Properly protecting shipments from the elements as they are transported thousands of miles by trucking companies across the continent can be the difference between machinery that can be put to work or sold once it arrives at its destination and freight that becomes a freight claim of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In this article, we will learn about the types of ways to protect your shipments in addition to the benefits and drawbacks of each alternative.
Shrinkwrapping is one of the most popular ways to protect boats when they are in storage as you can fully enclose them in a durable plastic wrap that shrinks to form a tight seal to the shape of the boat. In doing so, this seal protects boats from salt from salt-laden air by the ocean as well as wind, rain, and snow if they are stored outside.
In the same way boats are protect in storage, pallets, machinery, and large electronics can be shrink wrapped for transportation. As most machinery and electronics are not made in square, stackable, compact shapes, shrink wrapping is a great option to protect cargo of all shapes and sizes.
However, shrink wrapping alone is not sufficient for heavy hauls that need a solid base for support and need to be kept above potentially wet surfaces. Also, shrink wrapping fails to provide dependable protection during transportation during extreme heat or cold so bubble wrap needs to be used which provides more insulation as well as protection from bumps and scratches.
Wood crates are constructed from wood slats or durable USB board that need to be constructed and then taken apart upon arrival at the destination. With a wooden shipping pallet at the bottom of the crate, shipments can be move easily by forklifts or pallet trucks which also helps keep the crate off potentially wet surfaces. Wood crates are typically used for large single items like large electronics, art, vehicles or heavy haul logistics.
The positive aspects of wood crating include being relatively inexpensive, reusable, customizable and recyclable. They are lighter than steel shipping containers. However, they can be a fuss to open, do not allow easy inspection during transit, may have insects or pesticides in the wood, and are more susceptible to damage during severe weather conditions compared to shipping containers.
A correctly tarped load takes a lot of time, effort, and meticulous skill to secure properly with bungies so that the shipment is secure and safe from the elements. Tarping is the best choice for protecting shipments with more uniform dimensions with not many sharp corners of edges such as shingles, lumber, and steel coils. The tarp must be deployed in such a way as to protect the outside of the cargo from stone-chip, water damage, and road grime during transport.
The greatest disadvantage of truck tarps is that they are very heavy and correct deployment can be difficult. Tarps can easily create damage to sensitive cargo as they are so heavy and if not secured properly, they can start flapping in the wind against the cargo and prone to damage to the paint of the cargo.The risk of injury while deploying a tarp and the liability around it is also a common concern for customers who are considering protecting their shipment with a tarp during transport. While motorized winch systems with automatic spreader bars make the job of deploying the tarp safer and easier, they are limited to pre-set sizes and types of loads. These systems are also expensive and require frequent use to make them economically viable.
When considering the use of shrink wrap, wood crates, bubble wrap, or tarps, it is important to know what precisely is on the bill of lading and the exact dimensions and weights of what is being transported. Cargo descriptions need to be specific. If the bill of lading simply says “freight of all kinds” it needs to be checked out so that the most appropriate means of weather protecting shipments are used.
At Vectra Heavy Haulers, we understand the importance of properly protecting shipments transported thousands of miles by trucking companies across the continent. Contact us today and let us provide you with a hassle-free peace of mind trucking and transportation services.