Stow the bags length-wise rather than across, and cradle the second layer into the nests of the first one. In this way fewer bags will be exposed to condensation and the lower height offers some protection against consequences of heat radiation.
Coffee is hygroscopic and contains water. When out in the open the container roof heats up during the day and cools down at night. If there is relatively free air circulation then the warm, humid air released from the coffee rises to the cooler steel plates, where condensation can be severe. The effect of this thermal flow is serious when coffee is stowed in bags because there are air channels within the stow, simply because of the shape of the bags. Those air channels are even larger when stowing is across. Using the saddle stow blocks these air channels to quite an extent, and also reduces the height of the stow, thereby defusing the impact of the hottest areas within the container. This helps to explain why bulk containers have far less trouble with condensation than containers with bagged coffee.
Transit time: Experience shows that most of the condensation problems encountered during maritime transport are caused at origin (containers are stuffed too early ahead of actual shipment, or not properly lined), or immediately after offloading (particularly for containers arriving in winter). It is therefore of the utmost importance to limit transit times (by using dedicated sailing/routings) and the dwell periods and land legs of the transit as much as possible.
Storage position: When making a booking with the carrier always give the instruction 'stow away from heat, cool stow and sun/weather protected' or 'stow in protected places only/away from heat and radiation', i.e. no outer or top position. 'Stow under deck' or 'under waterline' is not appropriate with modern container vessels, since the fuel tanks are often situated in the hull and can radiate heat. Abbreviations also used are AFH = Away From Heat and KFF = Keep From Freezing.
Note however that without knowing the exact stowage position of a container it is very difficult to prove that the cause of damage was wrong positioning of the container on board ship. The damage might already have happened on shore, before loading. In any event, improper stuffing of a container (bags touching the roof, or bulk coffee not leveled) can never be compensated for by demanding special care from the carrier.See topic 05.02.06 to view the actual stuffing process.