From stopping blocks to paneling, wood dunnage typically goes unnoticed and underappreciated – it’s time we change that.

Wood dunnage is one of the most widely used and readily available pieces of transportation equipment on the market. Used to secure cargo, freight, and packages, wood dunnage plays a huge role in ensuring the stability and overall state of the products being transported. This essential transportation tool can be found in the beds of trucks, 18-wheelers, and cargo holds across the globe.

In order to understand the importance of wood dunnage, it’s necessary to understand what dunnage is, the variety and uses of wood dunnage, and the crucial role dunnage plays in mitigating transportation risks.

What the Heck is Dunnage?

Despite being a part of the English language for hundreds of years, historians are still puzzled about the origins of the word dunnage – as far as they can tell, people just started using the word.

In the past, the word “dunnage” referred to the belongings of travelers aboard ships, trains, and caravans. It can still be used that way, but dunnage has taken on a completely different meaning in today’s vernacular. Dunnage also refers to the various materials used to stabilize products being transported. That’s the kind of dunnage we’re talking about here.

Dunnage can be found anywhere goods are being sent or received (in the bed of a truck, the hold of a ship, or in the trailer of an 18-wheeler). For all of our technological achievements, dunnage is still essential in ensuring that shipments remain static and intact.

Many materials can be used as dunnage, but wood is by far the most common. Being cheap and widely available definitely doesn’t hurt its popularity!

The term “wood dunnage” refers to any wood product that is used as dunnage. This can look like anything from banding groove used to consolidate the top of an order, to the ISPM-15 compliant lumber used to brace international shipments.

Although any old piece of wood can be used as dunnage, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be. You should have full confidence that the wood dunnage you use is strong and sturdy enough to protect your product.

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Wood Dunnage Varieties and Uses

For many aspects of the transportation industry, equipment must be precisely measured, equally weighted, and heavily regulated… that’s not necessarily the case with wood dunnage.

Wood dunnage comes in a variety of species, configurations, and sizes. Besides international shipments (ISPM-15), there are no regulatory procedures in domestic transportation ensuring specifications of wood dunnage – wood dunnage is simply a working man’s friend.

Anyone can be taught to use wood dunnage, but its effectiveness lies in the hands of its users. All across the globe, transportation professionals and workers in factories and manufacturing plants all practice the art of using wood dunnage to their advantage.

These professionals use wood dunnage to create space in between shipments to prevent cargo from touching, or alternatively to take up space so that smaller cargo won’t shift in transit. There is no cut-and-dry definition of what a good configuration for dunnage is, the goal is simply to mitigate risks.

Mitigating Transportation Risks

Wood dunnage can save businesses from headaches, product loss, damaged business relationships, and in the worst-case scenario, lawsuits.

How could this be? Because wood dunnage prevents in-transit damage.

In-transit damage is one of many risks businesses take when they choose to transport their products. If you think about it, risks lie around every corner when you’re transporting products.  There is the risk of losing money on a damaged product, the risk of there being a transportation incident, and the risk of aggravating a client because of in-transit damage, just to name a few.

Wood dunnage can help mitigate all these risks. Momentum takes no prisoners, make sure your products are braced for it with wood dunnage.

There is the risk of losing money on a damaged product, the risk of there being a transportation incident, and the risk of aggravating a client because of in-transit damage, just to name a few. Click To Tweet

Almost Dunnage – I’m Sorry, I Just Have To

There are lots of things to worry about in regard to transportation, like picking the right packaging solution or the current labor shortage – It’s understandable that wood dunnage may have taken the back seat for a while. Hopefully, after this article, you might think a little differently.

By understanding what dunnage is, the variety and uses of wood dunnage, and how wood dunnage mitigates transportation risks, you can start to understand just how important this seemingly mundane equipment is.

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