How to Protect Your Bulk Cargo In Bad Weather


Even if the weather forecast is ideal during the time period you expect your bulk cargo to be in transit, you never know when the weather may change. This ongoing uncertainty requires that you think through all possible scenarios to ensures bad weather doesn’t interfere with the cargo arrival or impact its usability.

In this post, learn some strategies that can protect your bulk cargo even if bad weather strikes while it is en route.

Types of Impacts Weather Can Cause
There are many ways in which bad weather can cause not just delays in delivery but cargo quality degradation as well. For example, humidity from storms can create condensation inside containers that can lead to damp, mold, mildew and rotting of cargo.

Insects, rodents and other unwelcome guests may seek shelter inside your cargo hold, causing bacteria and contamination.

And extreme heat or cold while traveling through different climate zones can literally change the composition of the cargo, which is an especial risk when you are transporting food items for livestock or human consumption.

Packaging to Avoid Damaged Cargo
The best way to protect your cargo from the possibility of contamination or quality degradation is to package it securely. This requires two phases: preparation of the container or cargo hold and preparation of the bulk cargo itself.

Preparation of the Cargo Hold
Here are the basic preparations you should make to prepare the area where your bulk cargo is to be placed for shipment.

– Thoroughly wash down the cargo hold.
– Ensure any ballast, bracings or blocks are watertight and sealed.
– Clear all pipes, chains, straps or ties of dust and debris.
– Clean hatch covers and latches and ensure they are weathertight.
– Check for adequate clear ventilation.
– Ensure the container area is temperature controlled and blocks UV radiation.
– Check the certificate to ensure the area is free from insects.

Preparation of the Bulk Cargo
Here are the basic preparations you should make to prepare your cargo for shipment so that it won’t be damaged due to bad weather.

– Always adhere to maximum weight limits.
– Package your cargo in weathertight and watertight containers.
– Pack only like goods together.
– Elevate the cargo a bit off the ground to allow for ventilation underneath.
– Place moisture-retaining insulation (called “dunnage“) around your cargo to ensure humidity has no impact.
– Secure your cargo so that it will remain where you placed it during transport.

Don’t Forget About Arrival and Off-Loading
Even if your bulk cargo arrives safely, uncontaminated and in perfect condition, there is still a risk during arrival and off-loading that bad weather will impact quality or usability.

Here, you need to be sure the recipient client understands how to supervise off-loading and unpacking to avoid contamination. Keep your shipping manifest handy to guard against claims of improper shipping. If there is inclement weather upon arrival, arrange for temporary dry dock storage rather than risk contamination.