Packaging as cargo: out the door, but not out of mind

If you design or manufacture retail product packaging, you might not give much thought to what happens to it once it’s out of your facility. But rest assured, lots of people are giving that topic lots of thought. Probably, you should, too.

The protection of freight while being shipped is the subject of some regulation, some private standards, and a fair amount of civil litigation when things go wrong. There are a number of techniques available for assuring that cargo stays put while it’s moving within a container or vehicle. These include so-called blocking and bracing techniques, in which objects are strategically placed within a shipping container or vehicle so as to prevent it from shifting or moving around during transport, or the use of objects such as straps, stretch wrap, air bags, dunnage, or retaining bars to make cargo sit still. “Stretch hooding” and “shrink hooding” are sometimes used to keep loads on pallets stable.

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