Technology reduces moisture damage in containerized cargo

With the switch to containers from bulk cargo ships, grain exporters and importers gained some important cost and shipping flexibilities. However, the cooling and heating cycles these steel containers go through during ocean voyages create a serious moisture control issue — including “container rain,” a condition in which moisture falls continuously on product during the voyage. Depending on the product, the results can be mold, mildew, or in a worst-case situation, creation of harmful toxins. Importers and exporters have either lived with the problem or attempted to use a variety of measures including sprays or traditional desiccant pouches to control this moisture build-up.

According to John Hove, president of Buffers USA, the exclusive supplier of a new line of moisture control products, “Traditional pouch type desiccants do not permanently remove moisture from inside a container but rather continually absorb moisture until they become oversaturated then release it back into the air. Eventually the pouches lose their absorbing ability and can actually leak water onto the cargo. This new technology incorporates built-in collectors that trap the moisture as it is absorbed, preventing its re-release and thereby gradually and permanently reducing the moisture level in the container to damage-free levels. Unlike pouches or bags, we use 100% calcium chloride — the most effective humidity absorber of all mediums.”

The technology is available in a variety of product designs that meet the needs of specific container load configurations and types of cargo. ABSORPOLE is designed for any type of crated cargo or tightly stuffed containers. ABSORBAG is configured for any type of cargo that allows about 4 inches of space (100 mm) between the cargo and the sidewalls and not loaded higher than about 5 feet (1,500 mm) from the floor. ABSORTOP is the most compact unit, designed for tight bulk or packaged cargo loads. All these products are effective with both bulk and packaged loads, for items ranging from sensitive electronics to household furnishings to agricultural commodities. Visit for more details.

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