As an exporter, you should be aware of the fact that the packaging requirements vary depending on the size of your shipment in that you need to provide more details should your cargo be packed in cartons to be loaded onto pallets. Here are some of the pieces of information to be marked on the packaging for easy cargo identification.
First of all, the shipping address label will include the customer’s name, the shipping address, the contact person and a phone or fax number where they can be reached upon the arrival of the package as well as the order or purchase number. Similarly, a return address label will also be attached to the package. This will include your company name, its address, a contact person’s name as well as a contact number. It should be noted that these two labels are to be found on all cartons shipped.
Next, the country of origin, which may differ from the place of business, must be mentioned on the cartons for the paperwork and processing to be handled properly. The requirements on this marking should be available with the transport company, the customer or the local authorities.
Marking the contents on the outside of the cartons might also be necessary for the proper identification of your cargo by both customers and cargo handlers. However, you should only do this with low-value items or items in low demand only to prevent hijacking or theft. You can also consult your customer about “blind marking” the cargo, i.e. marking the cartons erroneously for safety purposes.
Also, you should mark the packages in need of special handling using universal phrases or symbols for instant identification such as “fragile”, “keep dry” or “flammable”, depending on the contents. You can label them using both phrases and symbols for additional safety just as long as you do it properly.
Another recommendation is that you mention the number of cartons loaded on each pallet in order to be able to verify whether your cargo has reached the port of destination in its entirety.
All markings should be in English unless instructed otherwise. Should the cargo need to be marked in the language of the country of import as well, your customer or the transport company should inform you in advance so that you can contact a local translator or the local consulate to handle it. Whomever you decide to contact, just make sure the translation is accurate.
Moreover, the cartons should be marked by your company or the transport company on all five sides or at least on one long end and one short end in order for their identification to be possible from any angle. Make sure all old markings are removed to avoid confusion.
Last but not least, the effective packaging of export products also includes that the gross and net weight of the packages to be shipped be marked on the outside, as well as their measurements as per a generally accepted system of measurement, most commonly the metric one.
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