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Non-palletized cargoes

Non-standard loads

Non-palletized cargoes are those loads which, due to their shape or size, cannot be transported on standard pallets. These are mostly machinery, pieces of carpentry, valves, actuators, tracks for work vehicles. More generally, these are those loads that cannot be contained in standard packaging, or that are transported as they are without further packaging. What to do in these cases?

To ensure transport safety, these loads must be traced back to load units that can be properly secured.

It is therefore necessary to build tailor-made packaging that constitutes an adequate interface between the load and the transport unit. It can be made of wood or other suitable material depending on the size and mass of the load.

For example, very high and narrow loads, therefore unstable, create many problems if loaded directly into the transport unit. In fact, the EN 12195-1 standard for securing unstable loads requires the use of a large number of devices, for example web lashings. In these cases it is absolutely recommended to build a package that contains the load and brings it back to a shape that is easier to handle and secure.

Surface load distribution

Another problem that is sometimes faced when dealing with non-palletized loads is the reduced contact surface with the floor or walls. On these surfaces very high localized pressures could act such as to damage the structure.

Transport units, whether they are vehicles, containers, swap bodies, although designed to withstand the load forces, do not have infinite resistance. Furthermore, they can be damaged by high loads that develop on small surfaces, as shown in the photo taken from “Informative Material related to the CTU Code”:

Non-palletized cargo: The load, distributed over too small a surface, caused the floor to break through
The load, distributed over too small a surface, caused the floor to break through. Image taken from “Informative Material related to the CTU Code”

In these cases the packaging shall be designed with the product itself, or entrusted to companies specialized in the construction of customized packaging. Such packages are often provided with lashing points suitable for attaching web lashings or chains, so as to be able to carry out a direct lashing securing. Since in these cases the mass of the load is almost always high, the use of a direct lashing, instead of a frictional lashing, certainly offers better performance by limiting the minimum number of web lashings required to comply with the EN 12195-1 standard.

For non-palletized cargoes, in case of use of large boxes, it is necessary to indicate the provisions for correct lifting. The position of the center of gravity shall also be indicated when it is far from the geometric center of the package. In this way it is possible to avoid unbalance during the lifting phase.