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The use of containers and other transport units has revolutionized the logistics industry by significantly reducing the risk of physical damage to cargo during transport. However, it is essential to note that, although these solutions offer invaluable protection, improper placement or securing of the cargo can have serious consequences. One of the main challenges faced by transportation and logistics companies is ensuring that cargoes remain safe and stable during the journey. In this context, the CTU Code (Code for Transport of Unitized Cargo) plays a crucial role.

The CTU Code sets strict guidelines and regulations for the proper stowage and securing of cargo within containers and other transport units. Its aim is to prevent damage to both the goods and the individuals involved in the transportation process.”

Additionally, innovations like flexitanks have been developed to transport heavy and bulky cargoes.” La persona que carga y asegura la carga juega un papel crucial, ya que muchas personas dependen de su destreza, incluyendo conductores, ferroviarios, tripulantes de buques, trabajadores portuarios, entre otros.

CTU Code IMO/ILO/UNECE-United Nations Code of Practice for Packing of Transport Units.

In the world of transportation and logistics, ensuring the safety of cargo during transit is of utmost importance. For this reason, the main objective of the CTU Code, developed by the European Union in conjunction with international organizations such as the United Nations, IMO, ILO, and UNECE, is to provide guidance and directives to regulate cargo stability, ensuring safe transportation of goods.

These guidelines are aimed at both professionals in loading and securing operations, as well as training instructors in this area.

At Safe Load Testing Technologies, we specialize in providing packaging testing machines and transportation simulation, which help companies comply with these standards and ensure the safe transportation of their cargo. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of stability testing according to European standards and directives.

Ensuring safe transportation: the CTU Code

What is the CTU Code?”

The CTU Code, or Code for Transport of Unitized Cargo, is an essential tool in the world of goods transportation, designed to ensure the safety and integrity of cargoes during their journey. This code provides detailed guidelines and regulations on the proper stowage, securing, and conditioning of cargoes within containers and other transport units.

Its primary aim is to minimize the risks of physical damage to the goods and, at the same time, promote the safety of those working in the logistics process. As international trade and logistics continue to play a crucial role in the global economy, the CTU Code has become an essential tool to ensure that goods arrive at their destination safely and without incidents.

The IMO/ILO/UNECE-United Nations Code of Practice for Packing of Transport Units (CTU Code) primarily aims to provide guidance on the safe arrangement of cargoes in transport units.


It is aimed at those who carry out these operations and the instructors who train their staff. Additionally, it provides information and recommendations to all parties involved in the supply chain, including those in charge of unloading the transport units.

The CTU Code is not intended to replace existing national or international regulations related to the arrangement of cargo in transport units but to complement them.


Improperly stowed and secured cargo, the use of unsuitable transport units, and overweight in these units can jeopardize safety during loading and transport operations. Declaring the cargo inaccurately can also lead to dangerous situations.

For example, providing a false gross mass can lead to overloading a vehicle or incorrect stowage allocation on a ship, compromising its safety. Additionally, inadequate humidity control can cause severe damage to the cargo, its collapse, and the loss of stability of the transport unit.

Numerous guidelines and regulations have been established in international instruments, such as the SOLAS Convention, the ISPS Code, and the IMO/ILO recommendations, to promote safety in maritime and port transportation. Additionally, ISO has developed standards to manage cargo protection and other aspects of the supply chain. The World Customs Organization (WCO) has also contributed a regulatory framework to facilitate and secure global trade.


Together, these guidelines and regulations primarily aim to ensure the safety of individuals, cargo, and the entire supply chain, promoting safer and more efficient international trade.

CTU Code: Delving into technical matters.

Forces Acting During Transport.

Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the general transport conditions within the United Nations’ CTU Code describe the forces acting on the cargo during transport. These forces include the mass of the cargo (m), measured in kilograms or tons, multiplied by the acceleration (a), measured in m/s².

F = m ∙ a

The relevant accelerations considered during transport include gravitational acceleration (a = g = 9.81 m/s²) and the acceleration caused by specific transport conditions, such as braking, rapid lane changes in land vehicles, or ship movements in rough seas. These accelerations are expressed as the product of gravitational acceleration (g) and a specific acceleration coefficient (c), for example, a = 0.8 g.

The tables within the code provide the applicable acceleration coefficients for different modes of transport and securing directions. To prevent cargo from shifting, it must be secured longitudinally and transversely based on the worst combination of horizontal accelerations and the corresponding vertical accelerations. The securing method must be designed to withstand the forces of accelerations in each horizontal direction (longitudinal and transverse) separately.

Transporte por carretera
Fastening on Acceleration coefficients
Longitudinally (cx) Transversely (cy) Minimum vertically downwards (cz)
Forward Backward
Longitudinal direction 0,8 0,5 - 1,0
Transverse direction - - 0,5 1,0

Rail transport (combined transport)
Fastening on Acceleration coefficients
Longitudinally (cx) Transversely (cy) Minimum vertically downwards (cz)
Forward backward
Longitudinal direction 0,5 (1,0)† 0,5 (1,0)† / 1,0 (0,7)†
Transverse direction / / 0,5 1,0 (0,7)†
† Values ​​in parentheses apply to shock loads only with short impacts of 150 milliseconds or shorter, and may be used, for example, to design packaging
Sea transport
Significant wave height at sea Fastening on







A Hs ≤ 8 m Longitudinal direction 0,3 - 0,5
Transverse direction - 0,5 1
B 8 m ≤ Hs ≤ 12 m Longitudinal direction 0,3 - 0,3
Transverse direction - 0,7 1
C Hs ≤ 12 m Longitudinal direction 0,4 - 0,2
Transverse direction - 0,8 1

Solution for the CTU Code: Safe Load Testing Technologies’ Transportation Simulation Equipment

Boomerang Horizontal Stability Tester

The innSlide Boomerang is the world’s most compact equipment for conducting acceleration tests, such as EUMOS 40509 and the cargo securing requirements of the FMCSA in the United States, in order to measure cargo stability and rigidity and optimize packaging.

Thanks to the use of the innSlide Boomerang, our clients have achieved an average reduction of 25-30% in the use of stretch film as tertiary packaging, resulting in an average decrease of 15-20% in CO2 emissions.

Advanced and patented innovative solution for simulating horizontal accelerations and decelerations that affect the safety and stability of the cargo.

Horizontal Stability Tester + Boomerang Software

Horizontal Stability Tester Safe Load Testing Technologies

The horizontal stability testing machine is an advanced tool that provides accurate simulation of horizontal accelerations and decelerations in accordance with major international standards, such as EUMOS 40509 and the stringent cargo securing requirements of the FMCSA in the United States. Its ability to replicate these conditions is essential to ensure the safety and stability of products during transport.

A prominent feature of horizontal stability testing machines is the inclusion of the innovative innSlide SET software. This software provides our customers with the flexibility to design customized acceleration tests that go beyond established standards. From turning tests to combinations of trapezoidal tests, intermittent braking, and sudden braking, innSlide SET allows for a wide range of test configurations to meet the specific needs of each product.

Furthermore, what makes this machine even more exceptional is its compatibility with our Boomerang software and its patented methodology that allows EUMOS tests to be conducted in half the time traditionally required. This not only saves time but also allows for obtaining the critical data needed for packaging optimization and safety in a more compact space.

In summary, functionality, and effectiveness come together impressively in this horizontal stability testing machine, offering companies an essential tool to ensure the integrity of their products during transport.

DIN 55415-DIN 55415

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