Cargo Claims and Damage Prevention

Container Floor Load Limits

November 4, 2015

Wood Floor Damage 1 Wood Floor Damage 2

The main reason for these damages, however, is the fact that very often too heavy concentrated cargoes (not properly distributed over a wider surface area) are being loaded into the container and/or the use of forklift equipment for loading and unloading the cargo in the container that are too heavy.

This mishandling could potentially result in both the risk of damage to cargo and handling equipment but first and foremost in the threat of personal injuries on the part of the people involved in the process of (un)loading the containers.

The load/carrying capabilities of a container floor/under-structure are limited to the below:

Example: cargo weight is 10 tons, supporting length is 4m. Load per meter: 10/4 = 2.5 tons per meter. 

Limitations for use of forklift trucks on wooden container floors

Item Limit
Front axle load (forklift truck plus cargo) max. 5.460kg
Contact area per tire min. 142 cm²
Width of tire   min. 180 mm
Wheel spacing (on one axle) min. 760 mm

In order to avoid accidents which can result in personal injuries to personnel it is recommended to strictly adhere to the above mention limits during the loading and unloading process.

** SOURCE: The above excerpted information is from the UK P&I Club.  UK P& I Loss Prevention Department addresses container floor load limits in their publications and website.