Packaging is one of the most essential processes of cargo shipping.
Good packaging ensures the goods reach the delivery destination without any harm. It protects the goods, while they’re loaded, unloaded, and in transit.
But cargo shipping packaging comes with its own set of challenges. Cargos are handled by heavy warehouse equipment and switched between large trailers/trucks.
Freight carriers will refuse to ship your items if they feel the goods won’t survive the turbulent journeys in international shipping or the crush of a hydraulic lift or arms of the forklift.
That probably makes you wonder how to avoid such situations and how to pack cargo for shipping.
Before proceeding with the shipping, it’s ideal to devote time to how you should pack the cargo while also saving the costs associated with the same.
Top 7 Tips to Follow for Cargo Shipping Packing
1. Choose the Correct Packaging Material
One thing you have to keep in mind while cargo shipping packaging is to choose quality and functionality over looks. Freight shipping has certain packaging prerequisites. You need to ensure goods are packed in double-walled or reinforced parcel boxes that match the basic standards of international shipping.
If you’re delivering large oversized goods, ensure the structural security of larger and heavier goods by crating or palletising your goods.
Choose corrugated cartons to withstand the weight of stacked packages and consider using edge protectors or paperboard to further protect the goods. It ensures higher durability and prepares the cargo for whatever international shipping has in store.
Quality packaging calls for extra investment but it ultimately saves you the costs of broken and damaged goods.
2. Internal Packing and Taping
Your internal packing will play a prominent role in ensuring your goods fit perfectly inside the packaging materials. The first thing you need to do is pick box sizes that are a suitable size for your items to avoid unnecessary space in the parcel.
The shipping costs ultimately rely on the size, volume, and weight of your parcel. To avoid overpaying, optimise the space inside. You can also consider the box-in-box packing method to fill in the surrounding space.
For example, air cushions are a great way to fill the gap in small packages. Keep a gap of two to three inches at each side to fill with cushioning material that prevents the goods from strong impact and movement around in the box.
3. Make Sure your Goods can Handle the Pressures of International Shipping
Long distances aren’t the only factor to consider while packing the cargo for international shipping. Understand that the goods will be loaded and unloaded multiple times and will be subject to rough handling while in transit, whether it is sea freight or air freight.
Chances are, your goods will be shipped with a range of other goods. And you don’t know the nature and size of other types of goods. So ask yourself:
- Can your goods withstand the weight of other goods if they’re stacked alongside or on top of each other?
- Will they be able to endure the changing weather conditions and overnight shipping?
- Can they be easily lifted by a forklift?
While you’ll go to lengths to ensure your goods are protected, it's necessary to be practical and understand how they will be stacked.
4. Check the Maximum Weight of the Goods
Checking the weight of your goods is important to ensure that the weight doesn’t exceed the maximum container load. It can easily happen if you’re shipping heavy items. Choosing a box or a crate that can’t handle the weight will damage goods in transit.
So you want to choose the packaging according to the approximate weight of your goods.
In case you’re shipping heavy cargo, choose reliable packing materials that can endure the weight of the goods.
Check with your freight service provider for the best packaging solutions if you’re at a standoff and have trouble making a decision. To check the weight of the entire container, you can either check the gross weight or weigh the items and container separately.
5. Standardise your Packaging Process
Establish clear guidelines for packing your goods. These guidelines and checklists will set a routine for packing items in an optimal way and ensure that no crucial steps are missed.
By enforcing a stringent packaging process, your staff will learn the important steps, right from choosing the right box size to how to place the product inside the carton, and how to label the boxes and products before they are dispatched.
6. Descriptive Marking and Labelling of the Packages
Your packaging is also a medium of communication. Label your cargo goods that answer the common questions about handling the product, contents inside the package, expected delivery dates, and precautions to handle the goods while they’re in transit.
When a shipment is palletized, add arrow markings such as ‘THIS WAY UP’ on the packaging to ensure that the item will stay in the correct orientation during shipment. If you’re sending an indicator that tracks the dynamic environment, add it to the commodity itself for the best result.
Additionally, add labels of international shipping paperwork, commercial invoices, and other important documents in an external shipping pouch.
7. Cross-check Address Details to Avoid Delays
Ensure that the delivery details on the packaging are correct and make this a part of your standardised packing process. Add the mobile number and other important details so that the delivery reaches the intended destination.
Petty errors like spelling & grammar mistakes can end up becoming a big hassle and increase your costs. Check the format of the number, postal codes, and email addresses to ensure that there are no mistakes in the last-mile delivery.
Get Professional Packing Help with PACK & SEND
We hope these points give you an answer to how to pack cargo for shipping. However, it can get complex since there are so many packing options available and you need to figure out the right one for you. It is ideal to get professional packaging help while shipping your cargo and PACK & SEND helps you do just that.