1. Cargo weight must be evenly spread over the largest possible floor area.
2. Center of gravity of the cargo is to be as close as possible to the container center and as low as possible. The higher the center of gravity, the higher must be the wedging devices.
3. The cargo load units must support (be in contact with) each other with no large gaps in between and must be secured to the container (wedges, lashings, etc.) so that they cannot move nor collapse. All containers are fitted with several lashing rings and bars.
4. If the cargo load units are not homogeneous the heaviest ones must be on floor level and the lighter ones on top (and liquid ones underneath solid ones)
5. The maximum gross mass/weight of the container (usually marked as “Max gross” on the container right hand side door) must never be exceeded (there are also maximum limits related to different local inland transport regulations). It is illegal for cargo weight to exceed the net weight (payload) value marked on same right hand side door.
6. Cases of concentrated cargo load. As per rule 1, the cargo must lay over as many floor cross members as possible so that the weight distribution is as close as possible to the ideal one based on container max payload value and length. For instance the limit for a 20 GP is about 5 T per linear meter (based on max payload 28T, length 6 m). The below basic guideline can be used:
|Cargo distribution over container length||50%||66%||75%||100%|
|Max admissible container payload||66%||75%||80%||100%|
Whenever necessary the cargo must be put on some additional supports / longitudinal members to comply with above recommendations.