What is Dunnage?

Definition: Dunnage is material employed to protect a given cargo from damages that may occur during transportation. It is normally cheap or waste material that is employed to secure items being shipped.

What Does Dunnage Mean?

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 after the shipment arrives. Some example of dunnage are wood crates made out of wasted wood, shredded paper, plastic air bags or even structures made of metal that are design 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 it properly. Some companies find ways to re-use dunnage and this might reduce handling costs in certain situations.

Example

Amazing Co. is a company that sells a wide variety of merchandise online through third-party sellers that advertise their products in the company’s website and ship directly to final consumers. The company has established certain shipping conditions that must be ensured by the third-party sellers whenever they send something to a customer that bought a product through the Amazing website.

First of all, they must provide proof of shipping as soon as the package leaves the seller’s facility. Also, the company must add enough dunnage to protect the items from damages caused during the shipping process.

Finally, Amazing produces a certain type of air-filled bags that are used as dunnage and they recommend sellers to use that material as its own dunnage. These measures ensure shipping quality and create a good reputation for customers to keep shopping at Amazing.