International shipping issues: packing and labeling

Improper packing and labeling can become an international shipping issue. To avoid potential problems such as breakage, moisture, theft, excess weight, or unexpected fees and delays there are several factors to consider. For example, light cargo can be shipped by air, but heavy cargo is usually shipped by sea. Be aware that transportation costs are determined by volume and weight. Also, keep in mind that the use of proper materials during the shipping process may save money.


Boxes on pallet

Boxes on pallet

The following are some guidelines from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Basic Guide to Exporting


  • Pack in strong containers, distributing the weight properly.
  • Use moisture-resistant material as packing filler.
  • Never write the content or the brand on packages.
  • Always respect shipping regulations. If you are shipping any hazardous materials, meet all their packing special requirements.
  • Regarding labeling, products may require many markings for shipment. For example, exporters need to put the following markings on cartons to be shipped: shipper’s mark, country of origin, weight marking (in pounds and kilograms), number of packages and size of cases (in inches and centimeters), handling marks (i.e., international pictorial symbols), cautionary markings, such as “This Side Up” or “Use No Hooks” (in English and in the language of the destination country), port of entry, labels for hazardous materials-


Consider hiring a professional company to prepare the cargo for shipment. This service is usually provided at a moderate cost. And, of course, always trust your shipping to an expert shipping company to avoid wasting time and money.


Also, read our post about quick tips to calculate volume and weight of your shipment.


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