Safe Freight Handling Explained

The safe handling of your goods is paramount to our freight company. At Plexus Freight we make sure that your cargo is loaded, offloaded and handled with care to minimise the risks of damage. Quite often within freight transport, goods or cargo is only moved short distances. For example a pallet may be offloaded from a curtain sided trailer and taken to the relevant warehouse where it would be stored.

However, getting cargo from a vehicle to a warehouse or shed can be achieved in many different ways. Manual, semi-automated and automated equipment can be used. Choosing what equipment to use depends on the cargo being transported. The size, weight, packaging and the place of storage must all be assessed before the handling method can be chosen.

Manual Handling
Manual Handling or hand balling as it is more commonly known refers to the use of individuals to handle cargo using their hands. Although this method of handling is often avoided it can offer an alternative solution in getting cargo moved quickly and safely in the event that semi-automated or automated machinery cannot be used. Persons handling goods are responsible for lifting, lowering, filling, emptying and carrying cargo to its final destination. As you can imagine this type of cargo handling is a nightmare for health and safety professionals. Ergonomic improvements are often used to reduce injury whilst manually handling cargo. Positioning equipment such as hoists, turn tables and balances have now been designed to reduce handling, reaching and bending for cargo.

Manual handling is often done when tail lift deliveries are not available or the consignee has people on site to hand ball the goods from the vehicle. Smaller vehicles are often used to deliver cargo to remote or tight access delivery points, where access for large articulated vehicles is not possible. It is often with these types of deliveries that manual handling is used to load or offload cargo.

Semi – Automated Handling
Semi – automated handling is probably the most common form of cargo handling. Semi-automated machines need to be used by human operators. Devices such as forklifts, stair climbers and docking cranes require human operation to fulfil the handling requirement. Even tail lift vehicles require a human operative to lower and lift goods from the vehicle.

Automated Handling
Automated handling is an ever growing method of handling cargo safely and quickly. However this method is often a balance between necessity and cost. Most semi-automated equipment is already operated by a human in order for it to work but automated handling is becoming more and more popular. Automated handling machine such as industrial robots are often seen in large scale factories