LANCASHIRE, UK: With more and more airlines using ‘dimensional’ or ‘volume’ weight rather than ‘actual weight’ to calculate fuel and other surcharges, shippers are looking to trim both the weight and bulk of their freight packaging.
Traditional thermal cargo covers can significantly contribute to airfreight cost due to their bulk and weight. “A thickly-insulated cargo cover, or even a bulky ‘bubblewrap’ type material, can easily be adding more than €60 to the intercontinental air freight cost of a typical, volumetrically-charged, Euro pallet”, says Malik Zeniti of DuPont, manufacturer of the thin and light Tyvek® range of air cargo covers. “With bulky products such as these you are effectively paying to ship air.”
Studies have shown that switching from traditional, and typically cumbersome, thermal blankets to DuPont Tyvek® Air Cargo Covers could provide savings of around 12.5% on total air freight charges. This is because Tyvek® covers work on a combination of heat reflection and air exchange principles in order to manage temperatures and prevent out-of-range excursions, as opposed to the voluminous insulation typical of traditional covers.
In all cases, the optimum cost-saving solution is one where both the weight AND the volume of the cargo covers are low – which is exactly what Tyvek® cargo covers are designed to deliver according to Zeniti. “By substituting a Tyvek® cover you are adding practically zero bulk and less than a kilo in weight and, of course, the covers themselves are often a less expensive alternative in the first place,” adds Zeniti. “And with Tyvek® you are not paying for the storage and carriage of heavy, bulky, covers, nor for their labour intensive, time consuming utilisation. Tyvek® covers require minimal storage space and the covers can be fitted or removed in as little as 60 seconds.”
Sebastiaan Scholte, CEO of Netherlands-based Jan de Rijk Logistics, confirms the savings potential of the low-bulk Tyvek® covers. “The savings on chargeable weight look very attractive”, he said. He added, “And, of course, by cutting weight and volume we are reducing our impact on the environment.”
Tyvek® Air Cargo Covers significantly reduce the risk of high temperatures and provide a high level of passive thermal protection from solar radiation during airport-apron handling procedures, widely acknowledged as the weakest link in the air cargo cool chain. In these circumstances Tyvek® covers have been shown to reduce pallet content temperatures by as much as 15 degrees Celsius, minimising the effects of solar gain.
Also, the unique reflective properties of Tyvek® keep shipments naturally cooler than other covers on the market. In addition to being used directly over standard pallets, Tyvek® covers can be used to provide secondary thermal protection for merchandise within heat insulated containers and they are used to cloak the outside of rigid ULD containers to prevent unnecessary heat build-up during exposures to direct sunshine.
A further important savings benefit of Tyvek® covers relates to their favourable cool-down properties compared to conventional thermal blankets. Their ability to allow products to lose heat energy rapidly in cases where products are pre-cooled or need to cool down after exposure to excess heat is a valuable time and money saver. They also help prevent cold-sensitive merchandise from freezing in sub-zero temperature conditions, a scenario that can seriously compromise product safety and quality. Strong and tear-resistant, they give excellent protection from tampering, precipitation, airborne contamination and debris.