Shipping companies use dunnage to protect fragile items during handling and transport. Each package you send may go through some rough environmental conditions on its way to the recipient. Here are the main reasons why shippers use dunnage:
Packages generally go through a complicated process to reach their destination. First, they are picked up by a carrier and shipped to a sorting facility. Next, they may be transported by other trucks, ships, or airplanes, to other sorting facilities. Lastly, they are picked up by the last mile carrier and shipped to the recipient. Every time the package is handled or moved, there’s a small chance that it will get damaged in the process.
Shipping companies use dunnage to stop the items from moving around in their containers. They also use dunnage to stop the containers from moving around. Dunnage can also absorb some of the shock and vibration that might affect the item when its container is moved. This minimizes the chances of the item getting damaged in the shipping process.
If your package travels by ship, floor dunnage is used to protect it from the thin water film that forms on ship floors. The floor dunnage keeps the package above the deck, ensuring that it won’t be harmed by the water underneath it.
Packages that go in shipping containers need moisture protection. Containers are designed to be water-resistant, so they don’t have any drainage holes that communicate with the exterior. If condensation forms inside the container, it has no way to drain so it might harm the packages by the time they reach their destination. For this purpose, paper and other absorbent materials are used to keep the water away from the packed items.
Shipping a heavy and cumbersome package, such as a couch or a sack is usually difficult because cumbersome items are difficult to manipulate. So in order to make them easier to manipulate during handling and transport, shippers use wooden dunnage to distribute the items’ weight so they can be carried by the handlers or by using a forklift.