Container Devanning: What is it?

December 15, 2021 /

Simply put, devanning is the process of removing cargo from a sealed container. There are a few other terms for devanning, including unstuffing, unloading of the container or stripping. Devanning is also a term that typically comes from the international shipping trade. It’s important that this process is done correctly, otherwise it can damage your goods or cause injury. It can also be one of the most demanding aspects of warehouse and logistics management.

Usually, FCL (full container load) shipments will be devanned at the destination warehouse, while LCL (less-than container load) will typically be devanned at the destination Container Freight Station (CFS). Another term for this process is called deconsolidation.

This process should also only be carried out by an experienced team, who know the correct procedures and know how to handle the machinery and goods correctly. Therefore, choosing the right company to handle your container devanning is incredibly important in order to minimise risk to any person or goods.

The process

The receipt of goods in the UK

Usually, a company that will import or export from and to the UK, will receive their goods in containers at the port. It will typically then be arranged for a haulage company to then collect the goods.  After this, the goods will then be collected by a logistics company, which will load the goods for road transportation to their own warehousing facilities.

Unloading the containers  

 After the safe arrival of the goods at the warehousing facility, proper care and attention will need to paid in order to unload the goods safely. The containers must be placed on level ground and the lighting should be adequate to allow all persons to be able to see what’s going on. The entire workforce involved in this process must be aware of all potential hazards.

Counterbalance forklifts

Counterbalance forklifts should be used at a grand level in order to ensure that container devanning is carried out safely and securely. The design of a counterbalance forklift means that it is very well-suited to the task at hand. They’re designed with their forks protruding out at the front of the vehicle, and they don’t have any outrigging, legs, or arms to stabilise them. The precise spot for unloading can be driven to and then the counterbalance forklift can turn on its back wheels.

Dock level unloading

Unlike counterbalance forklifts that can unload cargo at ground level, the cargo can also be unloaded at dock level using a forklift. A loading dock is an area of a building where goods vehicles can be safely parked, and then unloaded. Depending on what’s contained in the cargo, dock level unloading can be easier.


This is the process by which a cargo is broken down by hand and palletised. This process makes it easier for transporting goods outwards and for transportation. This is best to be taken care of by a logistics company as the job can be time consuming and laborious.

If you have any questions regarding devanning, please do not hesitate to get in touch.