If you are an exporter and especially if you newer at exporting, you should have a checklist of points to consider before packing your cargo. Remember to use the right type and size of container. It is very important that you use the correct container size/type for the packing of your cargo.
Of course the type of container used is directly related to the type of cargo that you intend to ship. Generally speaking, 20′ containers are designed to carry heavier cargo. 40′ containers are designed to carry voluminous cargo rather than heavy cargo.
The condition of the container is as important as that is the basis of safe transport of your goods.If the container that you are using to pack your cargo is not in a good condition, you are opening yourself up to possible cargo damage, loss, and claims.
In the normal course of business, the shipping line is expected to release a clean, sound, dry and cargo worthy container from their empty storage depot to the transporter of the exporter. The container depot has a responsibility to ensure that the shipping line’s instructions are followed.
With that being said, the shipper has the responsibility to check if the container that is released from the depot will suit the exporters needs.
Items to be checked are the following. Ensuring these quick checks if done will prevent any major damage or loss claims at a later time.
the empty container received is clean, dry and free from any unusual smells, stains on the floorboard
no roof holes
the doors shut tight and without gaps
the lock rods close and lock properly
the slots for the seals are present and usable
floorboard is not cracked or broken
Another important part of the shipping process which shippers must understand and complete correctly is the documentation process.
Does your cargo require any permits in order to export
Is the cargo hazardous, and does it require a dangerous goods declaration
Is the packing list correct and reflect the correct cargo weights
SOLAS VGM regulations require exporters to verify the weight of their cargo and any dunnage
Ensuring that your documentation is all in order before you load the container will prevent problems at a later time.
If you have checked and satisfied all above points, one critical point remains and that is to pack your cargo properly. A lot of issues such as accidents, damages can happen during transport due to improper packing of cargo..Do not underestimate the importance of protecting your cargo.