In the big business of shipping it is obviously extremely important for those handling cargo to be able to identify what they are dealing with and to take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure safety and ease of transport. In order to make certain that the handlers are able to identify the shipment it is crucial to provide shipping marks which show the handler what type of product is present within the carton or cardboard box used to pack the materials.
Shipping mark guidelines
There are a few key shipping marks related rules that shipping companies need to follow and these include:
- The port and identification marks that indicate destination and transfer points should be applied by stencil with waterproof ink in a large clear font on three sides of the package.
- Coded marks rather than trade names should be present in the shipping mark in order to help ensure that the handlers are less aware of the contents and therefore that the goods are less subject to theft. The codes should be changed from time to time to minimize any familiarity handlers may develop with the codes.
- If the shipment requires any sort of specialist handling or treatment then the shipping marks should indicate it; this information should also be present on the bill of lading.
- All cautionary and handling shipping marks must be permanent and very legible. Ensure that the languages at the origin and destination are the same, and if not make sure that shipping marks are in both languages.
- It is highly recommended that a stencil is used when creating shipping marks as it increases legibility – try to avoid materials which are not waterproof.
Most freight shipping will require a certain level of handling at the target destination and as such it is a good idea to print the handling instructions on the exterior of the shipping crates or cardboard boxes in the language of the destination country.