Types of Slings and Their Uses for Various Cargoes A Comprehensive Guide.


When it comes to lifting and handling different types of cargo, choosing the right sling is crucial. This article explores various types of slings commonly used in cargo handling operations. From endless slings to chain slings and canvas slings, understanding their applications and limitations is essential for safe and efficient cargo lifting.

Section 1: Endless Slings

Endless slings, created by splicing wire or fiber rope, offer versatility in lifting loads. They are commonly used as choker hitches, where the sling is passed around the cargo to form a loop. Personnel then tighten the loop and attach it to the cargo hook. Additionally, endless slings can be used as basket or vertical slings, providing flexibility in different lifting scenarios.

Section 2: Single Slings

Single slings, made of either fiber or wire rope, are equipped with eyes, hooks, rings, or thimbles for specific uses. They can function as vertical slings, basket slings, or choker slings with a choker hitch. Fiber rope single slings are ideal for light loads or cargo that could be damaged by wire slings.

Section 3: Combination Slings

Combination slings consist of two or four single slings, forming a bridle, basket, or choker sling. These slings are versatile and can handle a wide range of cargo types. However, when using multiple slings to create a basket sling under large crates or boxes, cargo handlers should use spreader bars to prevent crushing.

Section 4: Chain Slings

Designed for heavy-duty applications, chain slings are primarily used for handling steel rails, pipes, beams, and angles. They can be used in bridles or single legs and should be accompanied by dunnage to prevent slipping between the chain and the draft. When hoisting this type of cargo, cargo handlers should ensure a round turn is made with the chain around the draft.

Section 5: Canvas Slings

Canvas slings, which consist of a section of canvas sewn between ropes, are commonly used for handling specific cargo types. The most prevalent type is the dirt sling, often employed for nitrate and other similar cargo. Cargo handlers should consider using canvas slings instead of endless slings when lifting bagged cargo like sugar, flour, and cement.


Choosing the appropriate sling type is crucial for safe and efficient cargo lifting operations. Whether it’s endless slings, single slings, combination slings, chain slings, or canvas slings, understanding their specific applications and limitations is essential. By following best practices and considering the nature of the cargo, cargo handlers can ensure smooth and secure lifting operations while safeguarding the integrity of the cargo and personnel involved.

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