How to Properly Sanitize Your Cargo Factory

With the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic sweeping across the world, it is now more important than ever to make sure your cargo is sanitized and safe. Importing and exporting cargo in and out of major cities means that your cargo can be in touch with a lot of factors. So to avoid the spread of disease and protect anyone who comes into contact with your cargo, follow these simple tips to properly sanitize your cargo. 

Cleaning vs. sanitizing
While cleaning is a normal every-day process that should be undertaken at every point of the cargo journey, sanitizing is different. Let’s understand how. First, cleaning is the removal of general dirt, grease, and food waste. On the other hand, sanitizing is the act of destroying microorganisms. Before sanitizing can occur, cleaning must take place. 

Cleaning cargo
There are many different types of cargo that can be used in today’s markets, and they all require different methods of cleaning. However, no matter what the type of cargo, they must all be cleaned to the highest standard possible.

Sweep before washing
Before washing cargo, it is important to make sure it is thoroughly swept. This will help remove any unwanted residue that can build up during the process of adding water. 

Freshwater rinsing
In some circumstances where cargo has been in contact with seawater, it may be necessary to rinse the cargo to remove any salt deposits. 

Let it dry
Once the cargo has been washed and cleaned, it is important to let the cargo dry. The drying time may vary depending on the use of the vessel’s ventilation system, and if it has one. In this case, ventilation should be taken into account depending on weather conditions. 

Fumigation
If the cargo has carried grain or other like materials, it may be necessary to completely fumigate the cargo to eradicate any insects or other bugs that could be present. When deciding on the type of fumigation that you should use, always adhere to local regulations around fumigation to make sure you make the right choice. Be sure to take safety precautions when using any fumigants. 

Sanitizing cargo
While cleaning is the important first step, sanitizing must take place to ensure that any unwanted microorganisms are removed. There are two important elements to sanitization – using heat and chemicals. When using water, make sure it is at least 170 degrees to ensure it will be effective. When choosing a sanitizer, make sure it contains the right types of chemicals. You can find commercial-grade sanitizers online or through a commercial cleaning store. If in doubt, consult a commercial cleaner like Cleanfocus to do the job for you. If you would prefer to go the more natural route and use eco-friendly cleaners, make sure they meet the following standards:

  • Peracetic acid
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Organic acids
  • 70% alcohol solutions that do not contain quaternary ammonium compounds 

Cargo should be sanitized from the inside out. Any and every surface that is touched by people or materials should be thoroughly treated. This is something that you should do when cargo leaves the factory and when it returns. Sanitizing should also be undertaken throughout your factory at every point where people engage and on every surface that is touched. 

Have a plan
Cleaning and sanitizing does not happen by chance. To ensure that you stay on top of the process, create a colour-coded calendar of all activity that must be undertaken at your factory. This way you can assign certain staff to particular tasks, and everyone will understand their responsibilities. 

Inspect, inspect, inspect!
To ensure that cleaning and sanitizing has been undertaken to the highest standard, it is important that there is a point person to inspect the cargo. A chief officer can carry out a complete and final inspection of all cargo holds before presenting them for approval. This will ensure cleaning and sanitizing is satisfactory and that the cargo holds are in good condition and ready to be presented to shippers for the carriage of the next commodity. 

Regular cleaning followed by sanitizing will ensure your cargo factory and the cargo that is going in and out of your factory is safe. You can be confident that by having a clear system for sanitization, your staff and anyone who comes into contact with your cargo will be protected.

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