Friday, April 3, 2009

Trailer/Container Basics

Trailer - Container Basics

1. Trailers will leak. On a sunny day grab a flash light and go inside a trailer or container. Turn on the flash light and shut the door. Turn off the light and see if there’s any light coming in from outside. Be safe when you do this and don’t get locked in.

2. Check to see that blocks are used to brace the wheels of the trailers when it’s at the dock door and being loaded or unloaded. It’s a simple thing to do and adds a safety feature. Plus it gives you another thing to look for when you’re taking your tour through the facility.

3. Be smart when loading the trailer. Fill the front section closest to the driver stacked as high as possible. Then tier the rest. You can experiment with nets.

4. The distribution warehouse is going to insist on having the cases stacked on pallets. I’ve never seen this work out economically for long ocean hauls. You can make cubes with a bottom of cardboard and stretch wrap around the cases. Use a squeeze attachment on the fork lift.

5. If your moving full containers, have a seal procedure in place and ask to look at the books that note the container number, seal number, date, vessel and voyage when you visit. This way you will know if anyone has opened your container. Customs knows about this process and will alert you if they open and change a seal. It’s best to have the heavy duty seals that must be opened with cutters.

6. In my experience with factories in Jamaica and Colombia (and that’s Colombia with and O and not Columbia as in South Carolina), drug dogs were brought in to inspect every out going shipment. The trailer would be loaded, locked and seal applied. It sounds like a hassle but they had it down to a fast science and filmed every action.

7. And if you’re driving on the road and are around a lot of trucks and trailers, give them a lot of room. If it’s a heavy load and their gaining speed, it’s hard for them to stop. But you’ll be the one most likely hurt if you attempt road rage games. It’s the law of the biggest moving vehicle on the road and this is religiously followed in developing countries today.

Pakistan wins my prize for the best decorated trailers and buses in the world. (I’m serious, there are many beautiful intricate painted designs on the buses and trucks.) But I’m also fond of the red and green painted ox horns in India.

Be safe and have fun!

The Underwear Maven

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