Episode 19: Intermodal transport

Container identification | Who is responsible for load securing? | Friction value on the truck | Incoming container inspection

Episode 19: Intermodal transport

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Combined transport is a frequently used word in logistics, but often you find that not everyone knows exactly what is hidden behind it.

The weight 44to is often linked to this as a general rule. However, it is not that simple.

If you look closely, you will see that this is an EU regulation with an unwieldy name:

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 92/106/EEC
from December 7, 1992
on the establishment of common rules for certain transport operations in the
combined freight transport between member states


Sigurd Ehringer - SeLogCon

About the author:

In a series of specialist articles from the field, on topics relating to containers and trucks, you will receive first-hand professional knowledge.
How to secure cargo correctly and what are the basics of cargo securing?

They are developed and presented by Sigurd Ehringer, owner of SE-LogCon:

  • VDI certified instructor for load securing
  • Reference book author
  • 8 years Project Manager
  • 12 years with the Bundeswehr (company commander)
  • 20 years of sales experience
  • since 1996 consultant/trainer in logistics
  • 44 years instructor/trainer in various fields

Episode 19: Intermodal transport


This makes it clear that this regulation mandatorily requires the crossing of a national border within the EU.

A container transport from Munich to Hanover with 44to is therefore basically inadmissible, because the German national border was not crossed.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that the communication between the carrier and the shipper is not clear. This can be seen from the fact that the shipper bases the weight planning on 44 tons, but the carrier provides a team consisting of a two-axle tractor + container chassis.

However, such a team is only allowed up to 42 tons.


It is important to merge or exchange the information between the shipper and the carrier in such a way that the transport can be carried out properly. This is the task for all parties involved, which of course requires detailed knowledge and expertise.

Dangerous half-knowledge, however, is more the practice.

The indication of the payload/payload of the containers can always be found on the right rear door.

Here are two examples:

Container type 22G1: Payload 28,240kg

Container type 45G1 Highcube: Payload 26.480kg


Depending on how the container is built and equipped or what steel was used, the payloads differ depending on the tare weight.

In principle, this problem is only of interest to those shippers whose cargoes weigh so much that the container tends to become too heavy before it is fully loaded. Shippers who stow goods where the container is full before it becomes too heavy tend not to be affected.

It is therefore important to know the weight of the combination, consisting of tractor + chassis + container, and to determine the maximum weight of the load + stowage material, based on a weight of 40to, 42to or 44to.

The link https://www.ekb-containerlogistik.com/de/datenund-fakten/bestimmungen/ provides average values, but explicitly states that the company should be consulted directly for detailed calculations.

Here is an excerpt from this table


Unfortunately, only the 44to variant is mentioned there, which explicitly requires a three-axle tractor. However, by far the greater part of the combinations consists of two-axle tractors and may therefore weigh a maximum of 42to.

A combination with a two-axle tractor must not weigh more than 42,000kg.

A combination with a three-axle tractor must not weigh more than 44,000kg.


Taking the figures from the table above, this would give a net cargo weight (cargo + securing equipment) for the following combinations:


However, practice shows that there can be significant deviations from the above and therefore overcharging is more likely than not.
Companies that stow containers themselves and want to use the payload to the fullest extent possible should therefore obtain precise information from the carrier about the type and weight of the combination and ensure that it is complied with.

For companies that have truck scales, there is also an opportunity to determine the maximum weight of the load by weighing.
Weigh the empty combination on entry and subtract this value from the total weight of 40to, 42to or 44to. This gives the maximum load for each type of container.

The disadvantage of this method is the fact that this information is only available shortly before loading and reductions in the weight or
the quantity of the load are no longer so easy to realize.

The solution is to define a maximum load weight in consultation with the carrier and his specifications at which, including the stowage means, an overload is rather unlikely. This plan specification can serve the sales department as a guideline for the offers to the customer and at the same time as a specification of which container type must be requested for the specific transport.

Trusting that the carrier will draw the right conclusions about the design of the container team from the information on the cargo weight is extremely risky and should be avoided.

Your Sigurd Ehringer.


Load securing trainings

Markus KrauthahnWarehouse specialist - G&H GmbH Rothschenk


Picture company building Rothschenk
An employee of G&H GmbH Rothschenk sews a webbing strap to a dunnage bag.

On our own account:
Rothschenk. That's us.

Rothschenk is a manufacturer of load securing equipment for overseas containers. In the tranquil town of Aub in central Franconia, we develop, test and sell our own load securing equipment such as dunnage bags/padding, Lashing restraint systems, Edge Protectors, Anti-slip Mats, Lashing Straps and drum securement. You can get a small insight into our product world in our Online Shop: [R] SHOP24.

We develop for our customers, to whom also large corporations e.g. from the CHEMICALS-, BEVERAGES- and Automotive industry belong, individual load securing. Therefore we are used to come up with new products and solutions in our own research and test department.

We stand for quality "Made in Germany‚Äě. Not only in development, but also in production. Because we are the only manufacturer for load securing with our own production site in Germany. Real "Made in Germany" even.


>> Please use the comment function below for suggestions, additions and also for further questions.

We will, of course, respond promptly and professionally. Your Rothschenk Team


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