7 tips on preventing container condensation


August 25, 2021

Container condensation or cargo sweating often occurs during cargo transportation, so it is very important to take correct and effective moisture-proof measures to prevent cargo from getting damp. The following are some suggestions that may help exporters, importers, and freight forwarders get their goods to their destinations in good condition.

container condensation
container condensation

The prerequisite to prevent container condensation is to ensure that the inside of the container is dry

To prevent condensation in the container, the first thing to do is to ensure that there is no visible moisture inside the container. The container floor is dry (the moisture content of the wooden floor is less than 15%, and the highest should not exceed 20%).

Each container will be washed with water after unloading, and sometimes freight forwarders will use those containers that have not been exposed for enough time to catch up with the urgent delivery date. The damp wooden floor of the container can easily increase the humidity in the container.

Ensure that the container door structure and seals are intact

To prevent condensation on the container, it is also necessary to ensure that no side of the container is corroded or holes.

The inside of the container vents need to be covered with tape. Because a large amount of air with a relative humidity close to 100% on the sea surface will enter the container through these holes, vents and poorly sealed doors. To make matters worse, rainwater can enter the container through these holes and cause severe damp damage.

Ensure that packaging materials and accessories are dry

Many packaging materials, such as foam, paper, and wood, usually contain moisture or absorb moisture from humid air. When the temperature rises, the absorbed water will evaporate into the air and increase the relative humidity of the environment, causing mold and humidity problems.

The cargo should be kept dry

Some goods, such as wood, agricultural products or paper, may contain tons of water. Even if only a small part of this moisture is released into the air, it will greatly increase the relative humidity in the environment. When the temperature drops, the moisture cannot be absorbed immediately, and it will turn into water droplets on the cargo, causing various damp conditions.

The wheels of pallet trucks and forklifts should be kept dry

Wet tires will bring water droplets into the container, thereby increasing the relative humidity of the air in the container and causing moisture problems.

It’s better not to load the car on rainy days

When the relative humidity of the air is too high on rainy days, forklift tires and packaging materials will bring water into the container.

The solution to prevent container condensation, use container special desiccant

If each of the above six items is not done correctly, a large amount of moisture will be generated in the container, and any desiccant will be powerless.

But even if you are doing well in each of the above, you may still face damp damage. That’s because warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. When the temperature in the container drops rapidly, the air will contain a lot of moisture, and the excess moisture will condense into dew on the roof or wall of the container, and then drip onto the cargo, causing moisture damage. In this case, you need to use some container desiccant that can absorb moisture from the air and reduce the relative humidity to avoid moisture problems.

The container space is large, and the temperature fluctuates between 10°C and 80°C. According to our decades of experience, each 20-foot container needs to absorb at least 8 kg of moisture to prevent moisture problems. Therefore, the container desiccant must absorb moisture quickly, have a strong moisture absorption capacity, and be able to work under large temperature differences. Therefore, we recommend the use of calcium chloride-based desiccants, because the performance of calcium chloride-based desiccants will be better than silica gel desiccants.

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