15 Tips to Safely Unload a Shipping Container
Unloading a shipping container is an important process in the transportation life-cycle, which requires meticulous planning and execution. However, people often don’t pay enough attention to the preparation part of it; lack of which can lead to serious damages and injuries. Hence, let’s find out what measures you need to take to unload your shipping container safely.
- Obtain information on the contents of the container first. Based on which you need to arrange for the required unloading equipment.
- Dedicate an exclusive site, free from unnecessary vehicles and people, for unloading the container. This way, you will avoid accidents and damages.
- Wear appropriate clothing, as well as heavy-duty boots and gloves for your own safety.
- Provide enough lighting to make the inside of the container clearly visible. Install battery-powered lights if natural lighting is limited.
- Use a smooth sloping ramp when a loading bay is not available for easy access.
- Ensure the container is placed on a leveled surface. If required, install container support legs with same height settings.
- Depending on the content and weight, different containers require different equipment for offloading. Cranes, forklifts, and self-offloading trailers are the common tools. However, sometimes additional robust steel supports are also required to maintain balance and avoid tipping off the load.
- Containers are often fumigated to keep pests at bay. These chemicals are potentially hazardous for human beings. Hence, leave these containers with the door open for sometime before allowing anyone to enter
- Check whether the container is overfilled or no. If yes, fasten the door with extra straps to minimize any spill. Also, ascertain that the heaviest cargo is at the bottom of the container. This will ensure balance.
- Check for broken or loose seals on the container doors. If they are present, strap them properly before tilting the container. Also, do not leave any article on the path leading to the door.
- During the voyage, it is possible that some items inside a container have changed their positions if they were not properly secured. Hence, while opening the door, always exercise extra caution. Open them at arm’s length and take a few steps back immediately. This will eliminate the possibility of anyone getting hurt.
- If the items inside are strapped, remove one strap at a time. There may be items which support other articles on the top or behind. In such case, don’t remove the item without strapping the others securely.
- Make use of machines like conveyer belt or forklift whenever you can.
- Ensure that no one moves the truck while the unloading is in progress.
Lastly, it is important to exercise common sense with these heavy duty shipping containers. Training the staff and making them aware of the hazards will reduce any chances of injury while offloading and unloading shipping containers.
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