Globalization and the growth of online commerce have implied a myriad of opportunities for companies, but also logistical challenges for safely transporting the products anywhere in the world. Load securing is among the most important factors to take into account in order to guarantee that the goods will arrive in perfect condition to the end consumer and to avoid accidents.
The European best practices guidelines on cargo securing for road transport outlines a number of factors that might affect load stability during the distribution cycle:
- Vehicle: an analysis should be made to ensure that it is suitable for the cargo being transported, and whether it should be outfitted with items such as side, front or back doors, in addition to the use of battens, stanchions or anchoring points inside the vehicle to secure the load.
- Packaging: it is vital for safe package delivery. In order to guarantee an adequate load securing, an analysis should be made to determine the best tertiary packaging method, which may consist of pallets, sheets between cargo layers, edge protectors, web lashing, shrink wrap or boxes. Here is where simulation tests for goods come into place, which certifies the resistance of a package to the hazards of transportation.
- Securing elements: this includes lashes, chains, steel cables, load bars or dunnage, in addition to methods to increase the friction between the load and the platform, such as coatings, mats or anti-skid sheets. Accomplishing an adequate load securing will involve analyzing which of these elements are most suitable for the type of goods being transported, the means of transportation and the route.
- Securing methods: the various securing tools (locking, blocking, direct lashing or top over lashing) prevent the load from moving uncontrollably during transportation. They are therefore essential for safe package delivery.
Importance of load securing
The stability of the load guarantees the safety of the goods during the distribution cycle, in addition to preventing accidents that endanger the individuals in charge of transportation.
The fact is that an inadequate load securing is to blame for 25% of accidents involving trucks, according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
Transportation cost efficiency
According to information published by Packworld, the cost of replacing a damaged product during the distribution cycle might by up to 17 times the shipping cost. But an adequate load securing implies not only preventing the waste caused by damages in shipped products, but it also improves the reputation of the brand, getting the product to the end consumer in mint condition.
Compliance with regulations
A number of regulations regulate the stability of loads during transportation, such as Directive 2014/47/EU which mentions the EUMOS 40509 testing method, applicable within the European territory. Analyzing the load securing and using testing equipment guarantee it will have the added benefit of complying with these international transportation regulations and standards.
Studying the stability of a load implies tailoring the packaging method to the real hazards that the goods will face during the distribution cycle. This way, it is possible to protect them and design an adequate package, avoiding unnecessary costs due to over-packaging.
Studying the load securing implies obtaining safer solutions that also lead to less waste and less energy required for its transportation, manufacturing and packaging.
Regulations to take into account
The goal of Directive 2014/47/EU on road transportation and safety is to reduce the number of road transportation victims to zero by the year 2050, and an adequate load securing has been proven to be a significant factor in guaranteeing safety in this environment.
This directive includes EUMOS 40509: Test method for load unit rigidity. Through the use of a horizontal stability tester, the test simulates the acceleration and deceleration forces that might endanger a load’s stability. This allows for the design of a safe package that can withstand these conditions.
Additionally, there are a series of standards that include other tests to verify the load securing:
- Horizontal and vertical impact tests are included in the following standards: ASTM D4169-16, ASTM D4169-16, EN 15552: 2008 and ISTA Procedures
- Tests using forklifts are included in ASTM D6055, ISTA 3B, ISTA Project_6-Amazon.com-SIOC
- The Tilt test is contained in standard EN 12195 and its D2 annexe
- The dynamic (driving) test is included in testing protocol EN 12642
- The ASTMD 6179 and UNE-EN 14149 standards outline the use of rotational drop tests to test the load securing of a specific system.
Each of these regulations and testing methods has different advantages and drawbacks. It is up to the company to determine its interest in performing these tests based on the means at hand and the load to be transported, among other things.
How Safe Load TT can help you with your load securing
At Safe Load Testing Technologies we help companies guarantee an adequate load securing, improving safety throughout the distribution cycle and complying with the regulations in effect, in addition to enjoying economic benefits.
Our track record of two decades in the transport simulation industry enables us to design optimization and package testing solutions to guarantee load stability. This means that we work to find the best solution for each company, tailoring it to the particularities of each logistical process.
Do you want to know more about load securing? Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help you.