The Importance of Cargo Fumigation: All You Need to Know

Cargo fumigation isn’t a task to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, some freight companies might deem the exercise an inconvenience, citing that it lengthens the shipping process. But the reality is the advantages of cargo container fumigation outweigh the disadvantages. Besides, if you’re in the Australian freight industry, you have little wiggle room on the matter. This is according to the Australian Fumigation Requirements. 

When it comes to container fumigation Melbourne businesses know that it’s the law to fumigate—particularly regarding cargo containing wood, timber and bamboo.

Today we discuss the importance of container fumigation services and what the process entails.

What is Container Fumigation?

The process of fumigation is aimed at eliminating pests, termites and other harmful living organisms from your cargo. Special chemicals, fixed temperatures and gaseous conditions are required to handle the exercise effectively.

This just goes to show that it’s a specialised task that should be handled by skilled and qualified professionals. Using your untrained workforce in a bid to cut costs is out of the question. Health repercussions may result. Before you know it, your company has to foot medical bills or face personal injury lawsuits. Rather use a professional fumigator for the task.

While the Australian government is strict on cargo containing wood or timber, the fumigation process is essential to all kinds of containers. This is especially true of cargo to be sent to different parts of the world. Such cargo is more likely to damage given the long transportation periods. In some cases, delivery can take weeks!

Benefits of Container Fumigation Services

Protects Your Goods and Containers

As mentioned, fumigation is aimed at ridding your cargo of pests such as stubborn termites. When left in containers, termites can cause significant damage to both the container and cargo. Think of the amount in damages you’re liable to pay to replace the goods, your containers or restarting the process.

Also, goods in transit are generally more susceptible to damage because of poor sunlight, excessive moisture and overall poor storage conditions. Treating your cargo before transportation helps prevent that. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Provides a Long-term Solution

If you decide to handle the process in-house, not only do you risk health risks to employees, but the task isn’t carried out effectively. The solution might only be temporary and before you know it, pests are back in your cargo.

Hiring professional container fumigation services guarantees a long-term solution to the problem since correct techniques and chemicals are used. Even if the problem recurs, professional companies usually offer a warranty on their services. They’ll gladly offer their services again free of charge provided you’re still within the warranty period.

Encourage Shipping Continuity

If you expect to remain in the business of freight shipping, container fumigation should top your priority list. Failure to meet the stipulated fumigation requirements may result in fines or being stripped of your shipping license. This is because a fumigate certificate needs to be presented to confirm that you are indeed complying with relevant guidelines.

Similarly, fumigation safeguards the country as a whole. Imagine if goods entering the country are laced with bacteria or rodents that carry infection? Container fumigation services ensure that goods are safe before you distribute them to your various customers.

Protects Workers

Cargo laced with harmful organisms or rodents that carry infections are a huge health risk to workers involved in loading and offloading. It’s your responsibility to not only protect your contents and containers, but also crew members and other people on board.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Conducting Container Fumigation

Hiring a reputable company is the first step to ensure that professional cargo fumigation takes place. While qualified companies know exactly how to handle fumigation, it’s wise to also know the factors at play during the process. This way you can ascertain if all the necessary steps are taken to safeguard your goods.

Generally, before fumigating it’s important to answer the following questions:

  • Are the containers loaded or empty? In certain cases, containers are fumigated before loading the cargo. However, the majority of cargo fumigation occurs with contents loaded. It’s important to consider what exactly the contents are. Not all chemicals can be used on all types of cargo. Also, make sure you use the correct packing materials such as crates or plastic pallets that are safe to use with pesticides.
  • Are there any flammable items? The combination of fumigation chemicals and flammable cargo can literally create an explosive situation. It’s important to declare upfront if such a situation exists.
  • Can the cargo become spoilt beyond certain temperatures? As mentioned, the fumigation process requires fixed temperatures. Consider if your contents won’t be damaged in the process under prevailing temperatures.

Final Thoughts

Container fumigation is more than a mere task to tick off your to-do list. It’s an extensive process that can have potentially damaging effects to people involved, your cargo and containers if not handled correctly. Make sure you give the process the attention it deserves. Lives depend on it.

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