When it comes to the transportation of your goods, it’s not just what’s in the box that needs consideration but also the external packaging materials themselves.
Why are packaging and labelling choices so important?
It is important to ensure that you have suitable packaging solutions in place and that you meet all relevant labelling requirements for your shipments, to prevent your consignments from being delayed or rejected. Effective packaging will also help to prevent damage to your goods and deter theft.
Invariably, your choices regarding packaging will be dependent on the products being shipped and the transportation processes. The more likely the goods are to be handled, or the more fragile that they are, the increased likelihood you will require more packaging.
Containers and pallets
A high percentage of shipments will utilise containers and pallets. Containers and pallets tend to be standardised these days as, not only do they provide protection for cargo but they also bring an increased level of efficiency in handling goods within the supply chain. Even if utilising containers or pallets, it is worth considering whether additional measures are required to ensure extra protection for your cargo. For example, shrink wrapping your products and utilising strapping can help to increase security and to decrease occurrences of damage when in transit.
Additional packaging could prove particularly beneficial if transporting your goods as a less than container load (LCL) shipment. Shipping LCL, it is not known what commodities your shipment will be included alongside. However, a reputable freight forwarder will pack the container based on their load list to ensure minimal chances of damage to the consignments included. At Velta we also take added measures to protect consignments in our LCL consolidations through the use of dunnage bags to plug any spare space.
Even in consignments being shipped as full container loads (FCL), depending on the amount of spare space and the items being shipped, additional packaging may be worth consideration to help protect your goods. However, if the packaging is not required, then don’t include it. Avoiding excess packaging can help to optimise your shipments. For example, designing ‘Point of Sale’ packaging cartons to specifically fit a container enables you to decrease the amount of wasted space. With less cargo to be handled and transported, time is saved and costs are lowered, whilst the individual security seals fitted on shipping containers help in keeping the goods inside secure from theft.
If goods are not tightly packed they become more liable to move in transit. Through ensuring that containers are packed in such a way to prevent excessive movement, it makes the containers safer on unpacking, resulting in less likelihood of causing injury to handling agents. Thus meaning, when goods arrive at the consignee, they are less likely to reject deliveries due to insufficient packaging and safety concerns.
Bespoke packaging solutions
Of course, shipments come in all different shapes and sizes. So what of out of gauge items for shipment that don’t conform to fit standard shipping boxes? The specialised production of bespoke packaging solutions provide an optimum answer for the safe transit of such items.
If utilising wooden crates or pallets for your shipments, ensure that these meet current regulatory standards. To prevent the spread of pests and wood diseases, wooden packaging supplies should conform with ISPM15. If your transport fails to meet these requirements, your entire consignment could be rejected or destroyed.
For goods that are classified as hazardous or dangerous goods, you should also conform to the additional requirements in place for shipping such items.
Costs and insurance
Whatever commodities you are shipping, don’t cut costs on your packaging materials. Selecting sub-standard packaging will only result in an increased risk to your products when it transit. If you find yourself in a situation where there is an issue with missing or damaged cargo, incorrectly or insufficiently packaged goods can result in insurance claims not being met, or being disputed by the insurer so opt for the efficiency of standard containers and pallets where possible, or seek the expertise of a bespoke packaging manufacturer if necessary.
Once you’ve sourced appropriate packaging for your shipments, ensure that you also follow requirements for labelling. Packages being sent for export need to include a range of information including country of origin, shipper’s mark, weight of shipment, number of packages and sizes, cautionary marks, handling instructions, destination Port. Additional regulations on labelling are applicable for hazardous and dangerous goods and you can find further details on these on the Governments guidance on shipping dangerous goods.
When arranging the import or export of your goods, think outside of the box – literally – and make sure that your goods are correctly packaged and labelled. For a more in-depth look at packaging solutions, why not check out our other blogs listed below. For further advice or shipment quotations please get in touch.