Cargo Distribution Within Shipping Containers
The management of cargo within each container is important and must be managed correctly.
Efficient weight distribution means that containers can be lifted, loaded and unloaded safely without the risk of tipping.
The following recommendations are recommended by CMA CGM Group in this regard.
- Cargo weight must be evenly spread over the largest possible floor area.
- The cargo’s centre of gravity must be:
- As low as possible
- As close as possible to the centre of the container
- The higher the centre of gravity the higher must be the wedging devices.
- The cargo load units must support (be in contact with) each other with no large gaps in between and must be secured to the container (with wedges, lashings, etc.) so that they cannot move nor collapse.
- If the cargo load units are not homogenous, the heaviest ones must be on floor level and the lighter ones on top.
- Any liquid loads must be placed underneath solid ones.
Cargo Weight Recommendations
- The maximum gross mass/weight of the container must never be exceeded. Note also that local inland transport companies will also have their own regulations.
- Where there are cases of concentrated cargo, it must lie over as many floor cross members as possible so that the weight distribution is as close as possible to the ideal one based on the container max payload value and length. For instance, the limit for a 20′ general purpose container is approximately 5 tonnes per linear metre (based on a maximum payload of 28 tonnes, length 6m).
- If cargo lays over half of the floor length, its weight must not exceed 66% of the container’s maximum payload (and so on, 66% of length for 75% of weight, 75% for 80%) but these indications may vary according to container types.
- Whenever necessary, the cargo should be placed upon additional supports (or longitudinal members) to comply with the above recommendations.