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This paper examines a recently addressed practical variant of the capacitated vehicle routing problem (VRP) called the capacitated vehicle routing problem with 3-D loading constraints (3L-CVRP). This problem considers customer demand to be formed by 3-D rectangular items. Additional loading constraints often encountered in real-life applications of transportation logistics are imposed on the examined problem model. In addition to 3L-CVRP, we also introduce and solve a new practical problem version that was dictated by a transportation logistics company and covers cases in which transported items are manually unloaded from the loading spaces of the vehicles. Both problem versions are solved by a hybrid metaheuristic methodology that combines the strategies of tabu search (TS) and guided local search (GLS). The loading characteristics are tackled by employing a collection of packing heuristics. The proposed algorithm's robustness was tested for both problem versions, solving benchmark instances derived from the literature and new benchmark problems with diverse features in terms of customer set size and transported-item dimensions. It produced fine results, improving most of the best solutions that were previously reported.