Dunnage placement is basically a measure taken by shipping companies or shippers directly to prevent situations that might put in harm the items being transported. The dunnage is mostly made of plastic, wood or metal, normally recycled and cheap, since it will probably be disposed of after the shipment arrives. Some examples of dunnage are wood crates made out of wasted wood, shredded paper, plastic air bags or even structures made of metal that are designed to fill the voids between the structure of the vessel and the cargo, or the empty spaces inside the cargo container itself.Importing companies, due to their experience in the field, might demand a particular dunnage to be used for certain items, because of its effectiveness. Also, disposability is an important element to be considered, since dunnage will be received by the importer and depending on its nature it might create difficulties to dispose of it properly. Some companies find ways to reuse dunnage and this might reduce handling costs in certain situations.
In a nutshell :
- Dunnage is inexpensive or waste material used to load and secure cargo during transportation;
- More loosely, it refers to miscellaneous baggage, brought along during travel.
- The term can also refer to low-priority cargo used to fill out transport capacity which would otherwise ship underweight.