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Moving goods safely: the safety and sustainability duo

The movement of goods and resources is expected to increase globally as the population grows. There is a pressing need to ensure goods are packaged to meet critical standards for security, efficiency and sustainability, so we can move them safely from A to B.

Today, the range of goods on our supermarket shelves is impressive. And if we can’t find what we’re after,
we can order it online and have it delivered to our doorsteps within just a few days.

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However, while it’s part of the every-day life of Dr. Christian Rohm, General Manager of the German Technology Center for Load Unit and Cargo Security (DUOLAB), not everyone is aware of the advanced logistics that go into transporting physical objects across the continent at such scale and speed.

Nor are they aware that as of 2018 truckloads will be subject to inspection and will require proof of load stability, under the European Union’s Directive of Road Worthiness, and the EUMOS N 40509 regulation.

“A truck travelling along a European motorway through all kinds of road and weather conditions, doesn’t only depend on the driver strapping down his goods at the depot,” explains Dr. Rohm. “There is science behind the load’s stability.”

“It’s about reducing the risks associated with big and heavy loads, and improving safety and sustainability at the same time – and this isn’t always easy to measure.”

So for DUOLAB, the goal was to be capable of conducting repeatable tests, and to share the results with the industry.

“To start with, it was important for us to have a realistic image of transportation, which we achieved by applying a so-called ‘Field-to-Lab’ simulation which focused on producing a stable load, the most important element in transport.”

Dr. Rohm continues: “Packaging films that use powerful polymers are still the most efficient and ecological solution for load stability. And Dow, as an application-oriented raw material supplier and efficient research partner, is ambitious when it comes to the technologies that go into these films.”

And since good solutions demand collaboration throughout the value chain, DUOLAB worked closely with Dow to achieve this.

“Together, Dow and DUOLAB have been working with customers to develop better packaging solutions that fulfil governmental requirements; I believe we’ve set a good example of dedicated implementation testing. To determine the real stress of a load, different technologies and methods are used for horizontal impact, vertical vibration, inclination on turns, and levels of humidity and temperature,” explains Dr. Guillaume Metral, Marketing Manager, Industrial and Consumer Packaging at Dow.

Dr. Rohm concludes: “Despite the leaps in progress, there is still a lot to achieve to improve load stability. It is not always clearly understood that the sender of goods has a high liability on our roads; nor that there are big opportunities to save resources and reduce costs. The norms and simulations that are now becoming available can help to extend knowledge about cargo security, and we hope they will soon become as natural as fastening a seatbelt.”

Packaging films that use powerful polymers are still the most efficient and ecological solution for load stability.

Dr. Christian Rohm, General Manager, DUOLAB