Rum [German version]

Table of contents

Product information
  Container transport
  Cargo securing

Risk factors and loss prevention:
Temperature Odor
Humidity/Moisture Contamination
Ventilation Mechanical influences
Biotic activity Toxicity / Hazards to health
Gases Shrinkage/Shortage
Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion Insect infestation / Diseases

Product information

Product name

German Rum (Flaschen)
English Rum (bottles)
French Rhum (bouteilles)
Spanish Ron (botellas)
CN/HS number * 2208 40 ff.

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Rum is a fine spirit, obtained by distillation from sugar cane, sugar cane molasses and other residues of sugar processing.

The main distillate, which is produced in pot stills (distillation boilers), has an alcohol content of 80 – 88 vol.%. It is then stored in oak kegs. Rums are classed as follows:

Original rum: produced in the exporting countries. No changes are made in the importing country.
Overseas rum: imported with an alcohol content of 75 vol.% and reduced to a drinking strength of 40 – 45 vol.%.

A distinction is drawn between the following types of rum on the basis of their aroma:

Cuban rum: light, brandy-like aroma
Jamaica rum: intense, full-bodied aroma
Martinique rum: strong, heavy aroma

Although rum does not spoil easily due to its high ethyl alcohol content, as a cargo it does require care, to prevent quality degradation.

Quality / Duration of storage

The following distinction is drawn on the basis of color:

White (light) rum, with an ethyl alcohol content of 40 vol.%
Brown (dark) rum, e.g. Jamaica rum, with an ethyl alcohol content of 45 – 50 vol.%

Maximum duration of storage is as follows:

Temperature Relative humidity Max. duration of storage Source
10 – 20°C 70% > 6 months [1]

Intended use

Rum is used primarily for mixing alcoholic beverages.

It is also used for flavoring confectionery (rum truffles), chocolate, cakes and pastries, for preserving fruit and for consumption neat.

Countries of origin

Distillation of residues from the sugar cane industry takes place principally on the islands of the Caribbean (Jamaica, Cuba, Martinique, Barbados) and in South America.

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Bottles in millboard cartons must be sealed by the packer with adhesive tape or special clips. Opening of the cartons either prior to packing or on unpacking of the containers is not permitted (risk of theft). Cartons which are damaged, stained with moisture or dry dirt, do not display their original seal or „rattle“ must not be loaded in containers. Markings should be visible on every side of the packaging:

Marking of packages

Fragile, Handle with care


Keep dry

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High-proof rum in tanks
kegs with a flash point of below 23°C

Fire hazard
(Flammable liquid),
Class 3 IMDG Code

General cargo

Liquid cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad, aircraft

Container transport

Bottles in cartons are mainly transported in standard containers, subject to compliance with limits for water content of packaging and container flooring.

Liquid cargo is transported in tank containers suitable for foodstuffs.

Cargo handling

The safest way to handle bottles in cartons is on pallets. Due to their moisture sensitivity, the packages must be protected from rain, snowfall etc.

Stowage factor

1.80 – 2.00 m3/t (millboard cartons) [1]
1.63 – 1.87 m3/t (boxes) [1]
1.87 – 2.01 m3/t (kegs) [1]
1.84 – 1.95 m3/t (kegs, tank containers etc.) [11]

Stowage space requirements

Due to the risk of overheating, it is best, where possible, not to stow containers on deck in uppermost tiers and outer rows or near heat sources. In the event of conventional loading, stow in lockers due to risk of theft.


Marker pen/oil crayon

Cargo securing

Because of its considerable impact- and pressure-sensitivity, packages of this cargo must be secured in such a way that they are prevented from damaging each other. Spaces between packages or pallets must be filled, to prevent slippage or tipping. By selecting the correct packaging size or cargo unit (area module or area module multiple), holds can be tightly loaded (without spaces).

In the case of liquid cargoes, it is important for the ullage space above the cargo to be as small as possible, so that only slight movement of the cargo is possible. Movement in liquid cargoes may have a negative effect on the stability of the means of transport (e.g. during cornering in the case of trucks and trains).

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Rum (bottles) requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions)

Designation Temperature range Source
Travel temperature 10 – 20°C [1]

At excessively high temperatures, expansion in volume (dilatation) may occur, causing the closures to loosen and evaporation losses to occur. These depend on the coefficient of thermal expansion, which at 18°C is 0.00110°C-1 for ethyl alcohol but only 0.00018°C-1 for water. For this reason, alcoholic beverages, such as rum, are more prone to thermal dilatation than alcohol-free beverages.

Temperatures > 25°C or solar radiation cause discoloration, resinification of the essential oils, oxidation phenomena and the breakdown of quality-determining aromatic substances.

Temperatures < 10°C cause separation, and sedimentation of coloring substances occurs. Chill haze does not impair flavor and quality, however, and may be reversed at temperatures > 18°C.

Temperatures < 0°C may cause a reduction in the volume of the contents, giving the impression of shortage.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Rum (bottles) requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions)

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 70% [1]
Water content 5 – 8% (relative to the paperboard constituting the cartons) [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 70% (relative to the paperboard constituting the cartons) [1]

If rum (bottles) is loaded in a standard container, it must be protected from all forms of moisture (seawater, rain and condensation water) and from excessive relative humidities. A relative humidity > 70% has a negative effect on the appearance of the bottles due to wetting and detachment of the label. The product is then no longer fit for sale as original bottled produce.

Upon loading in a container, care must be taken to ensure that the wooden flooring of the container is completely dry, to avoid an additional source of water vapor. A water content of 12 – 15% results in an equilibrium moisture content in the container of 65 – 70%. The water content of the paperboard should be 5 – 8%. The cartons should be covered with packing paper, gunny cloth or the like to provide protection against dripping sweat.

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RF Ventilation

Rum (bottles) requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions)

Normally, the cargo does not need to be ventilated. However, if there is a risk of cargo sweat, which may result, for example, in wetting of the paperboard cartons and thus in a reduction in stability and strength, the following ventilation measure is recommended:

Recommended ventilation conditions: air exchange rate: 6 changes/hour (airing)

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RF Biotic activity

Rum (bottles) displays 4th order biotic activity.

Rum belongs to the class of goods in which biochemical and microbial processes have stopped and which are isolated from the external environment, e.g. sterilized and pasteurized goods in hermetically sealed packaging.

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RF Gases

No risk.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

High-proof rum in tanks or kegs with a flash point of below 23°C (e.g. 54 vol.% rum: flash point approx. 22°C) is assigned to Class 3 of the IMDG Code.

Leakage results in a fire hazard.

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RF Odor

Active behavior The hermetically sealed packaging prevents the development of any odor.
Passive behavior The packaging of the bottles (paperboard cartons) is sensitive to all types of foreign odor.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Contamination arises only in the event of leakage due to breakage.
Passive behavior The packaging of the bottles (paperboard cartons) is sensitive to dirt, fats and oils. Holds/containers must therefore be clean and in a thoroughly hygienic condition.

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RF Mechanical influences

The bottles and their packaging are particularly sensitive to impact and compressive stresses. Improper handling or stowage may result in damage. Stacked cartons which have become damp may give way and collapse. It is essential to provide cartons with the following markings: „Top“, „Fragile, „Handle with care“ and „Keep dry“. Improper handling may result, for example, in detachment of the adhesive strips or damage to the carton walls and edges. In addition, under more extreme stresses, such as dropping of the cartons, the bottles may break, causing leakage.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

No risk.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

As rum is a relatively valuable cargo, there is considerable risk of theft. Cartons which „rattle“ indicate short quantities. Containers should where possible be stowed such that the doors of adjacent containers block each other, thereby preventing access to the container interior. Where conventional shipment is used, the cargo should be stowed in a locker.

Volume may also be lost due to breakage resulting from improper handling.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

No risk.

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