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Creating Custom Dunnage Airbags for Unique Rail Loads

Supplier of steel products didnt know they had a problem, until they saw the solution

A steel supplier was using railroad ties to fill the void left between pallets in their railcar. This meant that the customer was lifting, placing, and shifting large railroad ties when placing their product into the car, which was both time consuming and labor intensive. Once the products reached their final destination, this process was repeated once again to remove the products from the railroad car - an exhausting process for all involved. Thankfully, Dunnage airbags soon stepped in to help save the day.

When this customer originally contacted us, they simply wanted a quote on a pneumatic strapping tool. However, when our team provided that quote, we learned that we could also assist with making their shipping process easier and less wasteful. We simply asked the customer about their shipping methods and discovered that they shipped large steel bars via rail and flat bed trailer. In order to secure these loads, they utilized heavy railroad ties to keep the loads in place while inside the car.On average, it took the customer's employees four hours per railroad car to securely place the wooden railroad ties. On top of that, it was an incredibly expensive way to fill the open spaces inside the railcar.

We suggested that our customer consider using Dunnage airbags instead. At first, they were skeptical that an airbag would be able to hold their loads, as the steel bars are immensely heavy. To assuage their fears, our team members provided supporting material that clearly documented the airbags' ability to keep even the heaviest loads in place. After that, we did some testing. Our company gave the customer sample bags so that they could do a trial run and see for themselves that airbags were the best way to move forward. After only two test shipments, the customer was more than convinced that Dunnage airbags were the most appropriate choice to protect their products throughout the entire transportation process.


As a result of switching from railroad ties to Dunnage airbags, the customer was able to save an amazing $80,000 a year in packing costs. They also were able to cut shipping labor by 1,500 hours each year, due to the fact that using railroad ties was taking an average of 4 hours per car, while Dunnage airbags took only about 15 minutes to put in place from start to finish. Most importantly? Dunnage airbags are much safer to use than railroad ties.

Our Customer Went from Not Realizing They Had a Problem to:

50% savings on shipping

A reduction of 1,500 hours in shipping labor

Safely and effectively securing the load

Decreasing the chances of an accident

Total Packaging Cost Summary:

Space = Increase in work space

Safety = Increased safety for assembly and disassembly than wooden rail ties

Labor = 160% (1,500 hours) reduction in shipping labor

Material = 50% Cost Savings

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