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Logistics 101: Devanning – Definition, Guide & Benefits

Empty heavy container truck parked or docked at warehouse loading area.

Posted On October 17, 2023

Devanning: Definition and Process

According to the International Chamber of Shipping, approximately 11 billion tons of cargo are shipped globally each year. (Source: This incredible movement of people and goods powers economies worldwide, but it also requires immense effort to successfully manage the interconnected web of complex processes.

Devanning is a critical step in this logistics process, as it allows goods to be smoothly transported from one location to another. If you’re familiar with logistics or supply chain management, you may have heard the term “devanning” before. But what exactly does it mean?

What is Devanning?

The devanning process involves removing cargo from shipping containers and sorting it for further transportation. This can include palletizing the goods, labeling them, and preparing them for shipment. Devanning can be done manually or using automated equipment, depending on the size and complexity of the cargo.

Full container loads (FCL) are often devanned at their final warehouse destination. However, shipments that comprise less than a container load (LCL) are typically devanned when they arrive at the container freight station (CFS).

The Devanning Process

The devanning process consists of three main steps. While we’ve simplified the process below, it’s important to note that each step should be handled by logistics professionals with the required training and safety knowledge to ensure a smooth operation.

  • Container Arrives and Undergoes Inspection

Once the container arrives, a competent team will inspect it to ensure compliance with regulations, measure volume requirements, and assess any damage caused during transit. The use of specialized tools for unloading is necessary during the entire process, from arrival onwards.

  • Cargo is Unloaded

After the inspection process is complete, the container is safely unloaded using various tools and techniques, such as counterbalance forklifts, liftgates, pallets, and conveyors. To ensure smooth operations without compromising safety standards, it is important to understand how to use this equipment efficiently at all times.

  • Cargo is Sorted and Stored

Following the unloading process, the cargo is then sorted and stored in a warehouse or logistics center before shipment. Logistics professionals must meticulously categorize goods according to type and destination, organize them for easy retrieval, and ensure that proper labeling, tracking, and conveying procedures are followed. Automated systems are increasingly involved at every step, making the process more streamlined and efficient.

Benefits of Professional Devanning Services

Devanning offers a number of benefits for businesses involved in logistics and supply chain management. One of the biggest benefits is increased efficiency. By devanning cargo as soon as it arrives, businesses can streamline the logistics process and reduce the time it takes to transport goods from one location to another. This can also help reduce costs by minimizing the amount of time goods spend in transit.


Another benefit of devanning is improved accuracy. By sorting goods as they’re unloaded, businesses can ensure that the right products are delivered to the correct locations. This can help reduce errors and minimize the risk of lost or misplaced goods.


Overall, the main goal of devanning is to get your goods where they need to be as efficiently as possible. To achieve this, it’s important to involve experts in transportation management systems (TMS) who can use technology to track and monitor in-depth shipment data. By analyzing this data, you can gather intelligence on the patterns and trends that influence your bottom line. Incorporating these technologies in your devanning process will ultimately lead to greater efficiency and optimized performance.

Tips for Successful Devanning Implementation

If you’re considering implementing devanning in your logistics process, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s a list of key tips to follow:

  • Ensure that you have the right equipment and personnel in place.

Devanning can be a labor-intensive process, so it’s important to have a team of skilled workers who can handle the job. If you are new to container shipping or want to offload the process to save time and resources, seek out professional devanning services.

  • Consider the benefits of automation.

Depending on the size of your operation, it could be worthwhile to invest in equipment that can automate various processes to speed up the devanning process. This can include pallet jacks, forklifts, and other types of equipment that can help move cargo quickly and efficiently. However, automation isn’t limited to hardware. Explore software that can automate steps like tracking and monitoring shipment information.

  • Work with experienced logistics providers.

Perhaps the most crucial step in making your transportation objectives successful is choosing the right logistics provider. There are many qualities to look for, such as partnerships with a wide range of carriers, the capacity to handle both domestic and international shipments, cutting-edge technology, and an experienced team of in-house customs brokers.

In addition, you want to pick a partner with integrity that sets realistic expectations; one who is willing to work with you over the long run and elevate your knowledge on the ins and outs of the industry.

By collaborating with companies like Flat World Global Solutions that specialize in logistics and supply chain management, you can streamline the process and eliminate pain points right from the beginning. Our experienced team can provide expert guidance and support for devanning and other logistics processes.


Devanning is a critical step in the logistics process, and proper management can lead to a number of benefits for businesses involved in supply chain management. By unloading cargo from shipping containers and sorting it for further transportation, businesses can improve efficiency, accuracy, and overall logistics performance.

If you’re considering implementing devanning in your logistics process, or would like to learn more information that can save your business time and resources, it’s crucial that you reach out to a trusted logistics provider.

Our team at Flat World Global Solutions is standing ready to help you stay ahead of the curve by equipping you with the best tools, technology, and knowledge related to supply chain management.