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Overweight Containers – What Are They? How Should They Be Handled?

To maximize loads while minimizing costs, it’s important to make the most out of every container. To do so, you need a logistics partner with the network to move your container seamlessly through the warehousing, distribution, and handling stages. Van Brunt Logistics & Warehousing provides comprehensive service for overweight containers

What Is an Overweight Container?

Overweight containers exceed prescribed weight limits. In order to legally transport them in trucks or load them on ships, you need customized equipment and special permits. Each state has its own laws, so it’s important to choose a logistics partner with the knowledge and experience to move your goods from state to state and along the last mile. 

What’s the Difference Between Land and Sea Weight Limits?

State weight limits for trucks depend on the type, number, and configuration of axles. States have varying limits, but many states allow a five-axle tractor-trailer to haul up to 80,000 pounds of cargo, according to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Work with our team to understand our strategy for maximizing loads without skirting state regulations. 

For ocean shipping containers, according to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, shippers have to report the verified gross mass (VGM) of each container before it’s loaded. This requires calibrated equipment to do the job properly. Our team can provide the details on how we calculate this requirement in your distribution plan. 

Tips for Handling Overweight Containers

We use cranes, side loaders, container jacks, and follow industry best practices to safely load and unload overweight containers. Here are some tips on proper handling for your massive cargo units:

  • Cranes: Use cranes to offload and onload trucks and ships. 
  • Side loaders: Lifting the overweight container from the side balances the load, reducing risks and equipment strain.
  • Tilted trailers: This equipment makes it easy to slide containers on to the ground, warehouse, or boat deck.
  • Container jacks: You can use container jacks to lift the container gently so it’s easier to position your loading equipment.
  • Filling frame: Also used with oversized containers, these metal structures help prevent the container from tipping.
  • Labels: Include pertinent shipping instructions on labels to ensure clear communication between all your shipping partners.

When you have shipments that you can’t break up into smaller units, or you have heavy machinery on board, you may need to use overweight containers. If you’re wondering if overweight containers make sense for your company, our team can help you weigh the pros and cons. The benefits include cost savings and faster delivery times.

Contact Van Brunt Logistics & Warehousing to discuss how to handle your overweight containers. Feel free to request a quote online and call 908-282-7080 for assistance with all your warehousing and logistics needs.