A typical shipping container may be watertight, but it is not airtight – and this means that ultimately, it is still vulnerable to moisture damage.
Moisture control solutions – like our hyperdesiccant BirchSorb – are used in shipping containers to protect cargo from what is called “container rain”. Container rain is caused by moisture vapour in the air, which is released during temperature or humidity changes during a shipping journey.
Container rain causes 10% of product damage worldwide every year, and can cause destroyed packaging, mould, and damage to the cargo itself – but while all cargo is vulnerable to container rain, certain types of cargo are more at risk than others.
Once coffee beans reach a critical moisture level of 12.5% or higher, fungi and mould caused by container rain has the potential to render entire containers of coffee beans completely unfit for consumption.
Coffee is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the air around it. This means that it is essential to choose powerful moisture control to protect coffee cargo. BirchSorb is able to absorb over 200% its own weight in moisture, eliminating any chance of cargo reaching critical moisture levels of 12.5% or above during a journey.
As wood – like many types of cargo, including paper and cardboard – always contains some amount of moisture, re-release into the air during transit is a big risk. Moisture can cause tremendous damage to wood cargo, weakening and warping.
However, this is not just a danger for wood cargo – many shipping containers are made of wood or fortified and braced with it, and will weaken upon exposure to container rain, leaving the cargo inside vulnerable. Unlike many other forms of moisture control, BirchSorb “locks in” moisture, preventing any chance for re-release into the atmosphere.