The Importance of Dunnage for the Supply Chain
If you’ve ever prepared an item for shipping or opened a package, you’ve likely encountered dunnage. In this article, the experts at Polymer Solutions International Inc. cover what dunnage is, its benefits, and why it’s important for the supply chain.
What Is Dunnage?
Dunnage is any material or system used to secure and protect cargo from shock, moisture, and contamination during transit. Packing peanuts, Styrofoam, bubble wrap and airbags are all excellent examples.
You’ve likely encountered dunnage when unwrapping a delicate item like a glass vase. However, dunnage is used for more than last-mile deliveries. These materials often organize and protect large-scale cargo deliveries. Examples of these types of dunnage include hygienic plastic pallets and storage racks.
Types of Dunnage
Dunnage comes in many materials, shapes, and sizes to serve different purposes. For example, dunnage can be made from paper, bubble wrap, wood, foam, steel, or plastic. Wood, steel, and solid plastics are often used to organize, support and protect heavy cargo or high-value goods. Bubble wrap, kraft paper, and foam protect delicate items from shock and battery during shipping.
There are also three primary types of dunnage, including:
- Kit packs: A kit pack is a container that stores every product component, so it is often referred to as a component pack. These packs reduce the number of containers necessary to deliver an item.
- Multimaterial dunnage: Multimaterial dunnage is made from several materials. It could include anything from packing peanuts to cardboard boxes.
- Custom dunnage: Custom dunnage is a specially designed cargo handling solution. Creating a custom material handling product can optimize cargo hold efficiency and prevent product damage and contamination.
Why Is Dunnage Important for the Supply Chain?
The shipping and handling process isn’t always smooth sailing. Cargo tends to slip, slide and bounce if secured inadequately. Dunnage solves this issue by creating a more efficient supply chain and protecting your valuable cargo from:
- Damage: Dunnage braces cargo and absorbs shock, so goods arrive in excellent condition. Preventing cargo damage is essential for protecting your business’s reputation and bottom line.
- Moisture: Condensation builds up in shipping containers during transit. While there is no way for moisture to escape the container, you can use dunnage to prevent moisture from damaging your products.
- Contamination: Bacteria and pests could cause unnecessary product loss. Selecting the right kind of dunnage protects your cargo from contamination.
The Benefits of Dunnage
Dunnage is critical for securing and protecting your cargo from damage during shipping and handling. Whether you ship an item via air, road, sea or rail, the right kind of dunnage absorbs shock, prevents moisture damage, and reduces the risk of product loss.
However, selecting the right kind of dunnage for the job is also essential. For example, hygienic plastic pallets and storage racks with antimicrobial coatings are efficient, easy-to-clean material handling solutions for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, pet food, and retail industries.
Contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. Today
Polymer Solutions International Inc. is a leading global provider of custom-designed, reusable material handling products and solutions. Since 1997, we’ve engineered custom, innovative dunnage products for various industries.
Contact us today to learn more about designing a sustainable dunnage solution or request a personalized quote.