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Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - International Codes - CTU Code - IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units - Annex 7. Packing and securing cargo into CTUs

Annex 7. Packing and securing cargo into CTUs

 1 Planning of packing

1.1 When applicable, planning of packing should be conducted as early as possible and before packing actually commences. Foremost, the fitness of the envisaged CTU should be verified (see chapter 7 of this Code). Deficiencies should be rectified before packing starts.

1.2 Planning should aim at producing either a tight stow, where all cargo packages are placed tightly within the boundaries of the side and front walls of the CTU, or a secured stow, where packages do not fill the entire space and will therefore be secured within the boundaries of the CTU by blocking and/or lashing.

1.3 The compatibility of all items of cargo and the nature, i.e. type and strength, of any packages or packaging involved should be taken into account. The possibility of cross-contamination by odour or dust, as well as physical or chemical compatibility, should be considered. Incompatible cargoes should be segregated.

1.4 In order to avoid cargo damage from moisture in closed CTUs during long voyages, care should be taken that other wet cargoes, moisture inherent cargoes or cargoes liable to leak are not packed together with cargoes susceptible to damage by moisture. Wet timber planks and bracings, pallets or packagings should not be used. In certain cases, damage to equipment and cargo by condensed water dripping from above may be prevented by the use of protective material such as polythene sheeting. However, such sheeting or wrapping may promote mildew and other water damage, if the overall moisture content within the CTU is too high. If drying agents are to be used, the necessary absorption capacity should be calculated. More information may be found in Annex 3. Prevention of condensation damages.

1.5 Any special instructions on packages, or otherwise available, should be followed, e.g.:

  • Cargoes marked "this way up" should be packed accordingly;
  • Maximum stacking height marked should not be exceeded.

    Note: See appendix 1 to this annex for further details on packaging marks.

1.6 Where packing results in stacks of packages, the strength of the individual packages should be capable of supporting those placed above them. Care should be taken that the stacking strength of packages is appropriate for the stack design.

1.7 Consideration should be given to potential problems, which may be created for those persons who unpack the CTU at its destination. The possibility of cargo falling out when the CTU is opened should definitely be avoided.

1.8 The mass of the planned cargo should not exceed the maximum payload of the CTU. In the case of freight containers, this ensures that the permitted maximum gross mass of the freight container, marked on the CSC safety approval plate, will not be exceeded. For CTUs not marked with their maximum permissible gross mass or payload, these values should be identified before packing starts.

1.9 Notwithstanding the foregoing, any limitation of height or mass along the projected route that may be dictated by regulations or other circumstances, such as lifting, handling equipment, clearances and surface conditions, should be complied with. Such mass limits may be considerably lower than the permitted gross mass referred to above.

1.10 When a heavy package with a small "footprint" will be shipped in a CTU, the concentrated load should be transferred to the structural transverse and longitudinal bottom girders of the CTU (see section 3.1 of this annex for details).

1.11 In longitudinal direction the centre of gravity of the packed cargo should be within allowed limits. In transverse direction the centre of gravity should be close to the half width of the CTU. In vertical direction the centre of gravity should be below half the height of the cargo space of the unit. If these conditions cannot be met, suitable measures should be taken to ensure the safe handling and transporting of the CTU, e.g. by external marking of the centre of gravity and/or by instructing forwarders/carriers. In case of CTUs, which will be lifted by cranes or container bridges, the longitudinal centre of gravity should be close to a position at half the length of the CTU (see appendix 4 to this annex).

1.12 If the planned cargo of an open-topped or open-sided CTU will project beyond the overall dimensions of the unit, suitable arrangements should be made with the carriers or forwarders for accommodating compliance with road or rail traffic regulations or advising on special stowage locations on a ship.

1.13 When deciding on packaging and cargo-securing material, it should be borne in mind that some countries enforce a garbage and litter avoidance policy. This may limit the use of certain materials and imply fees for the recovery of packaging at the reception point. In such cases, reusable packaging and securing material should be used. Increasingly, countries require timber dunnage, bracings and packaging materials to be free of bark.

1.14 If a CTU is destined for a country with wood treatment quarantine regulations, care should be taken that all wood in the unit, packaging and cargo complies with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, No. 15 (ISPM 15)footnote.This standard covers packaging material made of natural wood such as pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, load boards and skids. Approved measures of wood treatment are specified in Annex I of ISPM 15. Wood packaging material subjected to these approved measures should display the following specified mark:

Figure 7.1 Phytosanitary mark

The marks indicating that wood packaging and dunnage material has been subjected to approved phytosanitary treatment in accordance with the symbols shown in figure 7.1 will have the following components:

1.14.1 Country code

The country code should be the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) two letter code (shown in the figure as "XX").

1.14.2 Producer/treatment provider code

The producer/treatment provider code is a unique code assigned by the national plant protection organization to the producer of the wood packaging material, who is responsible for ensuring that appropriate wood is used (shown in the figure as "000").

1.14.3 Treatment code

The treatment code (shown as "YY" in the figure) shows the abbreviation for the approved measure used (HT for heat treatment, MB for fumigation with methyl bromide). In Europe the letters "DB" can be added where debarking has been done.

Note: Treatment should be carried out before the packaging and dunnage material is packed into the CTU. In situ treatment is not permitted.

1.15 Damaged packages should not be packed into a CTU, unless precautions have been taken against harm from spillage or leakage (see also chapter 10 of this Code on dangerous goods). The overall capability to resist handling and transport stresses should be ensured.

1.16 The result of planning the packing of a CTU may be presented to the packers by means of an oral or written instruction or by a sketch or even scale drawing, depending on the complexity of the case. Appropriate supervision and/or inspection should ensure that the planned concept is properly implemented.

 2 Packing and securing materials

2.1 Dunnaging and separating material

2.1.1 Dunnaging materials should be used as appropriate for the protection of the cargo against water from condensed humidity, in particular by:

  • Timber planks against water collecting at the bottom of the CTU;

  • Gunny cloth, paperboard or natural fibre mats against water dropping from the ceiling; and

  • Timber planks or plywood against sweat water running down the sides of the CTU.

2.1.2 Timber planks or scantlings may also be used for creating gaps between parcels of cargo in order to facilitate natural ventilation, particularly in ventilated containers. Moreover, the use of such dunnaging is indispensable, when packing reefer containers.

2.1.3 Timber planks, plywood sheets or pallets may be used to equalize loads within stacks of cargo parcels and to stabilize these stacks against dislocation or collapse. The same material may be used for separating packages, which may damage each other or even for installing a temporary floor in a CTU for eliminating inappropriate stack loads to the cargo (see figure 7.2).

Figure 7.2 Timber temporary floor

2.1.4 Cardboard or plastic sheathing may be used for protecting sensitive cargo from dirt, dust or moisture, in particular while packing is still in progress.

2.1.5 Dunnaging material, in particular sheets of plastic or paper and fibre nets may be used for separating unpackaged cargo items, which are designated for different consignees.

2.1.6 The restrictions on the use of dunnaging materials with regard to quarantine regulations, in particular wood or timber, should be kept in mind (see sections 1.13 and 1.14 of this annex).

2.2 Friction and friction increasing material

2.2.1 For handling and packing of cartons and pushing heavy units a low friction surface may be desirable. However, for minimizing additional securing effort, a high friction between the cargo and the stowage ground of the CTU is of great advantage. Additionally, good friction between parcels or within the goods themselves, e.g. powder or granulate material in bags, will support a stable stow.

2.2.2 The magnitude of the vertical friction forces between a cargo item and the stowage ground depends on the mass of the item, the vertical acceleration coefficient and a specific friction factor μ, which may be obtained from appendix 2 to this annex.

Friction force:
FF = μ cz m g [kN], with mass of cargo [t] and g = 9.81 [m/s2] The factors presented in appendix 2 are applicable for static friction between different surface materials. These figures may be used for cargoes secured by blocking or by friction lashings. For cargoes secured by direct securing, a dynamic friction factor should be used with 75% of the applicable static friction factor, because the necessary elongation of the lashings for attaining the desired restraint forces will go along with a little movement of the cargo. The friction values given in appendix 2 to this annex are valid for swept clean dry or wet surfaces free from frost, ice, snow, oil and grease. When a combination of contact surfaces is missing in the table in appendix 2 or if the friction factor cannot be verified in another way, the maximum friction factor to be used in calculations is 0.3. If the surface contact is not swept clean, the maximum friction factor to be used is 0.3 or the value in the table, when this is lower. If the surface contacts are not free from frost, ice and snow a friction factor μ = 0.2 should be used unless the table shows a lower value. For oily and greasy surfaces or when slip sheets have been used a friction factor μ = 0.1 should be used. The friction factor for a material contact can be verified by static inclination or dragging tests. A number of tests should be performed to establish the friction for a material contact (see appendix 3 to this annex).

2.2.3 Friction increasing materials like rubber mats, sheets of structured plastics or special cardboard may provide considerably higher friction factors, which are declared and certified by the manufacturers. However, care should be taken in the practical use of these materials. Their certified friction factor may be limited to perfect cleanliness and evenness of the contact areas and to specified ambient conditions of temperature and humidity. The desired friction increasing effect will be obtained only if the weight of the cargo is fully transferred via the friction increasing material, this means only if there is no direct contact between the cargo and the stowage ground. Manufacturer's instructions on the use of the material should be observed.

2.3 Blocking and bracing material and arrangements

2.3.1 Blocking, bracing or shoring is a securing method, where e.g. timber beams and frames, empty pallets or dunnage bags are filled into gaps between cargo and solid boundaries of the CTU or into gaps between different packages (see figure 7.3). Forces are transferred in this method by compression with minimal deformation. Inclined bracing or shoring arrangements bear the risk of bursting open under load and should therefore be properly designed. In CTUs with strong sides, if possible, packages should be stowed tightly to the boundaries of the CTU on both sides, leaving the remaining gap in the middle. This reduces the forces to the bracing arrangement, because lateral g-forces from only one side will need to be transferred at a time.

Figure 7.3 Centre gap with transverse bracing

2.3.2 Forces being transferred by bracing or shoring need to be dispersed at the points of contact by suitable cross-beams, unless a point of contact represents a strong structural member of the cargo or the CTU. Softwood timber cross-beams should be given sufficient overlaps at the shore contact points. For the assessment of bedding and blocking arrangements, the nominal strength of timber should be taken from the following table:

  Compressive strength normal to the grain Compressive strength parallel to the grain Bending strength
Low quality 0.3 kN/cm2 2.0 kN/cm2 2.4 kN/cm2
Medium quality 0.5 kN/cm2 2.0 kN/cm2 3.0 kN/cm2

2.3.3 A bracing or shoring arrangement should be designed and completed in such a way that it remains intact and in place, also if compression is temporarily lost. This requires suitable uprights or benches supporting the actual shores, a proper joining of the elements by nails or clamps and the stabilizing of the arrangement by diagonal braces as appropriate (see figures 7.4 and 7.5).

Figure 7.4 Shoring arrangement showing cross beam overlap and diagonal braces

Figure 7.5 Shoring arrangement with uprights and crossbeam

2.3.4 Transverse battens in a CTU, intended to restrain a block of packages in front of the door or at intermediate positions within the CTU, should be sufficiently dimensioned in their cross section, in order to withstand the expected longitudinal forces from the cargo (see figure 7.6). The ends of such battens may be forced into solid corrugations of the side walls of the CTU. However, preference should be given to brace them against the frame structure, such as bottom or top rails or corner posts. Such battens act as beams, which are fixed at their ends and loaded homogeneously over their entire length of about 2.4 metres. Their bending strength is decisive for the force that can be resisted. The required number of such battens together with their dimensions may be identified by calculations, which is shown in appendix 4 to this annex.

Figure 7.6 General layout of fence battens for door protection in a CTU

2.3.5 Blocking by nailed on scantlings should be used for minor securing demands only. Depending on the size of the nails used, the shear strength of such a blocking arrangement may be estimated to take up a blocking force between 1 and 4 kN per nail. Nailed on wedges may be favourable for blocking round shapes like pipes. Care should be taken that wedges are cut in a way that the direction of grain supports the shear strength of the wedge. Any such timber battens or wedges should only be nailed to dunnage or timbers placed under the cargo. Wooden floors of closed CTUs are generally not suitable for nailing. Nailing to the softwood flooring of flatracks or platforms and open CTUs may be acceptable with the consent of the CTU operator (see figure 7.7).

Figure 7.7 Properly cut and nailed wedges

2.3.6 In the case of form locking, void spaces should be filled and may be favourably stuffed by empty pallets inserted vertically and tightened by additional timber battens as necessary. Material which may deform or shrink permanently, like rags of gunny cloth or solid foam of limited strength, should not be used for this purpose. Small gaps between unit loads and similar cargo items, which cannot be avoided and which are necessary for the smooth packing and unpacking of the goods, are acceptable and need not to be filled. The sum of void spaces in any horizontal direction should not exceed 15 cm. However, between dense and rigid cargo items, such as steel, concrete or stone, void spaces should be further minimized, as far as possible.

2.3.7 Gaps between cargo that is stowed on and firmly secured to pallets (by lashings or by shrink foil), need not to be filled, if the pallets are stowed tightly into a CTU and are not liable to tipping (see figure 7.8). Securing of cargo to pallets by shrink foil wrapping is only sufficient if the strength of the foil is appropriate for above purpose. It should be considered that in case of sea transport repetitive high loadings during bad weather may fatigue the strength of a shrink foil and thereby reduce the securing capacity.

Figure 7.8 Cargo firmly secured to pallets by textile lashings

2.3.8 If dunnage bags are used for filling gapsfootnote, the manufacturer's instructions on filling pressure and the maximum gap should be accurately observed. Dunnage bags should not be used as a means of filling the space at the doorway, unless precautions are taken to ensure that they cannot cause the door to open violently when the doors are opened. If the surfaces in the gap are uneven with the risk of damage to the dunnage bags by chafing or piercing, suitable measures should be taken for smoothing the surfaces appropriately (see figures 7.9 and 7.10). The blocking capacity of dunnage bags should be estimated by multiplying the nominal burst pressure with the contact area to one side of the blocking arrangement and with a safety factor of 0.75 for single use dunnage bags and 0.5 for reusable dunnage bags (see appendix 4 to this annex).

Figure 7.9 Gap filled with a central dunnage bag

Figure 7.10 Irregular shaped packages blocked with dunnage bags

2.3.9 The restrictions on the use of blocking and bracing materials with regard to quarantine regulations, in particular for wood or timber, should be kept in mind (see sections 1.13 and 1.14 of this annex).

2.4 Lashing materials and arrangements

2.4.1 Lashings transfer tensile forces. The strength of a lashing may be declared by its breaking strength or breaking load (BL). The maximum securing load (MSL) is a specified proportion of the breaking strength and denotes the force that should not be exceeded in securing service. The term lashing capacity (LC), used in national and regional standards, corresponds to the MSL. Values for BL, MSL or LC are indicated in units of force, i.e. kilonewton (kN) or dekanewton (daN).

2.4.2 The relation between MSL and the breaking strength is shown in the table below. The figures are consistent with annex 13 of the IMO Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing. Corresponding relations according to standards may differ slightly.

Material MSL
shackles, rings, deck eyes, turnbuckles of mild steel 50% of breaking strength
fibre ropes 33% of breaking strength
web lashings (single use) 75% of breaking strength1
web lashings (reusable) 50% of breaking strength
wire ropes (single use) 80% of breaking strength
wire ropes (reusable) 30% of breaking strength
steel band (single use) 70% of breaking strength2
chains 50% of breaking strength
1 Maximum allowed elongation 9% at MSL.
2 It is recommended to use 50%.

2.4.3 The values of MSL quoted in the table above rely on the material passing over smooth or smoothed edges. Sharp edges and corners will substantially reduce these values. Wherever possible or practicable, appropriate edge protectors should be used (see figures 7.11 and 7.12).

Figure 7.11 Poor edge protection

Figure 7.12 Edge protectors

2.4.4 Lashings transfer forces under a certain elastic elongation only. They act like a spring. If loaded more than the specific MSL, elongation may become permanent and the lashing will fall slack. New wire and fibre ropes or lashings may show some permanent elongation until gaining the desired elasticity after repeated re-tensioning. Lashings should be given a pre-tension, in order to minimize cargo movement. However, the initial pre-tension should never exceed 50% of the MSL.

2.4.5 Fibre ropes of the materials manila, hemp, sisal or manila-sisal-mix and moreover synthetic fibre ropes may be used for lashing purposes. If their MSL is not supplied by the manufacturer or chandler, rules of thumb may be used for estimating the MSL with d = rope diameter in cm:

Natural fibre ropes: MSL = 2 d2 [kN]

Polypropylene ropes: MSL = 4 d2 [kN]

Polyester ropes: MSL = 5 d2 [kN]

Polyamide ropes: MSL = 7 d2 [kN]

Composite ropes made of synthetic fibre and integrated soft wire strings provide suitable stiffness for handling, knotting and tightening and less elongation under load. The strength of this rope is only marginally greater than that made of plain synthetic fibre.

2.4.6 There is no strength reduction to fibre ropes due to bends at round corners. Rope lashings should be attached as double, triple or fourfold strings and tensioned by means of wooden turn sticks. Knots should be of a professional type, e.g. bowline knot and double half hitchfootnote. Fibre ropes are highly sensitive against chafing at sharp corners or obstructions.

2.4.7 Web lashings may be reusable devices with integrated ratchet tensioner or one-way hardware, available with removable tensioning and lockable devices. The permitted securing load is generally labelled and certified as lashing capacity LC. There is no rule of thumb available for estimating the MSL due to different base materials and fabrication qualities. The fastening of web lashings by means of knots reduces their strength considerably and should therefore not be applied.

2.4.8 The elastic elongation of web lashings, when loaded to their specific MSL should not exceed 9%. Web lashings should be protected against chafing at sharp corners, against mechanical wear and tear in general and against chemical agents like solvents, acids and others.

2.4.9 Wire rope used for lashing purposes in CTUs for sea transport consists of steel wires with a nominal BL of around 1.6 kN/mm2 and the favourite construction 6 x 19 + 1FC, i.e. 6 strands of 19 wires and 1 fibre core (see figure 7.13). If a certified figure of MSL is not available, the MSL for one-way use may be estimated by MSL = 40 d2 [kN]. Other available lashing wire constructions with a greater number of fibre cores and less metallic cross section have a considerably lesser strength related to the outer diameter. The elastic elongation of a lashing wire rope is about 1.6% when loaded to one-way MSL, but an initial permanent elongation should be expected after the first tensioning, if the wire rope is new.

Figure 7.13 Typical lashing wire rope construction

2.4.10 Narrow rounded bends reduce the strength of wire ropes considerably. The residual strength of each part of the rope at the bend depends on the ratio of bend diameter to the rope diameter as shown in the table below.

ratio: bend diameter/rope diameter 1 2 3 4 5
residual strength with rope steady in the bend 65% 76% 85% 93% 100%

Bending a wire rope around sharp corners, like passing it through the edged hole of an eye-plate, reduces its strength even more. The residual MSL after a 180 turn through such an eye-plate is only about 25% of the MSL of the plain rope, if steady in the bend.

2.4.11 Wire rope lashings in sea transport are usually assembled by means of wire rope clips. It is of utmost importance that these clips are of appropriate size and applied in correct number, direction and tightness. Recommended types of such wire rope lashing assemblies are shown in figure 7.14. A typical improper assembly is shown in figure 7.15.

Figure 7.14 Recommended assemblies for wire rope lashing

Figure 7.15 Improper assembly for wire rope lashing

2.4.12 Tensioning and joining devices associated with wire rope lashings in sea transport are generally not standardized. The MSL of turnbuckles and lashing shackles should be specified and documented by the manufacturer and at least match the MSL of the wire rope part of the lashing. If manufacturer information is not available, the MSL of turnbuckles and shackles made of ordinary mild steel may be estimated by MSL = 10 d2 [kN] with d = diameter of thread of turnbuckle or shackle bolt in cm.

2.4.13 Wire rope lashings in road transport are specified as reusable material of distinguished strength in terms of lashing capacity (LC), which should be taken as MSL. Connections elements like shackles, hooks, thimbles, tensioning devices or tension indicators are accordingly standardized by design and strength. The use of wire rope clips for forming soft eyes has not been envisaged. Assembled lashing devices are supplied with a label containing identification and strength data (see figure 7.16). When using such material, the manufacturer's instructions should be observed.

Figure 7.16 Standard wire lashing used in road transport with gripping tackle

2.4.14 Lashing chains used in sea transport are generally long link chains of grade 8 steel. A 13 mm chain of grade 8 steel has a MSL of 100 kN. The MSL for other dimensions and steel qualities should be obtained from the manufacturer's specification. The elastic elongation of the above long link chains is about 1% when loaded to their MSL. Long link chains are sensitive against guiding them around bends of less than about 10 cm radius. The favourite tensioning device is a lever with a so-called climbing hook for re-tightening the lashing during service (see figure 7.17). Manufacturer's instructions and, when existing, national regulations on the use of the tensioning lever and re-tensioning under load should be strictly observed.

Figure 7.17 Long link lashing chain with lever tensioner

2.4.15 Chain lashings used in road and rail transport according to European standards are mainly short link chains. Long link chains are generally reserved for the transport of logs. Short link chains have an elastic elongation of about 1.5%, when loaded to their MSL. The standard includes various systems of tensioners, specially adapted hooks, damping devices and devices to shorten a chain to the desired loaded length. Chain compound assemblies may be supplied with a label containing identification and strength data (see figure 7.18). Manufacturer's instructions on the use of the equipment should be strictly observed.

Figure 7.18 Standard chain lashing with shortening hook

2.4.16 Steel band for securing purposes is generally made of high tension steel with a normal breaking strength of 0.8 to 1.0 kN/mm2. Steel bands are most commonly used for unitizing packages to form greater blocks of cargo (see figure 7.19). In sea transport, such steel bands are also used to "tie down" packages to flatracks, platforms or roll-trailers. The bands are tensioned and locked by special manual or pneumatic tools. Subsequent re-tensioning is not possible. The low flexibility of the band material with about 0.3% elongation, when loaded to its MSL, makes steel band sensitive for loosing pre-tension if cargo shrinks or settles down. Therefore, the suitability of steel band for cargo securing is limited and national restrictions on their use in road or rail transport should always be considered. The use of steel bands for lashing purposes should be avoided on open CTUs as a broken lashing could be of great danger if it hangs outside the CTU.

Figure 7.19 Metal ingots unitized by steel banding (securing not completed)

2.4.17 Twisted soft wire should be used for minor securing demands only. The strength of soft wire lashings in terms of MSL is scarcely determinable and their elastic elongation and restoring force is poor.

2.4.18 Modular lashing systems with ready-made web lashings are available in particular for general purpose freight containers, to secure cargo against movement towards the door. The number of lashings should be calculated depending on the mass of the cargo, the MSL of the lashings, the lashing angle, the friction factor, the mode of transport, and the MSL of the lashing points in the freight container.

Figure 7.20 Modular lashing system

2.4.19 In the example shown in figure 7.20, the lashings are connected to the lashing points of the CTU with special fittings and are pre-tensioned by means of buckles and a tensioning tool. More information may be obtained from the producers or suppliers of such modular systems.

 3 Principles of packing

3.1 Load distribution

3.1.1 Freight containers, flatracks and platforms are designed according to ISO standards, amongst others, in such a way that the permissible payload P, if homogeneously distributed over the entire loading floor, can safely be transferred to the four corner posts under all conditions of carriage. This includes a safety margin for temporary weight increase due to vertical accelerations during a sea passage. When the payload is not homogeneously distributed over the loading floor, the limitations for concentrated loads should be considered. It may be necessary to transfer the weight to the corner posts by supporting the cargo on strong timber or steel beams as appropriate (see figure 7.21).

Figure 7.21 Load transfer beams

3.1.2 The bending strength of the beams should be sufficient for the purpose of load transfer of concentrated loads. The arrangement, the required number and the strength of timber beams or steel beams should be designed in consultation with the CTU operator.

3.1.3 Concentrated loads on platforms or flatracks should be similarly expanded by bedding on longitudinal beams or the load should be reduced against the maximum payload. The permissible load should be designed in consultation with the CTU operator.

3.1.4 Where freight containers, including flatracks or platforms, will be lifted and handled in a level state during transport, the cargo should be so arranged and secured in the freight container that its joint centre of gravity is close to the mid-length and mid-width of the freight container. The eccentricity of the centre of gravity of the cargo should not exceed 5% in general. As a rule of thumb this can be taken as 60% of the cargo's total mass in 50% of the freight container's length. Under particular circumstances an eccentricity of up to 10% could be accepted, as advanced spreaders for handling freight containers are capable of adjusting for such eccentricity. The precise longitudinal position of the centre of gravity of the cargo may be determined by calculation (see appendix 4 to this annex).

3.1.5 Roll trailers have structural properties similar to platforms, but are less sensitive to concentrated loads due to the usual wheel support at about 3/4 of their length from the gooseneck tunnel end. As they are generally handled without lifting, the longitudinal position of the cargo centre of gravity is also not as critical.

3.1.6 Swap bodies have structural properties similar to freight containers, but in most cases less tare weight and less overall strength. They are normally not stackable. The loading instructions given under subsection 3.1.2 and 3.1.5 should be applied to swap bodies as appropriate.

3.1.7 Road trucks and road trailers are in particular sensitive regarding the position of the centre of gravity of the cargo packed in them, due to specified axle loads for maintaining steering and braking ability. Such vehicles may be equipped with specific diagrams, which show the permissible cargo mass as a function of the longitudinal position of its centre of gravity. Generally, the maximum cargo mass may be used only when the centre of gravity (CoG) is positioned within narrow boundaries about half the length of the loading space (see figures 7.22 and 7.23).

Figure 7.22 An example of a load distribution diagram for a rigid truck

Figure 7.23 An example of a load distribution diagram for a semi-trailer

3.1.8 Railway routes are generally classified into line categories, by which permissible axle loads and loads per metre length of cargo space are allocated to each railway wagon. The applicable figures should be observed in view of the intended route of the wagon. Tolerable concentrated loads are graded depending on their bedding length. The appropriate load figures are marked on the wagons. The transverse and longitudinal deviation of cargo centre of gravity from wagon centre-lines is limited by defined relations of transverse wheel loads and longitudinal axle/bogie loads. The proper loading of railway wagons should be supervised by specifically trained persons.

3.2 General stowage/packing techniques

3.2.1 Stowage and packing techniques should be suitable to the nature of the cargo with regard to weight, shape, structural strength and climatic conditions. This includes the proper use of dunnage material (see section 2.1 of this annex), the selection of the appropriate method of mechanical handling and the proper stowage of vented packages. The concept of stowage should incorporate the feasibility of smooth unloading.

3.2.2 Any marking on parcels should be strictly observed. Cargoes marked "this way up" should not only be stowed upright but also kept upright during entire handling. Goods which may be subject to inspection by the carrier or by authorities, like dangerous goods or goods liable to Customs duty, should, if possible, be stowed at the door end of the CTU.

3.2.3 When packing mixed cargoes, their compatibility should be considered. Irrespective of the regulations for the stowage of dangerous goods (see chapter 10 of this Code) the following general rules are applicable:

  • Heavier cargoes should not be stowed on top of lighter cargoes. This will also provide for the centre of gravity of the CTU in a level not exceeding half the height of the CTU;
  • Heavy units should not be stowed on top of fragile parcels;

  • Sharp-edged pieces should not be stowed on top of units with weak surfaces;

  • Liquid cargoes should not be stowed on solid cargoes;

  • Dusty or dirty cargoes should not be placed near to clean and easily soiled cargoes like foodstuff in porous packaging;

  • Cargoes emitting moisture should not be stowed on or near to cargoes sensitive to moisture;

  • Odorous cargoes should not be stowed in the vicinity of cargoes easily absorbing odour;

  • Incompatible cargoes should be packed into the same CTU only if their stow is appropriately separated and/or the goods are effectively protected by suitable sheathing material.

3.2.4 Stacking of sensitive cartons of uniform size and shape should be precise in a way that the mass from above is transferred to the vertical boards of the cartons below. If necessary, e.g. due to lateral leeway of the stack in the CTU, intermediate sheets of fibreboard, plywood or pallets should be placed between layers of the stack (see figures 7.24 and 7.25). Cartons of irregular shape and/or size should be stacked only with due consideration of their structural hardiness. Gaps and irregularities of level should be stuffed or equalized by means of dunnage.

Figure 7.24 With intermediate board

Figure 7.25 Without intermediate board

3.2.5 Packages with a less defined shape like bags or bales may be stacked in an interlocking pattern, also called cross-tie, thereby creating a solid pile that may be secured by blocking or fencing (see figure 7.26). Round longish units like pipes may be stacked into the grooves of the layer below. However, care should be taken of the lateral forces produced by top layers in the grooves of the bottom layers, which may locally overload the side walls of the CTU if the friction between the pipes is low.

Figure 7.26 Cross-tie stowage

3.2.6 Uniform parcels like drums or standardized pallets should be packed in a way that minimizes lost space and provides a tight stow at the same time. Drums may be stowed either in regular lines, also called "soldier stowage", or into the vertical grooves, also called "offset stowage" (see figures 7.27 and 7.28). With small drums the offset packing is more effective, while with greater drum diameters the advantage may be with the soldier stow. Pallet dimensions are widely standardized and adapted to the inner width and length of cargo spaces in road trucks, road trailers and swap bodies, but not throughout to the inner dimensions of freight containers.

Figure 7.27 Mixed stow, dry over wet goods

Figure 7.28 Mixed stow, use of pallets

3.2.7 Near to completion of packing a CTU, care should be taken to build a firm face of the cargo so as to prevent a "fall out" when the CTU is opened. If there is any doubt about the stability of the face, further steps should be taken such as strapping top layers of cargo back to securing points or building a timber fence between the rear posts in a CTU (see subsection 2.3.4 of this annex). It should be borne in mind, that a freight container on a trailer usually inclines towards the doors aft and that cargo may move against the doors due to vibration induced shift or by jolts during transport.

3.3 Cargo handling

3.3.1 Relevant regulations on the use of personnel protection equipment (helmet, shoes, gloves and clothing) should be adhered to. Personnel should have been instructed on ergonomic aspects of manual lifting of weighty parcels. Weight limitations of parcels to be lifted and carried by persons should be observed.

3.3.2 Forklift trucks, used for driving inside roofed CTUs, should have a short lifting mast and a low driver's overhead guard. If the lift truck operates inside a CTU care should be taken of the exhaust gases and equipment with electric power supply or similar should be used. The truck should be equipped with adequate lighting so that the operator can place packages accurately. Forklift trucks s operated by a combustion engine should comply with national combustion emission standards. Forklift trucks s with engines burning LPG fuel should not be used in enclosed space, in order to prevent the accumulation of explosive gas mixtures from unexpected leaks.

3.3.3 Where there is a risk of explosion due to the vapours, fumes or dust given off by the cargo, all electrical equipment mounted on the forklift trucks should be evaluated to ensure that they are safe for flammable and explosive atmospheres.

3.3.4 Driving forklift trucks into swap bodies, semi-trailers or other supported CTUs should be done slowly, in particular with careful starting and braking, in order to avoid dangerous horizontal forces to the supports of the CTU.

3.3.5 If CTUs are to be packed with forklift trucks from the side, significant lateral impact forces to the CTU should be avoided. Such lateral forces may occur when packages or overpacks are pushed across the loading area. If, during such operations, there is a risk of turning the CTU over packers may consider packing either from both sides to the centre line of the CTU or by using forklift trucks with higher capacity and long forks, which would permit accurate placement without pushing.

3.3.6 If persons need to access the roof of a CTU, e.g. for filling the CTU with a free-flowing bulk cargo, the load-bearing capability of the roof should be considered. Roofs of freight containers are designed for and tested with a load of 300 kg (660 lbs), which acts uniformly on an area of 600 x 300 mm (24 x 12 inches) in the weakest region of the roof (reference: CSC, Annex II). Practically, no more than two persons should work on a freight container roof simultaneously.

3.3.7 When loading or unloading heavy parcels with C-hooks through doors or from the sides of a CTU, care should be taken, that the transverse or longitudinal girders of the roof or side walls are struck neither by the hook nor the cargo. The movement of the unit should be controlled by appropriate means, e.g. guide ropes. Relevant regulations for the prevention of accidents should be observed.

 4 Securing of cargo in CTUs

4.1 Aims and principles of securing

4.1.1 Arrangements or stacks of cargo items should be packed in a way so as not to deform and to remain in place and upright with no tilting by their static friction and by their inherent stability, while packing or unpacking a CTU is in progress. This guarantees the safety of packers before additional securing devices are put in place or after such devices have been removed for unpacking.

4.1.2 During transport the CTU may be subjected to vertical, longitudinal and transverse accelerations, which cause forces to each cargo item, which are proportional to its mass. It should not be assumed, that because a package is heavy, it will not move during transport. The relevant accelerations are outlined in Chapter 5. General transport conditions of this Code in units of g, indicating the corresponding forces in units of weight of the distinguished cargo item. These forces may easily exceed the capability of static friction and tilting stability, so that cargo items may slide or tilt over. In addition, the CTU may be simultaneously subjected to temporary vertical accelerations, which cause a weight decrease, thereby reduce the friction and the inherent tilting stability, thus promoting sliding and tipping. Any securing of cargo should aim at the avoidance of such unwanted cargo behaviour. All parts of the cargo should remain in place and neither slide nor tip under the stipulated accelerations of the CTU during the intended route of transport.

4.1.3 Practical securing of cargo may be approached by three distinguished principles, which may be used individually or combined as appropriate:

  • Direct securing is effected by the immediate transfer of forces from the cargo to the CTU by means of blocking, lashings, shores or locking devices. The securing capacity is proportional to the MSL of the securing devices;
  • Friction securing is achieved by so-called tie-down or top-over lashings which, by their pre-tension, increase the apparent weight of the cargo and thereby the friction to the loading ground and also the tilting stability. The securing effect is proportional to the pre-tension of the lashings. Anti-slip material in the sliding surfaces considerably increases the effect of such lashings;

  • Compacting cargo by bundling, strapping or wrapping is an auxiliary measure of securing that should always be combined with measures of direct securing or friction securing.

4.1.4 Lashings used for direct securing will inevitably elongate under external forces, thus permitting the package a degree of movement. To minimize this movement, (horizontal or lateral sliding, tipping or racking) it should be ensured that the:

  • Lashing material has appropriate load-deformation characteristics (see section 2.4 of this annex);
  • Length of the lashing is kept as short as practicable; and

  • Direction of the lashing is as close as possible to the direction of the intended restraining effect.

A good pre-tension in lashings will also contribute to minimizing cargo motions, but the pre-tension should never exceed 50% of the MSL of the lashing. Direct securing by stiff pressure elements (shores or stanchions) or by locking devices (locking cones or twist-locks) will not allow significant cargo motion and should therefore be the preferred method of direct securing.

4.1.5 Lashings used for friction securing should be able to maintain the vital pre-tension for a longer period and should not fall slack from minor settling or shrinking of the cargo. Therefore synthetic fibre web lashings should be preferred to e.g. chains or steel band lashings. The pre-tension of tie-down lashings does in principle not fall under the limitation stated above for direct lashings, but will generally not be greater than 20% of the MSL of the lashing with manually operated tensioners. Care should be taken to establish this pre-tension on both sides of the lashing as far as is practical. For assessing a friction securing arrangement by calculation, the labelled standard pre-tensionfootnote should be used. If such marking is not available, a rule of thumb value of 10% of the breaking strength of the lashing, but not more than 10 kN, should be used for calculation.

4.1.6 Arrangements of direct securing devices should be homogeneous in a way that each device in the arrangement takes its share of the restraining forces appropriate to its strength. Unavoidable differences in load distribution within complex arrangements may be compensated for by the application of a safety factor. Nevertheless, devices of diverging load-deformation properties should not be placed in parallel, unless used for the distinguishable purposes of sliding prevention and tipping prevention. If, for instance, timber blocking and direct web lashing is used in parallel against sliding, the stiffer timber blocking should be dimensioned so as to resist the expected load alone. This restriction does not apply to the combination of tie-down lashings and e.g. timber blocking.

4.1.7 Any cargo securing measures should be applied in a manner that does not affect, deform or impair the package or the CTU. Permanent securing equipment incorporated into a CTU should be used whenever possible or necessary.

4.1.8 During transport, in particular at suitable occasions of a multimodal transport route, securing arrangements in CTUs should be checked and upgraded if necessary and as far as practicable. This includes re-tightening of lashings and wire rope clips and adjusting of blocking arrangements.

4.2 Tightly arranged cargoes

4.2.1 A vital prerequisite of cargo items for a tight stowage arrangement is their insensibility against mutual physical contact. Cargo parcels in form of cartons, boxes, cases, crates, barrels, drums, bundles, bales, bags, bottles, reels etc. or pallets containing the aforesaid items are usually packed into a CTU in a tight arrangement in order to utilize the cargo space, to prevent cargo items from tumbling around and to enable measures of common securing against transverse and longitudinal movement during transport.

4.2.2 A tight stow of uniform or variable cargo items should be planned and arranged according to principles of good packing practice, in particular observing the advice given in section 3.2 of this annex. If coherence between items or tilting stability of items is poor, additional measures of compacting may be necessary like hooping or strapping batches of cargo items with steel or plastic tape or plastic sheeting. Gaps between cargo items or between cargo and CTU boundaries should be filled as necessary (see subsections 2.3.6 to 2.3.8 of this annex). Direct contact of cargo items with CTU boundaries may require an interlayer of protecting material (see section 2.1 of this annex).

Figure 7.29 Packing 1,000 x 1,200 mm unit loads into a 20-foot container

Figure 7.30 Packing 800 x 1,200 mm unit loads into a 20-foot container

Figure 7.31 Packing 1,000 x 1,200 mm unit loads into a 40-foot container

Note: The void areas (grey shaded) shown in figures 7.29 to 7.31 should be filled when necessary (see subsection 2.3.6 of this annex)

4.2.3 CTUs with strong cargo space boundaries may inherently satisfy transverse and longitudinal securing requirements in many cases, depending on the type of CTU, the intended route of transport and appropriate friction among cargo items and between cargo and stowage ground. The following balance demonstrates the confinement of tightly stowed cargo within strong cargo space boundaries:

  Cx,y m g ≤ rx,y P g + μ Cz m g [kN]
cx,y = horizontal acceleration coefficient in the relevant mode of transport (see chapter 5 of this Code)
m = mass of cargo packed [t]
g = gravity acceleration 9.81 m/s2
rx,y = CTU wall resistance coefficient (see chapter 6 of this Code)
P = maximum payload of CTU (t)
μ = applicable friction factor between cargo and stowage ground (see appendix 2 to this annex)
cz = vertical acceleration coefficient in the relevant mode of transport (see chapter 5 of this Code)

4.2.4 Critical situations may arise, e.g. with a fully packed freight container in road transport, where longitudinal securing should be able to withstand an acceleration of 0.8 g. The longitudinal wall resistance factor of 0.4 should be combined with a friction factor of at least 0.4 for satisfying the securing balance. If a balance cannot be satisfied, the mass of cargo should be reduced or the longitudinal forces transferred to the main structure of the container. The latter can be achieved by intermediate transverse fences of timber battens (see subsection 2.3.4 of this annex) or by other suitable means (see figure 7.32). Another option is the use of friction increasing material.

Figure 7.32 Blocking in a strong boundary CTU

4.2.5 When the door end of a CTU is designed to provide a defined wall resistance (e.g. the doors of a general purpose freight container (see Chapter 6. CTU properties of this Code), the doors may be considered as a strong cargo space boundary, provided the cargo is stowed to avoid impact loads to the door end and to prevent the cargo from falling out when the doors are opened.

4.2.6 Where there is the need to stack packages in an incomplete second layer at the centre of the CTU, additional longitudinal blocking can be adopted (see figures 7.33 to 7.36).

Figure 7.33 Threshold by height

Figure 7.34 Threshold by elevation

Figure 7.35 Threshold by board

Figure 7.36 Round turn lashing

4.2.7 CTUs with weak cargo space boundaries like certain road vehicles and swap bodies will regularly require additional securing measures against sliding and tipping of a block of tightly stowed cargo. These measures should also contribute to compacting the block of cargo. The favourite method in this situation is friction-securing by so-called top-over lashings. For obtaining a reasonable securing effect from friction lashings, the friction factor between cargo and stowage ground should be sufficient and the inherent elasticity of the lashings should be able to maintain the pre-tension throughout the course of transport. The following balance demonstrates the confinement of tightly stowed cargo within weak cargo space boundaries and an additional securing force against sliding:

Cx,y m g ≤ rx,y P g + μ Cz m g + Fsec [kN] (Fsec = additional securing force)

If a wall resistance coefficient is not specified for the distinguished CTU, it should be set to zero. The additional securing (Fsec) may consist of blocking the base of the cargo against stronger footing of the otherwise weak cargo space boundary or bracing the block of cargo against stanchions of the cargo space boundary system. Such stanchions may be interconnected by pendants above the cargo for increasing their resistance potential. Alternatively, the additional securing force may be obtained by direct securing methods or top-over lashings. Fsec per top-over lashing is: FV μ, where FV is the total vertical force from the pre-tension. For vertical lashings FV is 1.8 times the pre-tension in the lashing. For direct lashing arrangements μ should be set to 75% of the friction factor.

4.2.8 On CTUs without boundaries the entire securing effect should be accomplished by securing measures like top-over lashings, friction increasing material and, if the CTU is a flatrack, by longitudinal blocking against the end-walls. The following balance demonstrates the securing of tightly stowed cargo on a CTU without cargo space boundaries:

Cx,y m g ≤ μ Cz m g + Fsec [kN] (Fsec = additional securing force)

For Fsec, see subsection 4.2.7. It should be noted that even in case of a friction factor that outnumbers the external acceleration coefficients, without cargo space boundaries a minimum number of top-over lashings is imperative for avoiding migration of the cargo due to shocks or vibration of the CTU during transport.

4.3 Individually secured packages and large unpackaged articles

4.3.1 Packages and articles of greater size, mass or shape or units with sensitive exterior facing, which does not allow direct contact to other units or CTU boundaries, should be individually secured. The securing arrangement should be designed to prevent sliding and, where necessary, tipping, both in the longitudinal and transverse direction. Securing against tipping is necessary, if the following condition is true (see also figure 7.37):

  Cx,y d ≥ Cz b
cx,y = horizontal acceleration coefficient in the relevant mode of transport (see chapter 5 of this Code)
d = vertical distance from centre of gravity of the unit to its tipping axis [m]
cz = vertical acceleration coefficient in the relevant mode of transport (see chapter 5 of this Code)
b = horizontal distance from centre of gravity to tipping axis [m]

Figure 7.37 Tipping criterion

4.3.2 Individually secured packages and articles should preferably be secured by a direct securing method, i.e. by direct transfer of securing forces from the package to the CTU by means of lashings, shores or blocking. A direct lashing will be between fixed fastening points on the package/article and the CTU and the effective strength of such a lashing is limited by the weakest element within the device, which includes fastening points on the package as well as fastening points on the CTU. For sliding prevention by lashings the vertical lashing angle should preferably be in the range of 30 to 60 (see figure 7.38). For tipping prevention the lashings should be positioned in a way that provides effective levers related to the applicable tipping axis (see figure 7.39).

Figure 7.38 Direct lashing against sliding

Figure 7.39 Direct lashing against tipping

4.3.3 Packages and articles without securing points should be either secured by shoring or blocking against solid structures of the CTU or by top-over, half-loop or spring lashings (see figures 7.40 to 7.43).

Figure 7.40 Top over lashing

Figure 7.41 Vertical half-loop lashing

Figure 7.42 Horizontal half-loop lashing

Figure 7.43 Spring lashing

Figure 7.44 Silly-loop lashing Loop lashings with their ends fastened to either side (see figure 7.44), also called "silly-loops", do not provide any direct securing effect and may permit the package/article to roll and therefore are not recommended Lashing corner fittings are available to provide alternative lashing to the spring lashing (see figure 7.43). Any lashing method adopted will require that the lashing material stretches in order to develop a restraining force. As the material relaxes, the tension in the lashing will slowly reduce, therefore it is important that the guidance given in subsection 4.1.4 of this annex should be followed.

4.3.4 CTUs with strong cargo space boundaries favour the method of blocking or shoring for securing a particular package or article. This method will minimize cargo mobility. Care should be taken that the restraining forces are transferred to the CTU boundaries in a way that excludes local overloading. Forces acting to CTU walls should be transferred by means of load spreading cross beams (see subsections 2.3.1 to 2.3.3 of this annex). Very heavy packages or articles, e.g. steel coils or blocks of marble, may require a combination of blocking and lashing, however with observation of the restrictions lined out in subsection 4.1.6 of this annex (see figure 7.45). Articles with sensitive surfaces may rule out the blocking method and should be secured by lashings only.

Figure 7.45 Transverse blocking of steel slab

4.3.5 Individual securing of packages or articles in CTUs with weak cargo space boundaries and in CTUs without boundaries requires predominantly the method of lashing. Where applicable, blocking or shoring may be additionally applied, but if used in parallel with lashings, the restrictions set out in subsection 4.1.6 of this annex should be observed. Although the provision of good friction in the bedding of a package or article is recommended in any case, the use of top-over lashings for sliding prevention is discouraged unless the cargo has limited mass. Top-over lashings may be suitable for tipping prevention. In particular over-width packages or articles, often shipped on flat bed CTUs, should not be secured solely by top-over lashings (see figure 7.46). The use of half loops and/or spring lashings is strongly recommended (see figures 7.47 and 7.48).

Figure 7.46 Top-over lashing

Figure 7.47 Top-over and horizontal half-loop

Figure 7.48 Transverse spring lashing

4.3.6 Where horizontal half loops are used, a means should be provided to prevent the loops from sliding down the package/article.

4.3.7 Alternatively an over-width package or article can be secured by half-loops over the corners as shown in figure 7.49.

Figure 7.49 Over-width package secured by half-loops

4.4 Evaluation of securing arrangements

4.4.1 Evaluation of securing arrangements means making up a balance of expected external forces and moments against the securing potential of the planned or implemented securing arrangement. Expected external forces should be determined by multiplying the applicable acceleration coefficient, given in chapter 5 of this Code, with the weight of the package or block of packages in question.

  Fx,y ≥ m g cx,y [kN]
Fx,y = expected external force [kN]
m = mass of cargo to be evaluated [t]
g = gravity acceleration 9.81m/s2
cx,y = horizontal acceleration coefficient in the relevant mode of transport (see chapter 5 of this Code)

Chapter 5 distinguishes three modes of transport, road, rail and sea. The sea transport mode is further subdivided into three categories of severity of ship motions, aligned to the significant wave height of distinguished sea areas. Therefore the selection of the applicable acceleration factor requires the full information on the intended mode and route of transport. Due consideration should be given to possible multimodal transport, in order to identify the acceleration figures for the most demanding mode or leg of the transport route. These figures should be finally used for the evaluation of the securing arrangement.

4.4.2 The assessment of the securing potential includes the assumption of a friction factor, based on the combination of materials (see appendix 2 to this annex) and the character of the securing arrangement (subsection 2.2.2 of this annex), and, if applicable, the determination of the inherent tilting stability of the cargo (subsection 4.3.1 of this annex). Any other securing devices used for blocking, shoring or lashing should be estimated by their strength in terms of MSL and relevant application parameters like securing angle and pre-tension. These figures are required for evaluating the securing arrangement.

4.4.3 In many cases the evaluation of a securing arrangement may be accomplished by means of a simple rule of thumb. However, such rules of thumb may be applicable for certain distinguished conditions of transport only, e.g. for sea transport, and may overshoot or fall short in other conditions. It is therefore advisable to phrase such rules of thumb for distinguished modes of transport and use them accordingly. Any phrasing of a rule of thumb should undergo a first-time check by means of an advanced assessment method.

4.4.4 Standardized assessment methods for the evaluation of securing arrangements may consist of appropriate pre-calculated tables, based on balance calculations, which give quick answers regarding the adequacy of a securing arrangementfootnote. Such methods may be directed to specific modes of transport.

4.4.5 Evaluation of securing arrangements may be carried out by balancing forces and moments by an elementary calculation. However, the particular method used should be approved and suitable for the intended purpose and mode of transport. Specific guidance may be found in the IMO Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) and in various other standards and guidelines issued by regional or national authorities and industry groups covering various modes of transport. References:

  • IMO CSS Code, Annex 13, for sea transport;
  • European standard EN 12195-1:2010, for road transport;

  • International Union of Railways (UIC), Agreement governing the exchange and use of wagons between Railway Undertakings (RIV 2000) Annex II, for rail transport.

4.4.6 The suitability of a specific securing arrangement may be evaluated and approved by an inclination test. The test may be used to demonstrate resistance against any specified external acceleration. The corresponding test-angle depends on the existing friction factor for a sliding resistance test, or on the relation between the height and the width of cargo for a tipping resistance test (see appendix 5 to this annex).

 5 Packing bulk material

5.1 Non-regulated liquids in tank CTUs

5.1.1 Tank CTUs filled with liquids having a viscosity less than 2,680 mm2/s at 20C and to be transported by road, rail or sea should be filled to at least 80% of their volume for avoiding dangerous surging, but never more than 95% of their volume, unless specified otherwise. A filling ratio of maximum 20% is also accepted. A filling ratio of more than 20% and less than 80% should only be permitted when the tank shell is subdivided, by partitions or surge plates, into sections of not more than 7,500 l capacity.

5.1.2 The tank shell and all fittings, valves and gaskets should be compatible with the goods to be carried in that tank. In case of doubt, the owner or operator of the tank should be contacted. All valves should be correctly closed and checked for leak tightness.

5.1.3 For the transport of foodstuffs, the tank should comply with the following requirements:

  • All parts of the tank which are in direct contact with the food stuff should be so conditioned that the overall food-grade property of the tank is guaranteed;
  • The tank should be easily accessible and suitable for cleaning and disinfection;

  • Inspection of the interior should be possible;

  • The exterior should be conspicuously marked with a marking "FOR FOODSTUFFS ONLY" or with a similar wording.

5.2 Liquids in flexitanks

5.2.1 Flexitanks used for the transport of bulk liquids by road, rail or sea should carry a label that confirms the type approval by a recognized consultative body. The flexitank manufacturer's fitting instructions should always be followed, and the cargo intended to be carried should be checked for compatibility with the material of the flexitank. The transport of dangerous goods in flexitanks is prohibited.

5.2.2 During transport the contents of a flexitank will be subject to dynamic forces without significant retention from friction. These forces will act upon the boundaries of the CTU and may cause damage or complete failure.

5.2.3 Therefore the payload of a CTU should be appropriately reduced, when it is used for carrying a loaded flexitank. The reduction depends on the type of CTU and on the mode of transport. When a flexitank is loaded into a general purpose CTU, the mass of the liquid in the flexitank should not exceed a value agreed with the CTU operator, to prevent the CTU from suffering bulging damages (see figure 7.50).

Figure 7.50 Damaged CTU side wall

5.2.4 Road vehicles intended to carry loaded flexitanks should have boundaries of a certified strength that is sufficient to confine the weight of the cargo under the accepted load assumptions. The certification of fitness of the vehicle should explicitly address the bulk transport of liquid under the assumption of zero-friction. Nevertheless, the lining of the bottom of the loading area with friction increasing material and the application of over-the-top fibre lashings every two metres is recommended for stabilizing the position and the strength of the flexitank.

5.2.5 Before being fitted with a flexitank, the CTU should be carefully inspected for structural integrity and fully functional locking bars for each door panel. The CTU should then be prepared by thorough cleaning, removing of all obstacles like protruding nails and by lining the bottom and walls with cardboard. In 40-foot containers plywood should be used for lining of the side walls in order to avoid bulging damage. The door end of the CTU should be reinforced by battens, fitted into suitable recesses, and by a strong lining of cardboard or plywood. If the flexitank is equipped with a bottom connection tube, this lining should have an aperture matching with the position of the tube in way of the right hand door. The empty flexitank should be unfolded and laid out accurately to facilitate a smooth filling process.

5.2.6 For filling an empty flexitank the left hand door of the CTU should be firmly closed so that the inserted barrier is appropriately supported (see figure 7.51). The flexitank should be filled at a controlled rate. The use of spill protection devices like collecting bag or drip tray is recommended. After filling and sealing the tank the door of the CTU should be closed and a warning label should be attached on the left hand door panel (see figure 7.52). No part of the flexitank or retaining battens or bulkhead should touch either door when fully loaded.

Figure 7.51 Container fitted with flexitank

Figure 7.52 Flexitank warning label

5.2.7 For unloading a flexitank, the right hand door of the CTU should be opened carefully for getting access to the top or bottom connection tube of the flexitank. The left hand door should be kept closed until the flexitank is substantially empty. The use of spill protection devices like collecting bag or drip tray is recommended. The empty flexitank should be disposed according to applicable regulations.

5.3 Non-regulated solid bulk cargoes

5.3.1 Non-regulated solid bulk cargoes may be packed into CTUs provided the boundaries of the cargo spaces are able to withstand the static and dynamic forces of the bulk material under the foreseeable transport conditions (see chapter 5 of this Code). Freight containers are equipped with shoring slots in the door corner posts which are suitable to accommodate transverse steel bars of 60 mm square cross section. This arrangement is particularly designed to strengthen the freight container door end for taking a load of 0.6 P, as required for solid bulk cargoes. These bars should be properly inserted. The relevant transport capability of the CTU should be demonstrated by a case-related certificate issued by a recognized consultative body or by an independent cargo surveyor. This requirement applies in particular to general purpose freight containers and to similar closed CTUs on road vehicles, which are not explicitly designed to carry bulk cargoes. It may be necessary to reinforce side and front walls of the CTU by plywood or chipboard facing in order to protect them from bulging or scratching (see figure 7.53).

Figure 7.53 Lining a 40-foot container with chipboard panels

5.3.2 The CTU intended to carry a bulk cargo should be cleaned and prepared adequately as described in subsection 5.2.5 of this annex, in particular if a cargo-specific liner will be used for accommodating bulk cargoes like grain, coffee beans or similar sensible materials (see figure 7.54).

Figure 7.54 CTU with liner bag for accommodating a sensitive bulk cargo

5.3.3 If crude or dirty material will be transported, the CTU boundaries should be lined with plywood or chipboard for avoiding mechanical wastage of the CTU. In all cases an appropriate door protection should be installed consisting of battens fitted into suitable recesses and complemented by a strong plywood liner (see figure 7.55).

Figure 7.55 CTU with wall liners and door barrier loaded with scrap

5.3.4 Scrap and similar waste material to be carried in bulk in a CTU should be sufficiently dry to avoid leakage and subsequent contamination of the environment or other CTUs, if stacked ashore or transported in a vessel.

5.3.5 Depending on the internal friction and the angle of repose of the solid bulk cargo, the CTU may be inclined to a certain degree, to facilitate the loading or unloading operation. However, it should always be ensured that the walls of the CTU are not overstressed by the filling operation. It is not acceptable to turn a CTU by 90 to an upright position for filling, unless the CTU is especially approved for this method of handling.

Appendix 1. Packaging marks

Note: The labels and marks required for the transport of dangerous goods can be found in the applicable dangerous goods transport regulations and are not included in this Code.

1 Introduction

1.1 Packages are often marked with handling instructions in the language of the country of origin. While this may safeguard the consignment to some extent, it is of little value for goods consigned to, or through, countries using different languages, and of no value at all if people handling the packages are illiterate.

1.2 Pictorial symbols offer the best possibility of conveying the consignor's intention and their adoption will, therefore, undoubtedly reduce loss and damage through incorrect handling.

1.3 The use of pictorial symbols does not provide any guarantee of satisfactory handling; proper protective packaging is therefore of primary importance.

1.4 The symbols shown in this annex are those most regularly exhibited. These and others are shown in ISO standard 780footnote.

2 Symbols

2.1 Display of symbols

2.1.1 Symbols should preferably be stencilled directly on the package or may appear on a label. It is recommended that the symbols be painted, printed or otherwise reproduced as specified in this ISO standard. They need not be framed by border lines.

2.1.2 The graphical design of each symbol should have only one meaning; symbols are purposely designed so that they can also be stencilled without changing the graphics.

2.2 Colour of symbols

2.2.1 The colour used for symbols should be black. If the colour of the package is such that the black symbol would not show clearly, a panel of a suitable contrasting colour, preferably white, should be provided as a background.

2.2.2 Care should be taken to avoid the use of colours which could result in confusion with the labelling of dangerous goods. The use of red, orange or yellow should be avoided unless regional or national regulations require such use.

2.3 Size of symbols

For normal purposes the overall height of the symbols should be 100 mm, 150 mm or 200 mm. The size or shape of the package may, however, necessitate use of larger or smaller sizes for the symbols.

2.4 Positioning of symbols

Particular attention should be paid to the correct application of the symbols, as faulty application may lead to misinterpretation. Symbols No. 7 and No. 16 should be applied in their correct respective positions and in appropriate respective places in order to convey the meaning clearly and fully.

3 Handling instructions

Handling instructions should be indicated on transport packages by using the corresponding symbols given in the following table.

No. Instruction/Information Symbol Meaning Special Instructions
1 FRAGILE Contents of the package are fragile therefore should be handled with care. Shown near the left hand upper corner on all four upright sides of the package.
2 USE NO HAND HOOKS Hooks should not be used for handling packages  
3 THIS WAY UP Indicates correct orientation of the package Shown as symbol No. 1. Where both symbols are required, symbol No. 3 will appear nearer to the corner
4 KEEP AWAY FROM SUNLIGHT Package should not be exposed to sunlight.  
5 PROTECT FROM RADIOACTIVE SOURCES Contents of the package may deteriorate or may be rendered totally unusable by penetrating radiation  
6 KEEP AWAY FROM RAIN Package should be kept away from rain and dry  
7 CENTRE OF GRAVITY Indicates the centre of gravity of the package Where possible, "Centre of gravity" should be placed on all six sides but at least on the four lateral sides relating to the actual location of the centre of gravity
8 DO NOT ROLL Package should not be rolled  
9 DO NOT USE HAND TRUCK HERE Hand trucks should not be placed on this side when handling  
10 USE NO FORKS Package should not be handled by forklift trucks  
11 CLAMP AS INDICATED Clamps should be placed on the sides indicated for handling The symbol should be positioned on two opposite faces of the package so that it is in the visual range of the clamp truck operator when approaching to carry out operation. The symbol should not be marked on those faces of the package intended to be gripped by the clamps.
12 DO NOT CLAMP AS INDICATED Package should not be handled by clamps on the sides indicated  
13 STACKING LIMITED BY MASS Indicates the maximum stacking load permitted.  
14 STACKING LIMITED BY NUMBER Maximum number of identical packages that may be stacked above, where "n" is the limiting number.  
15 DO NOT STACK Stacking the package is not permitted and nothing should be placed on top.  
16 SLING HERE Slings for lifting should be placed where indicated Should be placed on at least two opposite faces of the package
  TEMPERATURE LIMITS Indicates the temperature limit within which the package should be stored and handled.

Appendix 2. Friction factors

Different material contacts have different friction factors. The table below shows recommended values for the friction factors. The values are valid provided that both contact surfaces are "swept clean" and free from any impurities. The values are valid for the static friction. In case of direct lashings, where the cargo has to move little before the elongation of the lashings provides the desired restraint force, the dynamic friction applies, which is to be taken as 75% of the static friction.

Material combination in contact surface Dry Wet
Sawn timber/wooden pallet against fabric base laminate/plywood 0.45 0.45
Sawn timber/wooden pallet against grooved aluminium 0.4 0.4
Sawn timber/wooden pallet against stainless steel sheet 0.3 0.3
Sawn timber/wooden pallet against shrink film 0.3 0.3
Planed wood against fabric base laminate/plywood 0.3 0.3
Planed wood against grooved aluminium 0.25 0.25
Planed wood against stainless steel sheet 0.2 0.2
Plastic pallet against fabric base laminates/plywood 0.2 0.2
Plastic pallet against grooved aluminium 0.15 0.15
Plastic pallet against stainless steel sheet 0.15 0.15
Cardboard against cardboard 0.5 -
Cardboard against wooden pallet 0.5 -
Big bag against wooden pallet 0.4 -
Unpainted metal with rough surface against unpainted rough metal 0.4 -
Painted metal with rough surface against painted rough metal 0.3 -
Painted metal with smooth surface against painted smooth metal 0.2 -
Metal with smooth surface against metal with smooth surface 0.2  
Steel crate against fabric based laminate/plywood 0.45 0.45
Steel crate against grooved aluminium 0.3 0.3
Steel crate against stainless steel sheet 0.2 0.2
Concrete with rough surface against sawn wood 0.7 0.7
Concrete with smooth surface against sawn wood 0.55 0.55
Rubber against other materials when contact surfaces are clean 0.6 0.6
Materials other than rubber against other materials as certified or tested according to appendix 3

Friction factors (μ) should be applicable to the actual conditions of transport. When a combination of contact surfaces is missing in the table above or if its friction factor cannot be verified in another way, the maximum allowable friction factor of 0.3 should be used. If the surface contacts are not swept clean, the maximum allowable friction factor of 0.3 or, when lower, the value in the table should be used. If the surface contacts are not free from frost, ice and snow a static friction factor of 0.2 should be used, unless the table shows a lower value. For oily and greasy surfaces or when slip sheets have been used a friction factor of 0.1 applies.

Appendix 3. Practical methods for the determination of the friction factor μ

To determine the friction factor μ two alternative methods are given. A practical approach to make an assumption on the applicable friction factor is the inclination test which can be carried out by any party involved in the packing of a CTU. The alternative method to determine the exact friction factor is the pulling test which however needs laboratory equipment.

1 Inclination test

The factor μ indicates how easily a cargo will slide if the cargo platform is tilted. A method to find μ is to incline a cargo platform carrying the cargo in question, and measure the angle (α) at which the cargo starts to slide. This gives the friction factor μ = 0.925 tan α. Five tests should be done under practical and realistic conditions, the highest and lowest values should be ignored and the average of the remaining three used to determine the friction factor.

2 Pulling test

2.1 The test rig consists of the following components:

  • Horizontal floor with a surface representing the cargo platform

  • Test device for tensile tests

  • Connecting device between the test equipment and the bottom of the package

  • PC based evaluation system.

    The tensile device should comply with ISO standard 7500-1.

2.2 The test conditions should correspond to real ones; the contact surfaces should be swept clean and free from impurities. Tests should be executed in an atmospheric condition 5 in accordance with ISO 2233:2001 at a temperature of + 20C and 65% relative humidity.

2.3 The pulling speed should be 100 mm /min, the sampling rate should be at least 50 Hz.

2.4 A measurement of pulling force and way of displacement is made with the same test object in one arrangement with a respective glide path of 50 mm to 85 mm for each stroke. At least three individual strokes should be carried out with an intermediate unloading of at least 30% of the pulling force per measurement (see also figure 7.56).

2.5 A measurement series consists of three measurements for each of three strokes. The test piece and/or anti slip material should be replaced for each measurement, so that any influence of material wear on the result of the measurement can be excluded.

Figure 7.56

Key: Y - Pulling force X - Direction of displacement

2.6 The friction factor μ should be determined according to the equation mentioned below, taking into account the three medium values of each of the three measurements:

μ = (pulling force 0.95) / (weight 0.925)

2.7 For a most realistic determination of frictional forces and friction factors, multiple measurements series should be executed, each with different test samples for cargo area, anti-slip mat and load bearer or load.

2.8 If the measurement condition differs from what is specified above, the test conditions should be documented in the test report.

Appendix 4. Specific packing and securing calculations

1 Resistivity of transverse battens

The attainable resistance forces F of an arrangement of battens may be determined by the formula (see also figure 7.57):
  n = number of battens
  w = thickness of battens [cm]
  h = height of battens [cm]
  L = free length of battens [m]

Figure 7.57 Transverse battens in an freight container


A fence of six battens has been arranged. The battens have a free length L = 2.2 m and the cross section w = 5 cm, h = 10 cm. The total attainable resistance force is:

This force of 24 kN would be sufficient to restrain a cargo mass (m) of 7.5 t, subjected to accelerations in sea area C with 0.4 g longitudinally (cx) and 0.8 g vertically (cz). The container is stowed longitudinally. With a friction factor between cargo and container floor of μ = 0.4 the following balance calculation shows:
cx m g < μ m (1-cz) g + F [kN]
0.4 7.5 9.81 < 0.4 7.5 0.2 9.81 + 24 [kN]
29 < 6 + 24 [kN]

2 Bedding a concentrated load in a general purpose freight container or on a flatrack

Bedding arrangements for concentrated loads in general purpose freight containers and on flatracks should be designed in consultation with the CTU operator.

3 Longitudinal position of the centre of gravity of cargo

The longitudinal position of the centre of gravity of the cargo should be used in connection with specific load distribution rules and diagrams of CTUsfootnote. The longitudinal position of the centre of gravity of the cargo within the inner length of a packed CTU is at the distance d from the front, obtained by the formula (see also figure 7.58):

  d = distance of common centre of gravity of the cargo from the front of stowage area [m]
  mn = mass of the individual packages or overpack [t]
  dn = distance of centre of gravity of mass mn from front of stowage area [m]

Figure 7.58 Determination of longitudinal centre of gravity

A 20-foot container is packed with five groups of cargo parcels as follows:  
      mn [t] dn [m] mn dn [tm]  
    1 3.5 0.7 2.45  
    2 4.2 1.4 5.88  
    3 3.7 3.0 11.10  
    4 2.2 3.8 8.36  
    5 4.9 5.1 24.99  
    Σmn = 18.5 Σ(mn dn) = 52.78  

4 Cargo securing with dunnage bags

4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 Accelerations in different directions during transport may cause movements of cargo, either sliding or tipping. Dunnage bags, or air bags, used as blocking devices may be able to prevent these movements.

4.1.2 The size and strength of the dunnage bag are to be adjusted to the cargo weight so that the permissible lashing capacity of the dunnage bag, without risk of breaking it, is larger than the force the cargo needs to be supported with:


4.2 Force on dunnage bag from cargo (FCARGO)

4.2.1 The maximum force, with which rigid cargo may impact a dunnage bag, depends on the cargo's mass, size and friction against the surface and the dimensioning accelerations according to the formulas below:

Sliding: Tipping:
FCARGO = m g (cx,y μ 0.75 cz) [kN] FCARGO = m g (cx,y bp/hp cz) [kN]
  FCARGO = force on the dunnage bag caused by the cargo [t]
  m = mass of cargo [t]
  cx,y = Horizontal acceleration, expressed in g, that acts on the cargosideways or in forward or backward directions
  cz = Vertical acceleration that acts on the cargo, expressed in g
  μ = Friction factor for the contact area between the cargo and the surface or between different packages
  bp = Package width for tipping sideways, or alternatively the length of the cargo for tipping forward or backward
  hp = package height [m]

4.2.2 The load on the dunnage bag is determined by the movement (sliding or tipping) and the mode of transport that gives the largest force on the dunnage bag from the cargo.

4.2.3 Only the cargo mass that actually impacts the dunnage bag should be used in the above formulas. If the dunnage bag is used to prevent movement forwards, when breaking for example, the mass of the cargo behind the dunnage bag should be used in the formulas.

4.2.4 If the dunnage bag instead is used to prevent movement sideways, the largest total mass of the cargo that either is on the right or left side of the dunnage bag should be used, that is, either the mass m1 or m2 (see figure 7.59).

Figure 7.59 Equal height packages

Figure 7.60 Unequal height packages

4.2.5 In order to have some safety margin in the calculations, the lowest friction factor should be used, either the one between the cargo in the bottom layer and the platform or between the layers of cargo.

4.2.6 If the package on each side of the dunnage bag has different forms, when tipping the relationship between the cargo width and height of the cargo stack that has the smallest value of bp / hp is chosen.

4.2.7 However, in both cases the total mass of the cargo that is on the same side of the dunnage bag should be used, that is, either the mass m1 or m2 in figure 7.60.

4.3 Permissible load on the dunnage bag (FDB)

4.3.1 The force that the dunnage bag is able to take up depends on the area of the dunnage bag which the cargo is resting against and the maximum allowable working pressure. The force of the dunnage bag is calculated from:

FDB = A 10 g PB SF [kN]
FDB = force that the dunnage bag is able to take up without exceeding the maximum allowable pressure (kN)
PB = bursting pressure of the dunnage bag [bar]
A = contact area between the dunnage bag and the cargo [m2]
SF = safety factor
  0.75 for single use dunnage bags
  0.5 for reusable dunnage bags

4.4 Contact area (A)

4.4.1 The contact area between the dunnage bag and the cargo depends on the size of the bag before it is inflated and the gap that the bag is filling. This area may be approximated by the following formula:

A = (bDB - π d/2) (hDB - π d/2)
bDB = width of dunnage bag [m]
hDB = height of dunnage bag [m]
A = contact area between the dunnage bag and the cargo [m2]
d = gap between packages [m]
π = 3.14

4.5 Pressure in the dunnage bag

4.5.1 Upon application of the dunnage bag it is filled to a slight overpressure. If this pressure is too low there is a risk that the dunnage bag may come loose if the ambient pressure is rising or if the air temperature drops. Conversely, if the filling pressure is too high there is a risk of the dunnage bag bursting or damaging the cargo if the ambient pressure decreases, or if the air temperature rises.

4.5.2 The bursting pressure (PB) of a dunnage bag depends on the quality and size of the bag and the gap that it is filling. The pressure exerted on a dunnage by the cargo forces should never be allowed to approach bursting pressure of the bag because of the risk of failure. A safety factor should, therefore, be incorporated and, if necessary, a dunnage bag with a higher bursting pressure selected.

Appendix 5. Practical inclination test for determination of the efficiency of cargo securing arrangements

1 The efficiency of a securing arrangement can be tested by a practical inclining test in accordance with the following description.

2 The cargo (alternatively one section of the cargo) is placed on a road vehicle platform or similar and secured in the way intended to be tested.

3 To obtain the same loads in the securing arrangement in the inclining test as in calculations, the securing arrangement should be tested by gradually increasing the inclination of the platform to an angle, α, in accordance with the diagram below.

4 The inclination angle that should be used in the test is a function of the horizontal acceleration cx,y for the intended direction (forward, sideways or backward) and the vertical acceleration cz.

  • (a) To test the efficiency of the securing arrangement in the lateral direction, the greatest of the following test angles should be used:

    • The angle determined by the friction factor μ (for the sliding effect), or

    • The angle determined by the ratio of (for the tilting effect).

  • (b) To test the efficiency of the securing arrangement in the longitudinal direction, the greatest of following test angles should be used:

    • The angle determined by the friction factor μ (for the sliding effect), or

    • The angle determined by the ratio of (for the tilting effect).

5 The lowest friction factor, between the cargo and the platform bed or between packages if over-stowed should be used. The definition of H, B, L and n is according to the sketches in figures 7.61 and 7.62.

Figure 7.61

Figure 7.62

Package or section with the centre of gravity close to its geometrical centre (L/2, B/2, H/2).

The number of loaded rows, n, in above section is 2.

L is always the length of one section also when several sections are placed behind each other.

Package with the centre of gravity away from its geometrical centre.

The required test angle α as function of cx,y (0.8 g, 0.7 g and 0.5 g ) as well as μ, and when cz is 1.0 g is taken from the diagram shown in figure 7.63 or from the table below.

Figure 7.63


If μ and is 0.3 at accelerations sideways at transport in sea area B (cy = 0.7 g) the cargo securing arrangement should be able to be inclined to approximately 39, according to the diagram.

In the table below the inclination α is calculated for different γ factors at the horizontal accelerations (cx,y = 0.8 g, 0.7 g and 0.5 g and cz = 1.0 g).

The γ factor is defined as follows:

μ, B/(n H) and L/H, as required in section 4 of this appendix.

0.8 g 0.7 g 0.5 g
Required test angle α in degrees
0.00 53.1 44.4 30.0
0.05 51.4 3.3 29.6
0.10 49.9 42.4 29.2
0.15 48.5 41.5 28.8
0.20 47.3 40.7 28.4
0.25 46.3 39.9 28.1
0.30 45.3 39.2 27.7
0.35 44.4 38.6 27.4
0.40 43.6 38.0 27.1
0.45 42.8 37.4 26.8
0.50 42.1 36.9 26.6
0.55 41.5 36.4 26.3
0.60 40.8 35.9 26.0
0.65 40.2 35.4 25.8
0.70 39.7 35.0 25.6
0.75 39.2 34.6 25.3
0.80 38.7 34.2 25.1
0.85 38.2 33.8 24.9
0.90 37.7 33.4 24.7
0.95 37.3 33.1 24.5
1.00 36.9 32.8 24.3

6 The securing arrangement is regarded as complying with the requirements if the cargo is kept in position with limited movements when inclined to the prescribed inclination α.

7 The test method will subject the securing arrangement to stresses and great care should be taken to prevent the cargo from falling off the platform during the test. If large masses are to be tested the entire platform should be prevented from tipping as well.

Figure 7.64

Figure 7.65

8 Figure 7.64 and figure 7.65 show tests to confirm the securing arrangements of a large package for acceleration forces in longitudinal and transverse directions.

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