Unitized cargo can be defined as the grouped cargo that is carried aboard a ship in pallets, containers, wheeled vehicles, and barges or lighters. In other words, unitization of cargo is the process of grouping products and loading them onto a pallet once the products are properly packed. In other words, the whole process starts with packaging of products into individual packages before being put into an outer pack before they’re shrink wrapped and loaded onto a pallet.
The advantage of unitization of cargo is that it allows larger product quantities to be grouped into large units, which means that there will be fewer units to be loaded on to the ship. This saves time and effort which increases efficiency and it lowers the chances of late deliveries. There are different variations of unitized cargo but the most common forms are palletizing and containerization. Palletizing Palletizing is “the assembly of one or more packages on a pallet base and securing the load to the pallet. ” Palletizing consists of placing a cargo over a platform or pallets created from different materials.
One of the advantages palletizing cargo has is that the probability of the cargo reaching its destination without damages or loss is a lot higher and the freight costs can be lowered significantly. Palletizing consists of the packaged cargo being stacked on a pallet by the ocean freight carrier without exceeding 1,50 meters. On some occasions, some ocean freight carriers offer the possibility of shrink wrapping the whole thing with a plastic film which lowers the probability of partial loss (either by theft or by other means). Containerization
Containerization can be defined as “a system of intermodal freight transport using standard intermodal containers that are standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These can be loaded and sealed intact onto container ships, railroad cars, planes, and trucks. ” Christine Graham, from Fordham University, defines containerization as “containerization is the packaging of goods into shipping containers that fit into the cargo holds of boats and can be easily transferred to trucks, railroad cars or even commercial jets.
A container is essentially a ectangular, 20- to 40-foot long, 8-foot wide, and 8 to 8 1/2 half-foot high truck trailer. ” In other words, it can be said that containerization is an intermodal system of transporting cargo in standardized containers for proficient shipping and handling. Containerization consists of transporting general cargo that is considered too small for the traditional bulk transport system and packaging them in containers in a way so the goods can be easily moved from one location to another; these containers are then loaded onto the container ships, trucks, planes, etc.
Thanks to containerization, cargo shipping has completely been revolutionized and transformed. It has become so important that nowadays, “approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships; 26% of all containers originate from China. ” Another important benefit containerization has brought is the improvement of cargo security, mainly because the cargo is not visible which means that it is less likely be stolen.