Does it make sense to use dunnage bags to secure your cargo? Dunnage bags are also referred as dunnage air bags, or inflatable cargo bags, and they are excellent for securing products and preventing damage. Their use extends to closed rail cars, trucks, vessels, and shipping containers. Dunnage air bags are efficient in blocking and bracing of cargo. These inflatable cargo bags are a time and cost-saving alternative to wooden blocking and bracing.

A dunnage bag is designed from tough woven Polypropylene, which won’t harden or crumble under the pressures of constant motion. They won’t corrode and are water-resistant. They have exceptional load stabilising capacity and endure heavy force to prevent the load from shifting.

Types of Dunnage Airbags for Specific Transportation Needs

Level 0 Air Bags:
These air bags are referred to as OTR (Over-the-Road), intended for shorter journeys and for transporting lighter materials. They are reusable solutions for filling the empty space between the cargoes and container walls, and are cost-effective. Their material thickness facilitates them to occupy random space and different shapes without harming the product in transport. 

Level 1 Air Bags: These air bags are typically used in truck or container transportation. They use up to pressure of 2-3 PSI for providing dependable support for the cargo.

Level 2 Air Bags: These air bags are made for trailers, rail transportation, and sea freight. These bags are ideal for carrying various container loads with a pressure of up to 6 PSI guaranteeing higher stability.

Level 3–4 Air Bags: These air bags are particularly used in railway transportation where it needs to handle loads that weigh between 30 and 84 tonnes. Level 3 and 4 dunnage air bags uses high pressure of up to 8 PSI for added security and are ideal for loads like paper, bricks, and wood.

Level 5 Air Bags: These air bags are exclusively intended for loads over 84  tonnes, including large paper rolls and metal coils. Level 5 air bags use high pressure of up to 10 PSI and they are ideal for railway transport and sea freight.

Dual Dunnage Air Bags: The Dual Bag system has been developed to fill voids between cargo greater than 400mm.

Read Also: Paper Versus Woven Dunnage Bags: Which Is Better?

Here are some vital do’s and don’ts for using dunnage air bags correctly:

Make use of the right filling tool and ensure it is fitted correctly:

Dunnage air bags have valves on them used for inflation. Different manufacturers use different types of valves on their bags. Ensure your inflation device fits your dunnage bag’s valve. 

Two types of dunnage bag inflation tools are:

    • You’ll need to connect the standard inflator device to an air supply (compressor). 

    • Portable battery-operated dunnage bag inflators like the X-Pak Portable Inflation Master are the modern-day tool, eliminating slip and trip hazards from compressor lines.
inflatable unit for dunnage bags in use by man in shipping container to protect goods

Keep the dunnage bags away from the floor: Container floors may have rough surfaces which can deflate your dunnage air bags. 

Protect your dunnage bags from damages by avoiding or covering sharp edges on your cargo: If your cargo has sharp edges, use some form of protection between your dunnage bag and the cargo such as cardboard or rubber.

Don’t use two dunnage bags together or fold bags: This can likely cause them to slide against one another and out of the void. Dual bags can be used as an alternative. 

Don’t surpass the maximum empty space of the dunnage bags: Use correctly sized bags otherwise the pressure will not be applied correctly and dunnage bags will lose their purpose. If you are unsure about what size bags to use, please reach out to X-Pak for advice.

Refrain from placing dunnage bags between container doors and cargo: This can likely cause the dunnage bags to be punctured from the bolts on the door and if there was a major shift with the cargo, the bags wouldn’t be able to withstand the pressure. It is better to use the X-Pak Inflatable Door Container for this purpose. 

Never over inflate the dunnage bags: Only inflate to the recommended pressure. Don’t over inflate the dunnage bags as it can cause them to burst. If you are using the X-Pak PAM (Portable Air Master) unit, this is programmed to only inflate to the maximum pressure so there is no danger of over-inflation.

Select appropriate level for your cargo and transportation mode: There are in all six levels from 0 to 5 (including level 0). If you’re not sure which one to choose, get in touch with X-Pak to get the correct size and level.

For expert advice on securing your cargo, reach out to the specialists at X-Pak. Don’t leave it to chance—ensure safety with guidance from our professionals. Contact us today on 1300 551 281.