• OTA - bagged coffee in containers


    Condensation cannot always be avoided but it is possible to avoid or reduce damage by observing these basic precautions.

    • Containers must be technically impeccable: watertight; free of holes and free of corrosion on the roof or sides; intact door locks, rubber and sealing devices. They must always be swept clean and must be dry and odourless.
    • When stuffing takes place at the shipper's premises the shipper must inspect the containers. An inspector should go inside the container and close the doors. If any daylight is visible the container must be rejected immediately. Also check that all rubber door seals are whole and tight.
    • The actual stuffing of the container should take place under cover, just in case a rain shower occurs during that time. Bags should be sound: no leaking, slack or torn bags; no wet bags; no stained bags.
    • The saddle stow (see 05.02.05) is the best way to stow bags in a container as it minimizes air circulation between the bags and so reduces transport of moisture to cold spots (on roof or walls). Containers should never be filled to absolute capacity - always leave sufficient room above the stow.
    • Best practice is to line the container with cardboard (ideal) or two layers of kraft paper, preferably corrugated, with the corrugation facing the steel structure, so bags do not come in contact with unexposed metal from the container. When stuffing is complete, fit a double layer of kraft paper on top of the bags all the way to the floor in the doorway. This will ensure that the paper will, at least partly, absorb any condensation from the roof. Note that although desiccants or dry bags are meant to absorb moisture during the voyage they should only be used with the express prior permission of the receiver. Many receivers do not permit their use under any circumstances.
    • When making a booking with the carrier always give the instruction 'stow away from heat, cool stow and sun/weather protected'. The term 'stow under deck' is no longer appropriate for modern container vessels.
    • 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 utmost importance to limit both transit times and the dwell or intermediate storage periods and land legs of the transit as much as possible.
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