Cleveland devanning container unloading

Cleveland Devanning Done Right

Most think of container devanning (the unloading of shipping containers) strictly in association with global supply chains. But shipping containers are one of the most efficient means of moving goods – not just internationally but domestically too.

They’re made of durable, weatherproof materials that can be fully secured and easily loaded and stacked. The main difference between ocean and domestic shipping containers is size. Domestic containers are usually smaller, and domestic vessels typically carry fewer overall containers in a single trip compared to ocean freight ships. But they’re still pivotal for businesses of all sizes in industries of all kinds.

So even as a more companies are seeking to regionalize by reeling their supply chains in closer to home, demand for devanning services hasn’t declined.

The U.S. has more than 200 commercial ports open to international trade, according to the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. But there are also more than 300 ports operated by states, counties, cities, and private corporations – many connected via inland rivers and lakes to intermodal water, rail, road, and even airborne transport modes.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), vessels in domestic waters transport over 1 billion tons of cargo each year. Many bulk commodities, such as 60% of the country’s farm exports, 20% of coal, and substantial amounts of petroleum, manufactured goods, and construction materials are transported over rivers and other inland waterways in the U.S.

At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we’re connected with dozens of ports, local and international, and provide Cleveland devanning services onsite at our container freight station in North Ohio.

Efficiency in devanning helps reduce idling for truckers, hastens customs clearance times, and ensures goods are handled properly and delivered more timely.

What to Expect With Container Devanning

Container devanning is a lot more than just muscle. In fact, the more significant component to getting it right is meticulous care and planning, which is required to prevent damage of goods during unloading, as well as accurate sorting and safe storage.

Devanning is sometimes confused with transloading, which is the process of transferring goods from one mode of transportation to another. But container devanning specifically refers to the act of unloading goods off of a sealed container once it reaches the warehouse.

When a container is scheduled for Cleveland devanning at our facility, its contents are:

  • Unloaded. Cargo onboard is removed from the container. Special tools and techniques are employed, such as counterbalance forklifts, liftgates, pallets and conveyors. Workers are trained and expected to adhere to strict safety protocols, wear PPE, and keep the unloading area clear.
  • Inspected. Goods are checked for damage, and quantities are verified against shipping records.
  • Sorted and palletized. Goods are organized for storage or the next leg of the distribution journey. Items are categorized based on type and destination, which allows for ease with retrieval, labeling, and tracking. Accuracy and care in with this step can have a big impact on faster shipping times.
  • Documented. We prepare the necessary paperwork for customs and inventory management.

Because it requires so much equipment, expertise, and attention to detail, many businesses outsource their devanning to skilled third-party logistics firms (3PL) – particularly those that also offer cross docking.

Devanning fees vary depending on the size, complexity, weight, and time constraints related to each container load. (We’re happy to provide a devanning quote, if you’re actively weighing your options.)

That said, most companies report a sizable return on investment when they partner with a reliable 3PL for devanning. It’s been proven to minimize turnaround times, improve order fulfillment rates and lower damages and losses. Outsourcing allows for more flexible scheduling to accommodate varying shipment volumes and timing, while also giving improved accuracy and transparency.

On Time Delivery & Warehouse is committed to providing top-tier devanning in Ohio. Questions? Contact our logistics experts at (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Here’s How Supply Chains Are Being Reshaped for a New Era of Global Trade, April 24, 2023, By Paul Page, The Wall Street Journal

More Blog Entries:

Cleveland CFS Keeps Customer Cargo Cruising Through Ports at Peak Season, May 13, 2024, Ohio Devanning Blog

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