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Packing Cargo for Sea Freight? Here Are Tips to Consider

When shipping your products by sea, you need to properly pack them so they arrive safely. While cargo is often transported in containers, sometimes it’s sent as break bulk cargo. This means that it’s loaded aboard a vessel by net, chute, or even a sling conveyor, which, as you can tell, adds strain to your shipment.

There is also the risk of overseas handling facilities having fewer quality control measures, which sees your cargo pushed, dragged, dropped, and even rolled during the unloading process, which increases the chances of your products getting damaged

Moisture is also a constant problem while your shipment is out in the sea.

With all the challenges of transporting your products via the sea, you must pack your cargo properly to arrive safely. Thankfully, there are a number of tips that can help you properly pack your sea freight. These tips include:

Use strong, sturdy boxes.

Always use strong and sturdy boxes to minimize the damage that can happen to your products. When choosing the boxes, pay close attention to the type of cargo and its transit.

If shipping a full container load (FCL), there will be fewer handling points and minimal pickup and drop-off, so you can get away with medium-duty boxes.

But if shipping less than a truckload (LTL), multiple people will come in contact with your freight. Chances are also high that your cargo will be loaded and unloaded from the truck several times.

In such a case, you have no way around it other than getting heavy-duty boxes that will withstand the abuse.

Consider using double-walled boxes if you feel the transportation will be extreme or your cargo requires extra protection. These are heavy-duty boxes that have two layers of stacked corrugated cardboard. These packaging solutions are strong enough to be stacked, and you are guaranteed that your products will be safe inside.

If you can’t find these boxes, use strong, plastic totes instead.

Label your boxes

The workers at the dock, carriers, and freight forwarders don’t know the items in the boxes they are handling, and if your product needs extra care and you don’t indicate this in your packaging, it ends up being damaged.

To prevent this from happening, properly package your products. For example, if your products should be placed in a certain way, have a sign such as “this way up” or “handle with care” on your boxes.

Are you shipping fragile products? Have a “fragile” or “do not double stack” sign so that the handlers handle your pallet with care.

For a better visibility, ensure that the labels are on all sides of the pallet or crate.

Treat your wood packaging.

Wood packaging, such as timber pallets or bamboo dunnage, is a great option when shipping products overseas. Unfortunately, the pallets are often infested by pests.

If using wooden pallets, ensure that you comply with the international treatment guidelines put in place by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your wood packing is treated for pests and certified to be ISPM 15 compliant.

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