For sure, one of the worst surprises you can face is that when you receive your batch of export carton, they are full of moisture. This means that depending on the goods, they usually are totally ruined. This might happen even though the goods have passed the Final Product Inspection and Container Loading Supervision, though these checks obviously minimize the risk. So you received a humid container – What went wrong then? How to prevent this to happen?
I have written previously about a trip to Container Loading Supervision. Read it here to see what the day normally consists of. Now, I will concentrate on how to prevent the humidity.
What is the Temperature and Humidity in Containers?
The humidity level varies depending on the temperatures, the container location on the cargo ship and the product type. It is based on a good quality container – we can easily imagine that the risks increase when the container is in bad condition!
Moisture usually appears when China manufactured goods are stored for a long period before the shipment. That’s why the less period of time the goods are stored in China the better. Also, China is well known for its high humidity rate at certain periods of the year, and especially during the rainy season.
What are the Damages Related to Humidity?
Mold and fungi appear on and in cartons. The carton material weakens and can loose its protective function.
Different chemical reactions happen at higher temperatures and in conjunction with salt from ocean spray. Metal products oxidize and look rusty. Corrosion is especially dangerous for shiny metal products – rendering them worthless.
Heat and humidity cause glue to melt. Glue running into the products is often irremovable and can damage the product basic functions. Garments are also prone to deteriorate. It causes local loss of color and color transfers. Those defects are usually impossible to clean.
Quality Inspector Reporting the Container Loading by taking Pictures to the Report
How to Check and Prevent the Humidity?
A quick control of the container can help to reduce the risks. Here are the different details to look at that are directly or indirectly linked with humidity issues. These are the ones that the Quality Inspector checks during Container Loading Supervision. Thus, this service is highly recommended before shipping the goods:
• No nail or other protrusions which could damage the cargo
• No holes or crack in walls, floor or roof
• Doors operate properly
• Closing devices operate properly
• Container is watertight (no incoming light)
• Container interior is absolutely dry, clean, free of cargo residues and neutral in odor.
• The doors (and if applicable, roof covering) have been carefully closed. (Strong steel wire cables, padlocks or high security seals should be well fixed to avoid any possible re-opening as well as cargo theft).
These bags inside the container protects the container from moisture damage.
What about you: Have you ever experienced humidity in containers?