Devanning: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any questions about devanning, you will find the answer right here.

So, keep reading to learn more.

What does Devanning mean in Logistics?

Devanning otherwise referred to as stuffing is the process or act of taking out all the contents from a container. We can simply describe it as unloading a container.

More practically, Full container load (FCL) shipments are always devanned at the destination warehouse.

On the other hand, devanning of Less Than Container Load is carried out at the destination Container Freight station.

Container Devanning

Container Devanning

How are Shipping Containers Devanned?

Devanning is a process that requires maximum expertise owing to the risks and tasks involved to make the entire process a success. Normally, ships are packed to full capacity to ensure that there is maximum utilization of any available space.

Unpacking such containers not only poses a risk to the task force involved but also damage to the contents. This will however depend on the type of goods contained inside the container.

That said, seeking professional services from an experienced company is essential for an effective and efficient process.

Once the container arrives and is received, skilled and experienced container handlers carefully unload it using cranes, forklifts, or through manual handling.

Working with a professional will ensure that Health and safety precautions are upheld during the unloading process.

Different cargo will need different expertise when handling. You can as well choose the dock level unloading which involves unloading items using dock-level forklifts.

Depending on your preferences, your cargo can also be palletized as this will make it easier for you to store or ship later.

Who can Devann my Container?

Devanning a shipping container requires a skilled and qualified task force to execute every step with the care and expertise that it deserves. Not only are you looking forward to having your goods unloaded but also receiving them in good condition.

Technical skills combined with digital technology also play an important role in ensuring risks are minimized.

When choosing your logistics partner, be sure to check the following factors for better performance and results.

  • Ability to palletize
  • Ability to receive containers
  • Ability to devann
  • Storage and distribution ability from their site.

How can Devanning Services benefit my Business?

As a business person, business profits are your topmost priority and the driving factor to the growth of your business. Devanning services can greatly contribute to this in the following ways;

  • Proper handling of goods by professionals prevents damages which might result in decreased profits.
  • With the current technological trends such as WMS technology, you can easily keep track of your shipment. And that’s not enough, this will assist you to gain new insights and realize patterns in your business.

Not to mention that some systems go an extra mile into providing you with visual images of your products being received.

  • Professional devanning services ensure a smooth, fluid, and reliable flow of the distribution and transportation processes.

Where does Devanning take place?

Devanning can either take place at the destination warehouse or the destination container freight station.

How do I load Containers to avoid damage during Devanning?

Container Loading

Container Loading

Container loading is one of the most important steps during shipping that should be carefully handled to protect your goods from damage.

During shipping, the vessel is bound to go through different waves of instability. Meaning the goods are prone to sliding off or banging against each other.

In most cases, your supplier should be held responsible for loading the container and ensuring that the cargo is well secured.

Here are some important tips to consider when loading a container;

  • Secure the packages close together for better pressure distribution and preventing them from moving.
  • Always put the light cargo at the top while the heavy ones settle beneath.
  • Make use of dunnage to fill any empty spaces which allow for movement of the boxes.
  • Find ideal securements for your cargo. This might range from; load bars, bracing plywood, and load straps. This will be determined by the type of goods you are shipping.

If you are unsure of which securement best suits your cargo, your supplier should be in a better position to advise you.

Is Container Devanning the same as Transloading?

Many might confuse these two terms owing to the close similarities that they depict. Nevertheless, you need to understand that devanning and transloading have two different meanings. Let’s find out below;

While devanning refers to unpacking goods from a container, transloading involves shifting cargo from one transport method to a different one.

Let’s take for instance you are shipping your goods from China. You might require to use at least two or three modes of transport for your goods to reach the final destination.

Shifting your goods from a truck to a ship or vice versa is what is referred to as transloading. And this not only applies to trucks and ships but any mode of transport.

Here are some of the circumstances that might require transloading of your cargo;

  • When transporting your goods from the port to the desired final destination. This mostly involves unloading the cargo from the ship to the truck.

To avoid per diem charges, it’s essential to have all this organized before transporting your cargo.

  • When delivering your cargo to different destinations. The transloading fee that you will be charged will cater for deconsolidation at the warehouse and palletizing it.

Afterward, your cargo will be loaded into the trucks ready to be transported to the final destination.

Amazon shipments are known to make use of transloading owing to the several Amazon FBA warehouse to which they are sent to.

How long does Devanning take?

The time taken for devanning will largely depend on the amount and type of cargo involved. Generally, this can take from as few as 1 day or less to as many as 3 days or more.

The more the cargo the more time it will consume to unload it and vice versa.

In addition to that, the listed factors affect the duration taken for devanning:

  • Skills and expertise of the labor force.
  • Limitation of equipment used.
  • Performance of the equipment.

Do I need Special Equipment when Devanning a Container?

There is special equipment that you will need during the devanning process to make it efficient.

Essentially, here are some equipment that you will require when unloading cargo from the container;

  • Ladder – A ladder is an essential tool when it comes to unloading as it helps the workforce to climb up the container.
  • Liftgate – Liftgates are ideal when loading or unloading heavy cargo that can’t be lifted. It is an automated platform fixed at the back of a truck.

A liftgate operates by being lowered or raised from the container floor level when loading or unloading cargo. Keep in mind liftgates don’t come equipped in all trucks.

That said, it’s very important to request it if need be. It is also important to know that liftgates are not applicable when shipping FCL since they cannot be fixed onto shipping containers.

  • Pallets – Pallets come in handy when sorting your cartons after the container arrives. For instance, if you have several SKUs in the shipping container, they assist in grouping different types of cartons to avoid double work.

This mean you won’t have to sort them again after unloading since you already did when unloading and thus it saves time.

  • Forklift – Otherwise referred to as a lift truck, a forklift is a machine that loads and unloads cargo packed in pallets or slip sheets. It requires a skilled forklift operator to raise and lower two horizontal forks off the ground.

Aside from that, a forklift can transport the merchandise over short distances.

  • Conveyor –Conveyors have the ability to loading several boxes at a go. Take into account that different types of cargo will require different types of conveyors.

Some conveyors are well suited for loose bulk cargo while others are ideal for large cargo.

  • Bolt cutters – When the container is at the port of origin, it is sealed using heavy-duty bolts which enhance the locking system of the container. To unlock such, you need to have a strong pair of bolt cutters.
  • Straps – Straps are used to keep your cargo in place while being shipped. They prevent movement of the cargo which might otherwise result in damages.

The straps are made from a soft and flexible material and this ensures that your merchandise is kept safe and secured. Straps are also used to secure the wheels of a car when loading it into a container.

Devanning Using Telescopic Conveyor

Devanning Using Telescopic Conveyor

  • Slip Sheets – Slip sheets are thin plastic, corrugated sheets that are positioned between merchandise to facilitate lifting off the cargo by a facelift. Not only do they utilize space but also make it easier to remove pallets.

The best bit is that slip sheets are lighter and cheaper as compared to pallets. This makes them efficient for both transportation and storage.

That’s not enough, slip sheets also minimize the warehouse storage that would otherwise be occupied by pallets.

In addition to that, they can easily be recycled and they help in minimizing untidiness in the warehouse.

Pallets are a cause of rodent infestation in warehouses. The fact that slip sheets are thin, it’s hard for rodents to get stowed away.

  • Dunnage – Dunnage is a general word used to describe any material placed between cargo to protect them during the shipping process. This can range from bubble wraps to industrial solid plastics.

Dunnage is not only meant to protect your goods from damages but also humidity and contamination. Below are some of the usages of dunnage;

  1. Used between the goods and the container walls.
  2. Dunnage can be placed on the floor to prevent moisture-sensitive goods from going bad as a result of absorbing moisture.
  • You can as well position dunnage on any empty spaces to reduce movement and falling of goods while being shipped.
  1. Dunnage can be placed on top of the goods as the condensation at the ceiling might damage the cargo.
  2. You can use dunnage to separate individual batches while being shipped.
  • Ramps – If you have no loading dock, a ramp comes through when unloading cargo. Some ramps are designed in such a way that they can withstand heavyweights including a forklift.

You need to position the ramp from the container space to the ground to facilitate easy movement of the forklift along the ramp.

How much are Container Devanning Charges?

Different companies charge different fees when it comes to container devanning. But the truth is that you should expect fee charges starting from $175 upwards if your container is 20ft with palletized goods.

On the other hand, a fee starting from $225 upwards will be applicable when shipping bulky or loose cargo. So be sure to contact your logistics company to get an accurate quote.

Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. That said, paying for quality service at an additional cost would rather be the best way to go.

Shipment Devanning

 Shipment Devanning

Is Devanning applicable for Amazon FBA Shipments?

Yes, devanning is applicable for Amazon FBA shipments. You can request for your cargo to be devanned and packaged as per Amazon requirements.

A good logistics company should also be in a position to advise you on the packing requirements needed by Amazon.

How do I choose the right Devanning Service?

Devanning requires a skilled workforce and identifying such can be a hassle more so if you’re new to this. To make your work easier, below are some considerations to keep in mind;

  • Conduct thorough research and identify a suitable and qualified devanning company.
  • Seek to find out if you can be present when your cargo is being devanned. This allows you to account for the entire operation.
  • Choose a service that conducts the entire operation at the same place and time. Preferably MAF and ATF customs bonded site.

In most cases, such sites are certified and meet the required standards.

  • Work with a customs broker for an easy and efficient process.

 What are the Factors involved in Devanning Containers?

Some of the factors involved in devanning containers are not limited to;

  • The type, weight, size, and quantity of the cargo.
  • Budget and timeline
  • Container throughput
  • Condition of the site and constraints
  • Availability of equipment
  • Ownership and hire options

Does the Type of Transport Used determine how a Shipping Container is Devanned?

Yes. Different types of transport will require different techniques and equipment to unload.

For instance, since an aircraft cargo compartment door is located high above the ground, manual unloading is never a choice. A cargo loader is often used to do the job. This however cannot be applied when unloading a truck.

What are the Key Hazards associated with Devanning Containers?

Below are some of the major hazards associated with devanning containers;

  • Falling of loose cargo from a height.
  • Placing the container on a sloppy surface.
  • Unskillful unpacking of the containers.
  • Poor lighting to facilitate safe unloading.
  • Dangerous chemicals.
  • Loose items can fall on workers once the doors are opened.
  • Loose items which move around during transportation.
  • Environmental conditions such as heat or cold.

How do I manage Risks during Container Unpacking?

Below are some ways to manage risks during container unpacking;

  • Ensure the floor is even.
  • There should be no obstructions around containers and pallets.
  • Avoid entering the container if the load appears to be positioned unsafely.
  • Seek assistance if you don’t have adequate expertise in unpacking the container.
  • Ensure that appropriate PPE’s are worn when unloading.

What is the Best Way to Ensure Safe Devanning?

The best way to ensure safe devanning is by working with a supplier. This way, you will make sure that;

  • The cargo is well packaged in slip sheets or pallets to facilitate unloading by a forklift.
  • The load is well packaged to avoid instability of the goods during transportation.
  • Each cargo of sheet material is solely secured on an A-Frame.

What is the Benefit of Inspection during Container Devanning?

Inspection while unloading a container will not only ensure that cargo meets safety and quality requirements but also quantity and weight requirements.

Additionally, inspection allows you to notice any damages that have occurred during shipping. Inspection also ensures that your load is carefully handled and all the required documents are accurate.

 Inspection during Container Devanning

Inspection during Container Devanning

Do I need to arrange the return of the Empty Shipping Container after Devanning?

Once you are done with the unloading process, the drive checks the container for any left-over debris. Afterward, the container is taken away.

It’s important to note that failure to clean your container will attract additional port charges to cater for the cleaning of the container. Therefore, you must sweep the container and leave it tidy after you are done with the unloading process.

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