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3.1          Load distribution

3.1.1       Freight containers, flatracks and platforms are designed according to ISO standards, amongst others, in such a way that the permissible payload P, if homogeneously distributed over the entire loading floor, can safely be transferred to the four corner posts under all conditions of carriage. This includes a safety margin for temporary weight increase due to vertical accelerations during a sea passage. When the payload is not homogeneously distributed over the loading floor, the limitations for concentrated loads should be considered. It may be necessary to transfer the weight to the corner posts by supporting the cargo on strong timber or steel beams as appropriate (see figure 7.21).


3.1.2       The bending strength of the beams should be sufficient for the purpose of load transfer of concentrated loads. The arrangement, the required number and the strength of timber beams or steel beams should be designed in consultation with the CTU operator.

3.1.3       Concentrated loads on platforms or flatracks should be similarly expanded by bedding on longitudinal beams or the load should be reduced against the maximum payload. The permissible load should be designed in consultation with the CTU operator.


3.1.6       Swap bodies have structural properties similar to freight containers, but in most cases less tare weight and less overall strength. They are normally not stackable. The loading instructions given under subsection 3.1.2 and 3.1.5 should be applied to swap bodies as appropriate.


3.2.1       Stowage and packing techniques should be suitable to the nature of the cargo with regard to weight, shape, structural strength and climatic conditions. This includes the proper use of dunnage material (see section 2.1 of this annex), the selection of the appropriate method of mechanical handling and the proper stowage of vented packages. The concept of stowage should incorporate the feasibility of smooth unloading.

3.2.2       Any marking on parcels should be strictly observed. Cargoes marked "this way up" should not only be stowed upright but also kept upright during entire handling. Goods which may be subject to inspection by the carrier or by authorities, like dangerous goods or goods liable to Customs duty, should, if possible, be stowed at the door end of the CTU.

3.2.3       When packing mixed cargoes, their compatibility should be considered. Irrespective of the regulations for the stowage of dangerous goods (see chapter 10 of  of this Code) the following general rules are applicable:


Figure 7.24 With intermediate board

Figure 7.25 Without intermediate board

3.2.5       Packages with  with a less defined shape like bags or bales may be stacked in an interlocking pattern, also called cross-tie, thereby creating a solid pile that may be secured by blocking or fencing (see figure 7.26). Round longish units like pipes may be stacked into the grooves of the layer below. However, care should be taken of the lateral forces produced by top layers in the grooves of the bottom layers, which may locally overload the side walls of the CTU if the friction between the pipes is low.


3.3.5       If CTUs are to be packed with forklift trucks from the side, significant lateral impact forces to the CTU should be avoided. Such lateral forces may occur when packages or overpacks are  are pushed across the loading area. If, during such operations, there is a risk of turning the CTU over packers may consider packing either from both sides to the centre line of the CTU or by using forklift trucks with higher capacity and long forks, which would permit accurate placement without pushing.