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Loading for Export

Container loading is very similar to trailer loading. The most important consideration is attaining the highest weight possible. Because bale size and weight vary, loading should be accomplished by finding the best direction to load each bale so that the maximum number of bales can be placed on the container. Bales can be loaded to the back doors of the container, unlike trailers which need less weight in the rear.

Test Loading
Prior to loading, a test load can be built on the warehouse floor by duplicating the dimensions of a partial container with tape. Place a U shaped box – two sides each 10’ long by 7’ 8 ½ “ W. Build stacked bales, three high (or 4 for small bales), within the space and turn bales as necessary so that they fit within the tape. Although a container is 39’ 3 ¼” Long, building a smaller test load on the floor ahead of time will allow for easier, more confident loading when the container arrives.

Container Dimensions: 39 ‘ 3 ¼” Long X 7’ 8 ½” W X 8’ 10 ¼” H

Height of Floor:The floor will be the same or slightly more height than a 53’ trailer.

Loading Time: About the same as a 53’ trailer

Expected Net Weight: 43,000lbs. to 45,000lbs. (Always load to the back doors of a container). A container will be weighed full once it arrives at the railyard or port. Weighing empty and full as with a 53’ trailer is not practical due to the scale ticket cost (over $100).


We have charts, forms and lists to assist suppliers with loading for export. If you are interested in learning how to load a shipping container please contact your Logistics Coordinator at 1.613.747.8465.

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