Risk factors in freight forwarding

The term “risk factors” refers to the characteristics of transport technology that the consignor should take into account when preparing for the transport of goods in order to minimize or exclude potential risks from the outset.

Therefore, all technological processes require information to be provided in a form suitable for the application in order to control and optimize them. The information required for the transport, transshipment and storage processes in the transport system must also be available as completely as possible.

The following risk factors are taken into account in the commodity information:

  • Temperature
  • Moisture
  • Ventilation
  • Biotic activity
  • Gases
  • Self-heating/inflammation
  • Odor
  • Contamination
  • Mechanical influences
  • Toxicity/Hazard to health
  • Shrinkage/theft
  • Pest infestation/diseases

Risk factor temperature

Most goods may change adversely under the influence of temperature, i. e. they may suffer quality reductions/damages. This is why we speak of the temperature sensitivity of the goods.

The more optimally the temperatures in the container can be adapted to the requirements of the goods, the better their quality can be maintained.

risk factor temperature in meat transport

Travel or transport temperature

In general, the travel or transport temperature is the optimum storage temperature of a product that should be aimed at in order to achieve maximum shelf life. For most non-temperature controlled goods, temperature ranges of 5-20 °C as optimal.

However, higher temperatures are to be expected on journeys to the subtropics and tropics and cooler temperatures in the temperate latitudes in the winter months.

Basically, the information about the optimal temperature range is helpful because it shows that a transport always entails a certain danger.

Upper and lower limits of the travel temperature

If the upper temperature limit is exceeded, fruits and vegetables, for example, can suffer considerable deterioration in quality and damage as a result of intensified enzymatic and microbiological processes. Increased temperatures can also lead to self-heating or cargo firing of goods containing oil. Exceeding the upper temperature limit results in drying out, breakage and pulverisation of raw tobacco, for example.

Therefore, it is important to avoid the proximity of heat sources, e. g. tank ceilings, engine room bulkheads. If the temperature falls below the lower temperature limit, for example, cold storage damage (chilling) is to be expected for fruit species and ice blasting is to be expected for beverages and water-containing preserves.

Due to temperature changes when passing through different climatic zones, there may be a softening and melting as well as subsequent hardening and blocking, e. g. with natural rubber, bitumen, gums and resins (Japanese wax, paraffin, shellac). When the containers are unloaded, the blocked natural rubber bales can tear.

Temperature-controlled transports

The above examples show that many goods cannot survive transport without controlled temperatures: they must either be heated, such as many sweetening oils, or they must be chilled or frozen for perishable goods. This is referred to as temperature-controlled transport.

Temperature-controlled transport by heating

By cooling down, sweet oil approaches its solidification point and it becomes ointment and finally solid. One speaks of the cold cloudiness (segregation). This segregation and the associated change in consistency occurs the higher the solidification point of the sweet oils is. Sweet oils to be transported in heatable tank containers require certain loading, travel and pumping temperatures. For example, palm oil:

Solidification range 24-19 °C
Charging temperature 35 °C
Travel temperature > 24 °C
Pumping temperature 50-55 °C

Temperature-controlled transports through cooling and/or freezing

The transport of perishable foodstuffs with high water content and high biotic activity is carried out in refrigerated containers, where the desired loading, travel and unloading temperatures are achieved by means of refrigeration units.

Loss prevention advice

Exceeding the upper temperature limit has, for example, led to bombing of canned food and hot blasts of non-alcoholic beverages (especially in glass bottles). Thermal bombs are most often seen in the area of the container ceiling. It is therefore recommended that the standard containers are stowed below deck and not near heat sources.

If the temperature falls below the lower temperature limit, the same groups of goods can be iced, and it is also recommended that the containers are stowed below deck during the winter months.

If ventilated containers are used, e. g. in the winter months for transporting green coffee (travelling from warm to cold), the ventilation in the hold must be reduced so as not to supply too much cold air, which can cause condensation water to form when the dew point is fallen below.

Damage caused by temperature fluctuations during the voyage leads to blocking of crystalline goods, e. g. during sugar transport. That is why transport in double sacks (outer jute, inner plastic) has proven its worth.

In the event of temperature fluctuations, e. g. when travelling from cold to warm in the winter months, it is advisable to load particularly cost-intensive goods, such as high-quality machines, precision instruments, etc., into refrigerated containers that do not require connection. The thermally insulated walls of the refrigerated containers do not cause high temperature fluctuations, which would cause the temperature to fall below the dew point, and the formation of sweat and corrosion can be prevented.

Especially in the cold season, it is necessary to unload (stripping) the containers at the port of destination, e. g. for green coffee and raw cocoa. Coming out of the relatively sheltered environment of the ship’s cargo hold, one can still count on a core temperature of 18-20 °C for coffee loads.

If they are now exposed to the much lower outside temperature, the result is a rapid increase in humidity in the containers. Condensation on the container ceiling and walls causes unavoidable damage to the cargo caused by moisture.

In summary, it can be said that the temperature sensitivity of the goods can be assessed very differently. If there is a risk of ice blasting or chilling, for example, the cargo must be transported at a controlled temperature. If the consequences of exceeding or falling below the temperature limits are rather minor, it must be decided in individual cases whether the risk can be taken. The product information provides a good decision-making aid.

sea freight containers in London

Transit Time (T/T) in international logistics

The transit time (T/T) time is the planned travel time from port to port or airport to airport. The transit time is not binding, as unforeseeable events can still lead to delays. This means that the transit time can change, especially if the destination is not served directly but the shipment has to be reloaded via HUBs. The UTC time is also the basis for this in international logistics. (See What is the time in London)

In container transport, a distinction is made between FCL and LCL containers.

Groupage (LCL)

Less than Container Load. Transporting a shipment with other goods in a container is called LCL. This means that several LCL consignments with different bills of lading and different owners can be loaded in a single container. Each area used is calculated.

In the LCL transit, goods from 1m3 to 20m3 can be transported economically. The combined goods are transported in a common container. The most economical way to deliver small shipments.

LCL container means “less than full container load”. The unloader delivers general cargo to the carrier’s terminal and in the port of arrival, the same general cargo from the terminal there – the ship’s allong – must be delivered to the consignee. Transport in containers, together with other cargoes, packing before and unpacking after are internal calls of the carrier. The container is loaded in the port of departure from a “Container Freight Station (CFS)” for the carrier (“Stuffing”), and in the port of destination another CFS is responsible for unloading (“stripping”) the container (pier-pier traffic).

Sea container (FCL)

Delivery of goods in sea containers (FCL). The container is intended for a single recipient.

FCL stands for “full container load” and is a container packed by the unloader, which is handed over to the shipper fully loaded (house-to-house traffic). The place of delivery – according to the delivery – is not the terminal, but the container yard, the stacking place on the quay, where the carrier takes over the container and makes it available for shipment according to a computer-controlled plan, so that it is loaded directly onto its correct position in the ship.

Modern logistics

In recent years, we have modernized our logistics sustainably and developed a new national distribution concept, which also includes six regional warehouses across the United Kingdom. It led to a significant reduction in the transport of deliveries.

Our GILBRAITH fleet with 78 motor vehicles and tractor units is now 1.8 million miles less than before the realization of the new concept. This means an annual reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of more than 1,000 tonnes.

We also implemented logistical optimization programs with industry. We use telematics to significantly reduce transport distances and thus CO2 emissions. Together with our largest supplier, we have implemented an innovative ordering process, which automatically adapts the order and delivery quantity to the truck capacities of the freight forwarders. By optimal calculation, e.g. of pallet stacking, 340 truckloads could be saved while the sales volume was growing at the same time, thus driving around 210,000 transport kilometers less.

This means a fuel saving of 80,000 liters or 226 tonnes less CO2 emissions per year.

Our truck fleet is technically state-of-the-art and is partly operated with bio diesel. In addition, there is an innovative hybrid truck, which is valued for its everyday suitability in regional traffic.

Gilbraiths transportation & logistics

Welcome to the Transport & Logistics Blog of Gilbraithts.co.uk

We are looking forward to welcome you on our blog today. This is our first blog post and we will regularly write about topics we know best: transport and logistics.

Our family-run company based in the UK has grown over the generations from a regional supplier for transport and logistics to an international company. We have mastered the changes in this sector and are still an independent company in 2017. We are proud of this because the changes caused by international trade forced many of our competitors to join larger groups or to close the business.

Transport and logistics are more important than ever before. International trade flows are not only the basis of the just-in-time production of the global industry. The Internet also allows private consumers to order goods from all over the world. Selling internationally has become easy as never before. Here we come into play with our tailor-made services for consumers and companies.

International trade has also brought many changes to the economy and society. At the same time it opened up new opportunities. Specialized business consultants in global trade provide a range of services that enable artisans, artists and small businesses to operate internationally. This is less a matter of the company size, but the support of tailor-made solutions in the field of transport and logistics.

In doing so, the traditional areas of logistics continue to play a strong role in our daily business. Goods must be transported without delay, sometimes punctually in very tight time windows. What would be a relocation without the logistics? People are now moving more frequently than ever before. Here, too, we are helpful when it comes to moving a private house or a company.

We are pleased to share our experiences, impressions and views from the world of transport and logistics. Please do comment on our blog posts and share them on social media. This is how your friends will also learn on how we constantly keep the flow of goods running in the background.