Every day, goods, semi-finished products and raw materials are loaded into containers at ports around the world. These metal boxes are loaded as efficiently as possible onto ships that then begin their journey to ports thousands of miles from the port of departure.
Our world is globalized, and the possibilities seem endless. Raw materials are shipped to countries with low labor costs and then travel on as semi-finished products to other countries where they are finished for consumption. This has created a complex network of transport routes between busy ports all over the world. Everything must be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. After all, time is money.
In these uncertain times, however, it happens more often that the transport network is disrupted and containers are left standing in ports. Of course, the longer transport times are annoying, but what happens to the goods in containers that remain on ships or quays longer than originally planned? Are your goods protected from condensation damage?
Covid-19 has obviously been the biggest disruptor of container traffic in recent years. By October 2021, containers were piling up at major U.S. ports. Traders were trying to replenish their supplies in the face of another lockdown, and the ports did not have the capacity for that influx of ships. This made for dramatic images of blocked ships and endless rows of stacked containers.
In addition, the international transportation network faced other problems in recent years. Last year, for example, there was the Ever Given, the ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days, forcing thousands of ships to seek alternative transport routes. In March 2022, containers were left stranded at ports in Spain due to a strike by truck drivers. The war in Ukraine also affected container traffic. For example, containers bound for Russia remained in the port of Rotterdam for extra checks. These were unforeseen situations that caused goods to sit in containers much longer than planned.
While in Europe and the United States coronas measures are being lifted step by step, major Chinese cities went into lockdown in the last month after a sudden rise in the number of Covid-19 infections. The Chinese government took no chances and tried to avoid the spread of the virus at all costs.
The result of the strict measures was a slowdown in truck traffic to the Shanghai port and the piling up of containers on the quay. Even after the Shanghai lockdown ends - tentatively scheduled for June - it will be months before all problems are resolved.
This wave of Covid-19 contamination in China is likely to affect international transport for months. After all, Chinese ports are central players in international container transport, and the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are among the top five largest container ports in the world.
Unfortunately, as a trader or exporter, there is little you can do about these international problems. However, you can protect your goods from cargo damage. Goods that sit in a container for a long time are vulnerable to condensation damage. Therefore, it is important to protect your goods from temperature differences and to use drying agents to avoid excess moisture in the container.
Praxas offers solutions to this problem in the form of container insulation, desiccants and temperature loggers. With the right combination of these protection techniques, a stable climate is created in the shipping container, which greatly reduces the chance of condensation. In this way, even with longer transport times and waiting times on the quay, cargo damage can be prevented. In addition, it is advisable to use temperature loggers that can apply longer measuring times. In this way it is possible to keep track of the temperature development of the transport, even if it takes longer than planned.
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