causing severe damage. When the inner or exterior packaging fails to withstand the handling elements, which a shipment faces during transit, it ruins the entire cargo.

Valuable Tips for Protecting the Cargo from Shipment Hazards

As we have learnt about severe damages caused due to shipment hazards, thus, it has become quite essential to explore valuable methods to safeguard the cargo during shipping. The two primary methods for securing goods involve banding and shrink-wrap, applicable for palletized and non-palletized goods. The most common banding types include steel, nylon, polyester (PET) and polypropylene.

In the case of heavy goods, metal is quite favorable. Also, Nylon and PET are convenient for boxes and soft goods. Plastic strapping, including an unbreakable seal, must be utilized assiduously while ensuring that it should be highly durable.

Distinct types of methods include:

  • Shrink Wrapping: The shrink wrap is tightly wrapped through goods while rotating around the film in the horizontal direction. The film is constantly applied until 50% is overlapped on the previous film layer. In shrink-wrap, the film is diagonally crisscrossed from the corner till the top is entirely covered. Lastly, the film is angled in a downward direction and overlaps tightly around the base of the pallet.
  • Banding or Strapping: Strapping is one of the most convenient and safest ways to secure goods during shipping. As per IATA standards, strapping must be four ways. When applied manually, the first piece is looped underneath the pallet void and over the top of the goods to secure it vertically. Thus, strapping is repeated in all directions.
  • Edge Protectors: Vertical edge protectors help minimize the damage to the box while stabilizing the load. Both horizontal, as well as upright edge protectors are beneficial.
  • Paperboards: A protective layer or barrier is formulated with the help of a paperboard placed on the top, base, and sides. These assist in spreading the shipment weights on the top of and against the base slats.
  • Bracing: Bracing with wood or metal against the pallet prevents sideways movement in the case of cable reels or engines. Furthermore, pre-shipment testing is quite recommended to analyze the effectiveness of the packaging. It confirms the package’s capacity to shield the goods from shipment hazards.