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  July 12th, 2023 | Written by

Delivering with Confidence: Tips For Properly Strapping Down Containers 

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Protecting your goods during a long transit can be stressful. You can run into several challenges along the road. Fortunately, cargo transportation has never been easier than using a Shipping Container. These huge metal boxes can literally transport anything from fruit to potentially dangerous goods. They can even keep your cargo safe from outside forces.

Though, what exactly protects these heavy-duty containers during transit? Taking steps like using Ratchet straps, maintaining your tensioning tools and sticking with transportation regulations can ensure your container stays secure. Your container will remain safe the whole ride through. You won’t even have to worry about cargo loss. In this blog, we’ll go over some transportation container tips that’ll help you better protect your cargo box. 

Why You Should Properly Strap Down Your Container

For truck drivers, your main concern should always be protecting your load. The best way to do that is by staying compliant with the state laws. In the instance of a Shipping Container, the police can slap you with a hefty fine for improperly strapping down your cargo box. Even worse, refusing to strap down your container properly could lead to a fatal car accident resulting in multiple casualties. If you’re hauling an ISO tank container full of a chemical liquid, you definitely want to avoid a hazardous spill on the highway. You could be stripped of your certificates, licenses, permits and even lose your job. Be sure to make sure you’re following Industry regulations for securing your Shipping Container. Also, double check that all your Shipping Containers parts and tools are up-to-date. Protecting your Shipping Container means protecting yourself from the law as well. 

Properly strapping your container isn’t just the law though, it’s also crucial to protecting your goods. If you don’t practice Shipping Container strapping methods or use faulty hardware, you can almost guarantee that your container won’t be safe during transit. Investing in securement tools like straps, chains, lashing bars, and twist locks can ensure the safety of your container. It’s better to use high-quality tools for better performance, tensioning and security of the transportation container.  

For instance, Ratchet Straps are commonly used to tie-down containers due to their optimal tensioning, durability and adaptability to its dimensions. When it comes to choosing the right straps for container securing, they take the lead. A high-quality Ratchet Strap will make sure your container doesn’t fall away. 

Additionally, inspect your Shipping Container for any signs of damage that could lead to problems down the road. Specifically, check everything from the container’s locks, seals and alarm systems to ensure they’re working up to par. You want to make a habit of checking that all your equipment is functioning properly before taking off. 

In addition to inspecting your container, you must also examine your hardware as well. Make a habit of regularly examining your chains, straps, twist locks and friction mats for any early signs of wear and tear. Though it may be expensive, make some necessary replacements. Faulty equipment could lead to tensioning issues over your container and evidently, losing your cargo. If you catch these problems early on, you can prevent an incident such as this from happening. Even better, you can keep trucking away.  

What’s The Best Way To Strap Down A Shipping Container?

Ratchet Straps may be a must-have for many truckers. However, there’s various other container strapping methods for safe delivery to choose from. 

For instance, Direct Lashing involves having horizontal bars installed on the trailer’s side rails. They provide several attachment points for your straps and chains to be connected to, all while securing the container. In the end, these bars balance out the tension of your straps and stabilize the cargo box. However, there are a few disadvantages to using direct lashing methods. One of the biggest involves the possibility of damaging the cargo. While it may not directly come in contact with your container, the pressure applied over it could lead to denting or scratches. Also, lashing slows down your preparation process due to manual handling and constant readjustments. 

Another method for container boxed strapping is to use twist locks. Simply rest the corner castings of your container on top of the twist locks at the very end of the truck’s trailer. To secure it, turn the lock’s handle at a right angle. Fortunately, this safety feature keeps the container in place on your trailer throughout the whole ride. Even better, these locks improve loading time and provide better safety measures. Not to mention, they’re much easier to utilize. Given all of these great features, it’s obvious why truckers hauling ISO tank containers prefer them over other methods. 

However, these locks aren’t designed to handle all types of cargo, only Shipping Containers. Additionally, it’s imperative that twist lock design is compatible with the container and trailer. Otherwise, your cargo won’t be secure. 

Friction mats also reduce the chance of your container falling off your trailer. Their rubbery construction provides traction, which keeps your metal box sitting pretty and in place. However, keep in mind that friction mats aren’t a sufficient option compared to chains, straps or twist locks. They don’t provide multiple securement points like direct lashing does. Friction mats also don’t evenly distribute the weight of your cargo. 

Arguably, the best way to go about securing your cargo comes down to your Shipping Container needs. Each of these securement tools comes with their own set of advantages that could benefit your situation. In the end, decide what works best for you based on the job requirements.   

Stay In Line With Safety Regulations

Staying in line with industry regulations for container transportation can prepare you for the long drive ahead as well. You may be familiar with some of these rules already, such as the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) and the International Organization for Standardization Standards (ISO). These regulations cover the safe handling, construction, dimensions and identification of containers. Additional regulations to familiarize yourself with are International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which basically involves the safe transport of your goods aboard a ship. International Road Transport Union (IRU) regulations address loading procedures, driver safety practices and the requirements for a vehicle. On the other hand, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations (OSHA) promotes workplace safety and protects workers during Shipping Container transportation procedures. 

While these regulations are pretty common everywhere you go, another country may have additional compliance guidelines for the transportation of Shipping Containers. Make sure you’re aware of a country’s regulations beforehand. Otherwise, you could run into some serious trouble. 

Speaking of which, improper container strapping could lead to serious legal liabilities, including cargo liability claims and being held accountable for accidents and fines for overweight containers transported on the road. You could even have a lawsuit on your hands. In any case, you want to avoid any of these scenarios and make sure you’re meeting all transportation regulations. 

Fortunately for you, there’s a couple of ways you can stay up to date on the latest guidelines for Shipping Containers. You can participate in industry-led forums and safety seminars to get all the information you need. That way, you stay ahead of the game and are well-prepared for the transport of a container.

Helping You Become A Better Driver

Transporting a Shipping Container doesn’t just mean getting the job done, but also doing it right. Whether it’s your first time transporting a container or you’re seeking a safer method to do so, you must take several factors into consideration. Knowing the best strapping and loading methods for ISO tank containers, which safety regulations to comply with and inspecting your tensioning devices are three of the most important aspects of transporting a Shipping Container. Understanding these key points will help you excel at transporting a container and ultimately, become a better driver. 

Author’s bio

Matt has an extensive background as a Content Writer, writing articles on topics ranging from entertainment news to health and wellness. He currently works for Mytee Products as a Content Strategist.