When your products are being shipped internationally, it is extremely important to have clear shipping marks to help those who are dealing with the cargo. Otherwise, they may not be able to identify what they are working with and any appropriate measures or actions they have to take to ensure the safety of the goods during the transportation flow.
Some considerations when creating shipping marks
Generally, it is the importer or buyer that specifies what information a shipping mark should display. There are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding on how shipping marks should be done, such as:
- Will shipping marks be handwritten or printed? Handwritten markings can be more difficult to read.
- Which information should be displayed on which side of shipper carton? More important information should be easy-to-reach.
- Will carton markings be added directly by the carton manufacturer or later added by the supplier that packages the goods? Carton markings will be easier to amend if they are adhered during packaging.
- Depending on the type of product you want to ship, appropriate warning signs may need to be printed on the cartons as well. For example, if the product is easily damaged, use a “fragile” sign.
What information do shipping marks commonly contain?
Shipping marks will usually be printed on both the long side and short side of the shipper carton and contain the following information:
On the long side of the carton
- Purchaser’s company name with/without logo
- Product order number
- Product item number/SKU number
- Country of destination
On the short side of the carton:
- Net weight and gross weight of the carton
- Dimensions of the carton
- Number of carton (example: 1 of 100)
Shipping marks may seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of manufacturing. But that shipment of products you’re expecting to receive in Los Angeles could be destined for Miami if cartons are labeled with incorrect markings.
Most importantly, make sure that what is included in the shipping marks conforms to your supplier’s packing list.
Can’t get enough packaging advice? Be sure to check out packaging inspection guideline below and learn from the experts!