shipping freight containers

Excess humidity and moisture becoming trapped in shipping & sea freight containers is a common cause of rapid mould growth. The amount of time the container is sealed for and the environmental conditions such as temperature can not only harbour mould growth but also create condensation and water pooling.

Mould Cleaning Australia is able to quickly and effectively treat mould affected crates and restore them to their original condition meaning your freight can continue on its path to the customer.

Our Process

Mould Cleaning Australia remediation of mould includes the following:
  • Quick response times with a trained technician onsite to assess the problem within 24 hours to completed a free visual inspection where we identify areas and items to be treated.
  • Use of proven remediation processes and systems which are used worldwide. This includes our equipment and tools used, as well as staff training on our methodologies.
  • No need for off-site remediation meaning your freight is remediated onsite and available to be shipped immediately after treatment.
  • Mould sampling and analysis where requested or deemed necessary
  • All works come with a job completion report to see the end result.

If you are looking to free your freight of mould and keep transport costs low and timeline on track then Mould Cleaning Australia can assist.

See the below Before and After treatment video

Why do shipped items grow mould?

When humidity levels rise inside sealed shipping containers this can cause water to drop from the ceiling of the container, commonly referred to as “container rain” or “cargo sweat”. As shipping containers can be closed up for long periods of time there is no opportunity for the excess humidity to escape. The temperature within the pallet also plays a factor with harbouring mould growth as mould will flourish in warmer conditions.

Another factor is wooden pallets or crates holding moisture. During the process of shipping these timber can get wet from rain, sea spray and other unconventional water sources. The wood will retain the moisture and once isolated in a shipping container will allow the wood to dry creating excess humid air which is trapped in the container.

How can you stop mould from growing on shipping & sea freight

To stop mould growth the easiest method is to control moisture levels or ideally remove the moisture all together which can be very hard when it comes to shipping & sea freight. There are a few methods to consider depending on your cargo and shipping options / capabilities.


Using a desiccant is the most common method and involves placing a desiccant material in the sealed shipping container. Desiccants are materials which in their natural state absorb moisture. These materials are dried out before use and once in place they absorb moisture from the air. You would have seen a form of desiccant each time you buy a pair of shoes and they come with a silica gel packet. However you must ensure you have enough desiccants for the volume of your container and the time it is sealed for as once desiccant reach their full capacity they will begin releasing this moisture back in to the enclosed environment.


A dehumidifier is a purpose built electric appliance which lowers humidity by extracting water from the surrounding environment and draining the water away. These appliance do require a power source however they are proven to be more effective than a desiccant, especially in long term shipping. Dehumidifiers will also remove excess moisture from wet materials like timber pallets and crates.


Ventilation is a limited option depending of the exposure of your shipping & sea freight to external elements. The purpose is to allow any excess humidity and high temperatures to regulate with the outdoors however if you crates are shipped externally (on the deck of the ship) then this may not be a suitable option.

Can you remove mould from pallets and crates?

Yes, mould can be safely removed from wooden items such as crates, pallets and other natural materials. Pallets which are treated not only have the mould removed but also improve in their appearance restoring them to near-new condition. There are extremely rare instances where the timber can be so water logged that it can deteriorate and loose integrity. One of our technicians will advise if this is the case however generally speaking this is not common.

See some of our previous work