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Cargo transport unit

The goods most suitable means of transport

The choice of the right cargo transport unit affects the activity efficiency and the safety level.

There are multiple factors that influence the choice, among which the main ones are:

Type of goods to be transported:

  • size, shape and cargo mass
  • possible stacking of packages
  • special requirements of the goods in terms of protection from bad weather, temperature and humidity

Mode of transport:

  • by road
  • by rail
  • by sea
  • intermodal, which combines several modalities together

Further specifications for the intended transport:

  • distance and type of journey
  • complete loading at departure site and unloading at final destination or partial loading and unloading along the route

By crossing these parameters it is possible to choose from time to time the cargo transport unit that best suits the needs, with the aim of maximizing the effectiveness of the transport by containing time and costs.

Types of transport units

In general, transport units can be divided into three families:

Vehicle (truck, trailer, tractor and semi-trailer): it is the most used solution for road transport. A vehicle as a whole can be made up of a truck, or of a complex consisting of a tractor plus semi-trailer or tractor plus trailer. Furthermore, with reference to load securing, vehicles approved according to EN 12642 standard, with a reinforced structure specially designed to withstand the load forces, and vehicles equipped with lashing points compliant with EN 12640 are particularly important.

Container: is a device designed for intermodal transport, which can be transferred without load break from a container road vehicle to a railway vehicle, or it can be loaded onto a container ship. It is a generally stackable transport unit, whose construction specifications are contained in the ISO 1496 standard.

Swap body: it is a device used for road and rail transport, whose construction specifications are ruled by the EN 284 standard, while the test provisions are ruled by the EN 283 standard. Generally it is not a stackable transport unit.

Regardless of the choice, when designing the load scheme, the balancing of the transport unit must be considered in compliance with the load distribution diagram.