All About Dunnage Bags
Published On: June 30, 2021 Revised On: May 4, 2023

All About Dunnage Bags

What is a Dunnage Bag?

Dunnage BagsDunnage is used to secure and load cargo for transport and shipping is made from various products and materials, including corrugated plastic, foam, aluminum, wood, steel, and corrugated paper. Dunnage Bags are also commonly used.

Dunnage Bags consist of closed chambers that are made from an elastic film filled with air. When at rest, the static load generated by the package contents’ weight bears upon the cushioning. When dynamic loads happen, these are absorbed by compression of the cushion. Some Dunnage Bags can be reused and are recyclable. To reuse the Dunnage Bag, it needs to be undamaged and equipped with a screw-on quick fill valve.

Dunnage Bags, also known as airbags, and inflatable bags, are ideal for fixing and protecting cargo inside a load carrier, thus preventing movement and absorbing impacts to goods during transportation. Dunnage Bags are to avoid damage to goods while they are being loaded, transported, and unloaded. Dunnage Bags are low-cost and are the most effective solutions for shipment by road, sea, and rail.

Different Types of Dunnage Bags

Paper Dunnage Bags (Kraft)

Paper Dunnage Bags are made from two components, an inner component that consists of a polyethylene inner bag, and the outer component, which is a paper bag. The outer bag is made of high-quality lightweight kraft paper of excellent tensile strength. Paper Dunnage Bags are available in different strengths and varieties and can be made in any particular size. The inner component offers optimum pressure, while the outer part offers optimum strength. For usage in the chemical industry, Paper Dunnage Bags can be polycoated. A polycoat will make the dunnage bag resistant to specific chemicals.

Dunnage BagsWoven Polypropylene Dunnage Bags

Woven Polypropylene Dunnage Bags are highly durable and can be used in dry and wet conditions. These bags are best for extremely heavy loads. These Dunnage Bags are more elastic than Kraft Paper Dunnage Bags for more surface contact with the pallets. The woven material provides greater tear strength and superior moisture resistance than most other Dunnage Bag materials. Woven Polypropylene Dunnage Bags typically have greater reuse opportunities due to the durability of the woven material and are recyclable.

Polywoven Dunnage Bags

Polywoven Dunnage Bags are weatherproof and resistant to harsh chemical environments, making them best suited for medium to heavyweight railcar loads. These Dunnage Bags are easier to handle than alternative paper bags because they are 60% lighter and have single-ply construction that offers a greater pack-out.

How to use the Dunnage Bag?

Knowing how to use Dunnage Bags correctly will allow users to effectively brace cargo loads in trucks, containers, or railcars to prevent damage during shipping. While dunnage airbags are a convenient and straightforward option for filling empty cargo space, they need to be installed correctly to work as intended. When used correctly, these airbags can prevent unwanted movement and help save hundreds of dollars in damaged goods, as well as time spent re-packaging fallen cargo.

Using Dunnage Bags in your packaging and shipping strategy is so simple. Compared to other bracing methods, airbags are the cheapest and most efficient option. The different types of Dunnage Bags make it possible for them to fit into almost any industry that ships products by freight or railcar.

Once the type of Dunnage Bag users need for their application is chosen, installing it can be done in a few simple steps. Follow the steps below for the dunnage airbag to perform at its best.

1) Positioning the Bag

Positioning a Dunnage Bag in the right location is the first step of the process. Place the deflated Dunnage Bag between the sections of the load that require some added bracing. Users should size the bag to fill the space on it completely. Square bags are an excellent option for extra-large gaps that require more than an average Dunnage Bag. Ensure full access to the bag’s inflation valve to hook up an air compressor tube quickly. When positioning the bag, add a corrugated board on any side to prevent it from rubbing against the pallets and bursting. This is an important step for products that may have sharp edges or rough pallet surfaces.

2) Inflating the Bag

To inflate a Dunnage Bag, users will need an air compressor. Air compressors are devices that create and move pressurised air, which provides an excellent level of force. This force is what makes Dunnage Bags strong enough to support the weight of a load and prevent movement. Users can install air compressor lines at the warehouse, or purchase portable air compressors.

Users will also need the correct inflation tool for the type of Dunnage Bag they have selected. Modern options available work with all kinds of bags, so one can choose something like this if they want to work with various bag styles.

Now that the bag has been positioned, start inflating the bag by hooking up the air compressor tubing to the tool and then the device to the inflation valve. Fill the bag up until void spaces have been filled and that it feels secure. Each pack has its recommended pressure written near the valve, so do take note of the final pressure level. Many air compressors and tools will shut off automatically once the bag reaches the correct pressure.

Make sure to double-check the pressure of the bag before sending off the load. Once the bag is filled to the right pressure level between the load sections, it is ready to go.

3) Disposing of the Bag

When the load reaches its final destination, disposing of the bag is as easy as installing it. At an arm’s length, cut a hole in the bag then deflate and discard it. Some vinyl or poly woven bags might be reusable, so open the valve to deflate the bag before removing it to save it for the next load. Many bags are recyclable, so be sure to drop off the materials at the correct facility to help with waste management.

Dunnage Bags are simple to use and easy to install. These helpful packaging products allow for shipping and receiving loads with confidence.

Benefits of Dunnage Bags

Reducing the Total Cost of Shipping and Environmentally Friendly

Dunnage BagsIn homogeneous loads, a single dunnage bag can potentially brace an entire trailer. Damage rates decline, labor is reduced, and the cost of the type of materials is significantly reduced compared to other securement methods, such as metal or lumber.

Dunnage Bags are used to prevent damage to goods while being loaded, transported, and unloaded. They keep items from moving around while in transit, regardless of whether they are sent by rail, road, or sea. These bags offer exceptional value and are more affordable than custom products. They can withstand a maximum of three pounds per square inch of pressure and come equipped with a built-in inflation system. They are also completely recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to other options and void fillers.

When talking about what it costs to ship products, one must look at the total shipping cost. This total cost includes many hidden costs associated with getting the products from the facility to where they are sold. Hidden fees include concealed damage, labor costs, safety issues, and customer satisfaction. Visible damage is easy to spot, and users can see it right away. Those concealed damages to products can be seen through the pallets, stretch film, and boxes. With Dunnage Bags, users can reduce the amount of those hidden costs of shipping.

Easy to Use

The Dunnage Bag is also easy to operate as compressed air does most of the work. The packs can be installed in minutes with very little physical labor involved. The bags can also be easily deflated and quickly removed for easy trailer onloading.

Overall Benefit to using Dunnage Airbags

Practical, easy to install, and versatile, Dunnage Bags lower cargo damage and reduce labor costs. They improve load factor, reduce transportation costs, compliment quality processes, and increase its bottom line.

Applications of Dunnage Bags

Damage Prevention with Dunnage Bags

The Dunnage Bag is a poly bladder surrounded by numerous piles of paper, equipped with an inflation valve. It is used to minimise front-to-back load shifting in tractor sales, railcars, and overseas containers.

Compacting or Positioning the Lading

Compacting and positioning take place during Dunnage Bag inflation. The Dunnage Bag surface pushes out against the load. As the air pressure increases, it overcomes frictional forces, removing small voids that are left in the load. A build-up of small voids will remain no matter how tightly a load is positioned either by fork truck or by hand. These voids are eliminated by Dunnage Bag compacting/positioning.

Cushioning the Lading

The second characteristic of Dunnage Bag bracing is the cushioning that takes place during impact. For instance, when a railcar is humped, the compacted lading in the front half acts as one unit rather than individual ones that can bump into one another. The rear half of the load is protected by squeezing the Dunnage Bag and increasing its internal air pressure until equalisation of forces happens. This cushioning effect diminishes the shock of impact.

Repositioning the Lading

Repositioning of the lading starts when the forward motion of the lading ceases. After the lading moves forward and squeezes the Dunnage Bag, the internal pressure is at its highest. The increased air pressure is decreased by pushing the lading back to its original position when the forces stop. Both the cushioning and repositioning of the load takes place quickly.

Enlarging the Void Size after Inflation

Another feature of the Dunnage Bag bracing is its capability to fill an increased void space as the lading settles. Settling takes place even with rigid products which have been tightly loaded. In-transit vibration results in the loosening of the lading. Compared to other types of bracing, constant pressure cannot be exerted on the load. Dunnage Bags can expand, thus maintaining somewhat reduced but continuous pressure. Dunnage Bags are used to brace and cushion various kinds of cargo loads and can be used alone or woven strapping & lashing to secure the cargo loads from shifting during transportation.

Case Studies for Dunnage Bags

Packaging materials, such as metal or plastic supports, wood, blocks, or boards, are used to secure and support the package during handling and transportation. This will waste more time loading and unloading goods and will cause more inconvenience to workers because it requires more than one worker to operate.

The operation of the Dunnage Bag is simple, and a worker can install the bag in a few minutes hardly without any physical labour. The bag can also be easily deflated and quickly removed for effortless loading of the trailer.