How to prepare your cargo for shipment?

How to prepare your cargo for shipment?

During transportation, your cargo changes hands several times: many people handle your goods from the supplier to the carrier and any inland transport. So many changes of hands mean numerous opportunities for damage to your cargo.

Using the best packaging practices, you can protect your goods, saving you the cost of damaged goods or shipments that need to return.

How to pack cargo for transportation?

In most cases, international shippers do not pack the goods themselves – the suppliers do it. And when you’re running a fast-growing business, you’re busy with so many things that it can be tempting to step back and let a vendor manage the entire process.

But working with your supplier to gain transparency about their packaging practices is essential. Spending time working together in advance can prevent:

  • Damaged products;
  • Broken inventory;
  • High surcharges;
  • Additional costs for returns;
  • Inconvenience and delays.

How to pack for international shipping

When planning cargo packaging, consider the following:

  1. What types of pallets can you use?

Pallets are flat structures used for cargo handling. They are usually made of wood (typically oak or yellow pine), metal, plastic, or corrugated paper.

  1. Palletizing vs. loading on the floor

Palletizing means stacking cargo boxes on pallets inside a container. Floor loading means stacking cargo boxes directly into the container, without pallets, from floor to ceiling.

Most shipments should be palletized to protect them from damage during transit. Pallets also make loading and unloading more accessible, which can prevent accidents.

  1. Thermal treatment of pallets for international transportation

Wooden pallets are heat treated to remove chemical residues and reduce the spread of quarantine pests in untreated lumber. Heat treatment is mandatory when you import goods into the United States and Canada. This is to control and prevent the spread of diseases and insects during international transport.

  1. Consider the size of the pallet before shipping

Pallets are available in various sizes and types depending on use and region. In the United States, the standard GMA pallet size is 48 x 40 inches with a load capacity of 4,600 pounds. Other standard measures include 48″ x 48″ and 42″ x 42″. 

Your supplier will usually choose the best and safest size for your shipment.

Note that there are additional palletizing guidelines if you use Amazon FBA.

  1. Appropriate marking of goods

Correct marking of cargo boxes and pallets is crucial to ensure their safety during transport. Labels with accurate data help anyone moving your goods handle the transportation and store them correctly. They also help locate shipments if they need help finding them in transit.

Please note that Amazon and Express have specific labeling guidelines to ensure the safe delivery and delivery of shipments. Customs marking rules may also differ depending on the country of import and the product. That’s why working with your supplier is crucial to determine what labels are needed and who will handle them.

Why do you need a shipping label?

The label must contain all vital information about the shipment, including the following:

  1. Name and address of the sender;
  2. Recipient’s name and address;
  3. Destination;
  4. Delivery method;
  5. Shipment weight;
  6. Size and quantity of cargo;
  7. A postal barcode;
  8. Unidirectional Code;
  9. Electronic tracking number;
  10. Standardized instructional handling symbols.

Special marking requirements for customs clearance

During international shipments, labels require specific information for customs clearance depending on the type of cargo and region.

If you are shipping to the USA:

  • Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for cargo packaging regulations for different products.
  • In textile products, the label usually indicates the country of origin, fiber content, and information about the manufacturer. You may need to include nutritional information, allergen warnings, and net amounts for food products.

Work with your suppliers to ensure all cargo is compliant. And ask your supplier to provide dimensions, including all packaging, to avoid increased shipping costs and ensure product safety.

Understanding Dimensional Weight (DIM)

Another critical aspect of determining cargo size is dimensional weight pricing (DIM). Dimensional weight (DIM) considers both the package’s size and volume.

Your shipping charges are calculated based on the package’s dimensional or actual weight, whichever is greater. Understanding your billable weight in advance can cut extra costs.

Risks of improper packaging

Only appropriately sized or properly packaged cargo may increase DIM rates and costs. If you use more space when packing, the total volume and the DIM price increase.

Conversely, a low price per weight can lower shipping costs. Packaging your cargo more efficiently reduces the total volume, reducing the DIM price.

The proper packaging of goods for international transportation

Proper packaging is vital to building a solid customer base and a successful business. Therefore, constantly review the essential packing and shipping requirements for the safe and efficient transportation of your goods.

Outsourcing logistics can save you financial costs. PartnerTrade will help optimize the transportation of your cargo. In addition, we can offer you the best route, depending on the volume and the dimensions of the products.

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