Dunnage Air Bags – FAQ

Dunnage Air Bags – FAQ

What are Dunnage Air Bags?

Dunnage Air Bags are paper bags constructed of 2, 4, 6, or 8 plys (layers) of paper or gauges of poly material in 5 different levels (L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5), designed with an inflatable internal Polyethylene Bladder. They are an innovative and simple blocking and bracing tool.

What are they used for?

Dunnage Air Bags are used to restrain movement of cargo loads in trucks, overseas containers, or railcars. They fill voids, brace loads, absorb vibrations, and protect cargo from in-transit damage, better than any other form of bracing (“dunnaging”).

What are the most common causes of freight damage?

The most common causes of freight damage are related to freight falling forward to backward, and double and triple-decked skids bouncing in transit.

What are the effects of shifting loads and damaged freight?

Customers are unhappy. Valuable time is wasted putting the damaged freight back together at destination terminals. The necessity for “Re’s” (Recouping, Restacking, Re-banding, Re-shrink-wrappping, and Re-working the load) adversely affect dock production and strain customer relations.

How has cargo been braced in the past?

Loads have been braced using a combination of empty pallets, 2 x 4’s, and empty cardboard cartons. Shipments which included fragile cargo as part of the overall load necessitated stair-stepping standard freight back-to or away-from the fragile freight.

What are the benefits of using Dunnage Air Bags?

Dunnage Air Bags represent a less expensive means of blocking and bracing than the use of lumber and nails or expensive rubber air bags.

What are the benefits of using Air Bags to the shipper?

The trucking industry is in an ever-changing fight for survival. Fuel costs and taxes continue to climb, insurance premiums soar, wages increase and discounts continue to consume the bottom line. Operational improvements must be made to maintain profit margins. Air Bags will have the biggest impact on the load factor (a carrier’s largest single expense). One of the primary goals of the shipping quality process is to improve organizational productivity. Time spent installing Air Bags will be saved at the destination terminals because the carrier can eliminate the “Re’s”. At the same time, better use can be made of container space.

What size and ply bags are available?

To see our available Kraft Paper Dunnage Air Bags, please visit our Kraft Paper Dunnage Air Bag page.

To see our available polywoven dunnage air bags, please visit our Polywoven Dunnage Air Bag Page.

How is this accomplished?

Air Bags permit double and triple-decking of skids, and stair-stepping can be eliminated. With Air Bags, fragile freight can be loaded anywhere in the trailer. Skids can be double or triple-decked, air-bagged either in front of or behind (or both) the fragile freight to achieve maximum cube utilization. Since the use of Air Bags will permit normal loading behind the fragile freight, eliminating the need for stair-stepping improves the load factor and reduces line-haul or transportation costs. And now, faster filling inflation systems using the latest technology and venturi-style inflator tools have reduced inflation times of Air Bags by as much as 50% or more.

What type of Dunnage Air Bag is recommended for truck shipment?

LEVEL 1 Polywoven or 2-ply paper Air Bags.

What type of bag is most commonly used for overseas shipments?

LEVEL 2 Polywoven or 4-ply paper Air Bags.

What type of Dunnage Air Bag is most commonly used for rail shipments?

LEVELS 3,4, & 5 Polywoven or 6-ply & 8-ply paper Air Bags.

How many pounds can a Dunnage Air Bag restrain?
  • 2 ply – 40,000 pounds
  • 4 ply – 60,000 pounds
  • 6 ply – 100,000 pounds
  • 8 ply – 120,000 pounds
How do I determine what size Dunnage Air Bag to use?
  1. Measure void between cargo;
  2. Measure distance from floor to top of load;
  3. Measure the length of the pallets or whatever you are trying to restrain.
What is the maximum void recommended for Dunnage Bags?
  • 8″ void – 24″ wide Air Bag is recommended
  • 12″ void – 36″ wide Air Bag is recommended
  • 14″ void – 48″ wide Air Bag is recommended
  • Over 14″ void, Litco’s Diamond Corr Bulkheads are recommended to use with Air Bags.
What can be done to utilize Dunnage Bags if void exceeds maximum recommended void?

Over 14″ void, Litco’s Diamond Corr Bulkheads are recommended to use with Air Bags.

Do Dunnage Bags require any type of protection?

To maintain product integrity, it is very important to place corrugated or some type of smooth surface on either side of the Dunnage Bag to protect it from rough edges (wooden crates, pallets, or anything sharp).

What type of equipment is necessary to inflate Dunnage Bags?
  1. Compressed air from an air compressor
  2. Inflator tool
  3. Air gauge
What type of Inflator Equipment is available?
  1. Quick fill snap on inflator
  2. Quick fill combination inflator tool
  3. Rapid fill inflator tool
  4. Air compressor
  5. Hose and reel

Please visit our Inflator Tools page for more information about the inflator tools we offer.

Can Dunnage Bags be damaged during filling?

Dunnage Bags can burst with over-inflation. Each bag has a label located near the valve with the recommended pressure listed. If inflation check points are followed, that will eliminate these problems.

Why use Litco Dunnage Air Bags instead of our competitors’ products?

The dunnage air bag market has changed quite a bit in the last few years. Litco has a team of professionals who stay on top of the changes and make adjustments to provide the best options for you, our customer. We stock multiple brands of air bags that operate with the latest and best inflation technology available in the marketplace today. We keep up-to-date with changes in regulations from the American Association of Railroads (A.A.R.) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When protecting your valuable products during transportation, you can count on Litco International, Inc. and the people who serve you to get your products safely to their destination, keeping you competitive in your industry by satisfying your customers as they receive undamaged products from you.

Is a re-usable bag available?


More and more companies are switching to reusable valve air bags, even if they can’t always recover and reuse the bags. To keep in step with eco-friendly practices, most of Litco’s Dunnage Air Bags come with a reusable valve at no additional cost to you, and soon 100% of our Air Bags will be reusable.

What is the price of Litco International Dunnage Air Bags?

Pricing is available by either sending an RFQ from the Kraft Paper or Polywoven Dunnage Air Bags page, filling out our contact us form, or by calling Litco International and asking to speak with customer service

Versatile, practical, and easy to install, Dunnage Air Bags reduce labor costs and cargo damage, improve load factor, reduce transportation costs, complement quality process, and increase the company’s bottom line.