Four Crucial Questions to Consider Before Packing the First Shipment for Your Export Company

Posted on: 17 March 2017

If you've recently started an export business, you've likely waded through a lot of information on customs, duties, and foreign laws. However, once you have all the legalese down and you've decided on a shipping company for your wares, you also have to consider actually packing your shipping containers. Before you pack your first shipping container, here are four crucial questions to consider.

1. Are Your Shipping and Packaging Supplies the Right Fit for Your Company?

The shipping containers and packaging supplies you select reflect on your company. Your supplies have to get your shipments to your customers in good shape, but they also work as an ambassador for your company. In that regard, they need to look sharp and be environmentally sourced. It's also important to ensure you work with a reputable company that can keep you in constant supply with a minimum of delays.

2. Do You Understand Dangerous Goods Regulations?

There are lots of different ways to pack shipping containers carefully, but if you're shipping dangerous goods, you can't experiment with your own packaging methods. Rather, you have to ensure you met local and international regulations in terms of packaging supplies, quantities of materials, and similar matters. You may also have to fill out dangerous goods declarations.

3. Do You Have Cargo Insurance?

Whether you're shipping dangerous goods or anything else, accidents can happen, and if you want to avoid a loss, you need to have cargo insurance. Cargo insurance covers financial loss that results from misplaced or broken shipments. With this coverage, you can quickly address client concerns and replace missing or damaged shipments. Without cargo insurance, you may be stuck holding the bill, and if you can't afford to replace your inventory or reimburse clients who have already paid, those losses can potentially be devastating to your business.

4. Is Your Staff Well Trained on Packing Shipping Containers?

If you're not shipping dangerous goods, you have a lot more leeway on how you pack your shipping containers, but you may want to standardize your approach to improve the odds that your objects will arrive safely. It's also important that your staff understands your expectations and guidelines related to shipping. In this case, you shouldn't just leave it to "common sense" or assume your staff will pack the shipping containers correctly. Instead, you should train everyone thoroughly on which packaging materials to use, how to seal the shipping containers correctly, and whatever else is important to you. If your staff doesn't pack the shipping containers correctly and breakage occurs, your cargo insurance issuer may deny the claim due to negligence on your part.

Before you ship your first container, reach out to a shipping container company for more tips. These specialists supply the containers, and they also know the best ways to pack them.