What does the term loose-loaded mean?

Loose-loaded is non-palletized cargo
‘Loose-loaded’ simply means that goods (parcels, tyres, sacks etc) are stacked individually one on top of the other during transportation – as opposed to palletized, where the goods are placed on a pallet and wrapped in foil.

All courier and express parcel services handle and transport loose-loaded cargo. As parcels are seldom delivered to the same address, each must be handled individually. Conveyors automate the handling process and Telescopic Conveyors speed up the loading and unloading of vehicles.

Loose-loading is often used when goods are transported in a container too. This is primarily to save on cost; when goods are placed on a pallet, the pallet itself takes up space inside the container. Sometimes the items to be transported have a size that doesn’t equate with the pallet cube size, so the cost of shipping is disproportionate. Although pallets have been in use since 1937 there is still a lack of standardisation, so when goods are sent from one continent to another it is often expedient to omit the pallet.

Loose-loaded cargo shouldn’t be confused with part-load cargo or LCL (Less than Container Load). Both these terms relate to freight cargo that needs to be handled manually, either because of the size/weight or because there simply isn’t enough of the cargo to fill a standard 33 m3/40 ft container. Much of this cargo is actually packed on pallets.

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