Loose cargo

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Loose cargo
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Loose cargo in transportation and logistics is understood as[1]:

  • cartons,
  • boxes,
  • packages,
  • crates,
  • other occasional unit loads.

It might be divided into two basic categories: small items which might be handled manually and large ones which needs support of machinery[2].

In ports, when goods are after customs clearance, they might be loaded. Loose cargo is one of the way of loading, among using container or road trailer. Here special cargo-handling equipment as stevedores are used to assembly the cargo[3]. If it happens, due to some reasons, that loose cargoes would land in customs warehouse in ports, they might be put up for bidding after some time[4].

In aerospace industry, for example civil flights, positions of passages and loading of cargo are two separate areas (two different levels of the aircraft). Loose cargo, as well as rolling stock do not have any restrictions in terms of segregation requirements of netted palletized cargoes. Passengers can sit in front of, behind or directly across rolling stock or loose cargo[5].

Why it is important to optimise loose cargo loadings

Operating loose cargo impacts cargo handling itself, people and machines who operate it and space around. Each of these parts might be optimised. There are employees who control and operating manually loose cargo. For example, personnel who takes care about loose cargo often receives poor payment, is not good trained and not motivated properly therefore damages of loose cargo or damaging structure of transport vehicles is possible. Then, consequently, the cost of repairs are raising. Beneficial to optimise operations is automation and mechanisation of loose cargo transportation, conducted without any person, so that cargo is transported from or to cargo hold. Personnel might be then protected from health risks of manual job. Cargo hold could be optimised with increased availability of loading points, spatial dimensions, geo metrical configuration or position of opening. Also, some technical support might be used, such as[6]:


  1. United States Wright Air Development Division, (1957), p. 89
  2. United States Wright Air Development Division, (1957), p. 89
  3. Branch A., (2012), p. 28
  4. Republic of Kenya, (2011), p. 992
  5. Carlson N.J., Reiman A.D., Overstreet R.E., Douglas M.A., (2017), p. 141
  6. Helmner A., (2014)


Author: Kinga Kutek