Hendryk Mackowiak from the Hamburg, Germany-based HGK Logistics Group, recently shared some of the requirements and challenges for transporting paper by road, during a webinar hosted by the World Printers Forum and OPHAL.

OPHAL (short for Optimised Paper Handling and Logistics), a joint project of WAN-IFRA, European Rotogravure Association, IDEAlliance, Nordic Offset Printers Association, and Print Process CHAMPION Group, aims to address challenges in logistics.

Best practices for paper suppliers, transporters and printers

The cross-industry collaborative project establishes best practices for paper suppliers, transporters and printers.

“The basic requirement for road transport is that the vehicles must be approved by an authorised vehicle inspection company, and all maintenance and repair must be conducted in an environmentally sound manner and well documented,” Mackowiak said. “The tyres must be in good condition, meet high environmental standards and should be adaptable to any road condition.”

All vehicles must be equipped with necessary emergency, lashing and securing equipment. Technical support systems must be installed in all new vehicles for the individual monitoring of fuel consumption, he said.

Additionally, vehicles must adhere to the legal requirements of the country where they are registered as well as the countries where they are loading and unloading. Vehicles with a minimum of Euro class 6 or similar is necessary, Mackowiak noted.

“Drivers should also train for safe, fuel-efficient and defensive driving,” he added.

The cargo space must be completely watertight. Photo credit: OPHAL

Types of vehicles transporting paper reels

Vehicles equipped with Joloda system and hole bars for fixing iron wedges are recommended.
Trailers with XXL curtains.
Box trailers equipped with conveyor belt system for fully automatic loading and unloading.

7 things to inspect before loading

Floor: The lorry floor should be completely dry and clean on the inside. It must support the weight of a 3-tonne clamp truck under maximum charge (an overall minimum weight of about 7 tonnes). Additionally, there should be no oil stains, protruding nails, bolt heads, or similar.
Walls: Panels, frames and curtains should not have any deformation such as bends, dents or holes.
Curtains: The opening-closing mechanism of the curtains must be in good working order and watertight.
Doors: The doors of the cargo unit should be in good condition and should close and lock easily. Additionally, door sealing must be in good condition to prevent leaks.
Water tightness: The cargo space must be completely watertight. Any signs of wet floor might indicate a leak.
Odour: The cargo space should be odourless. Sometimes, previous loads leave a strong odour, which can easily adhere to paper.
Lashing and securing material: There must be adequate lashing material available in good working condition.

Protruding nails or bolt heads could damage the reels. Photo credit: OPHAL

Key parameters for cargo lashing and securing

Lasing points: Lashing points must be inspected and in sound condition before loading. The maximum distance between lashing points is 600 millimetres, and strength should be a minimum of 2,500 daN. Smaller distances between the lashing points and/or flexible multi-locks are preferred.

Edge protectors: To avoid edge damages to the reels, suitable edge protectors must be used. Protectors must be stiff, strong and stress resistant. It must have a pressure distribution profile matching the round of the reels. It should be operable in a temperature range of -20 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Lashing belts: Sling belts with tension winches should be used for tightening vertically loaded reels together, while hook-end belts with tension ratchets should be used for down lashing. The classification or rating of lashing belts must be in accordance with the weight of the cargo or load.

Every belt and ratchet must have a label with technical specifications and product features, which must be undamaged and readable.

Belts must be inspected every time before use, and any torn, partly broken, or oily belts unable to meet the rated strength must be rejected.

Anti-slip material: Various types of anti-slip material can be used to increase the friction between the reels and the floor of the transportation unit, ensuring they remain in position during transportation. The multiple use of non-slip materials must be certified by the manufacturer.

Wedges: If reels are transported in a rolling position, the usage of metal wedges is strongly recommended. Otherwise, wooden wedges are acceptable but must be securely fixed. Wedges must be at least 1/6th the height of reel diameter not less than six inches, to keep reels in position and prevent damage. The width of wedges should be minimum of five inches, as smaller wedges tend to leave marks.

Photo credit: OPHAL

‘It’s important to minimise environmental impact’

“It’s also very important to minimise environmental impact,” Martin Gercke, Sales Manager at Hylte Paper, said during the webinar. “Customers are now demanding a low carbon footprint in transportation.”

This makes the OPHAL recommendations very important to work with a logistic provider, starting from load planning. Based on the recommendations, customers can book transport methods according to their requirements.

Railway Intermodal is said to be more efficient in Europe, especially when shipping something over the Alps. Intermodal trains are a good option for minimising carbon footprint, Gercke said.

Load planning is equally important because it can help with the efficient use of space and reduce empty loads, thereby contributing to an efficient supply chain, he added.

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