Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Overlooked Aspect of Exporting……Packaging…

Guest Blogger Sara E Scarfo, Bentley World Packaging
There are many positive and rewarding aspects to exporting products overseas. However, many companies can find themselves in a costly situation if they have not considered the complete supply chain.  A largely overlooked cost in exporting overseas is the packaging of your product.  Failure to understand the importance of proper packaging can cause damage to the product, misrouting of the package in transit, and ultimately delay in delivery to your customer. We will discuss three areas of concern when shipping a product overseas whether by ocean or air.
The first area of concern is the rust and corrosion factor. The cost of damage through corrosion is estimated at $300 billion per year in the US. Of this 35% or $104 billion is avoidable. Of that, $20 billion occurs in the exporting of goods.  Causes of corrosion can be tracked to moisture contacting metal through salt spray, acid rain, and condensation from sudden changes in temperature or humidity.  Other contaminates contacting the metal from recycled corrugated or adhesives in plywood or other processed wood products also lend to creating a corrosion issue.  However, these can be avoided. There are multiple options in protecting a product from corrosion. These include permanent and temporary coatings, vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) films, VCI emitters, and desiccants. One of these options or a combination can safe guard a metal product from potential damage.
Through the actual movement of goods, the shock, vibration and multiple handling aspects of transit can cause minimal to severe damage of a good.  Care needs to be taken to properly package against repeat rough handling as well as stacking and storage in a warehouse, container, or plane.  If your product is travelling by ocean, a ship has the potential of travelling up to 70 feet with each complete roll; as often as 7 to 10 times per minute depending on the seas. Whether your product is packaged in a container or travelling break-bulk, extreme care needs to be taken to ensure the product is safe from outside damage as well as being secured inside the crate. Product that is not secured inside a crate properly can cause extensive damage by shooting out of the crate and damage anything in its path as a ship may be pitching, swaying, or rolling.
Lastly, shippers must be cognizant of wood packing material restrictions when shipping overseas. Wood packing materials consist of pallets, boxes, and container blocking and bracing. Lumber must be Heat Treated, only plywood, OSB, and processed wood is exempt. Boxes, skids, and container blocking (dunnage) have to be stamped with the IPPC Mark.  These stamps are an indicator that the packer is in compliance with the ISPM-15 regulations. These stamps can only originate from the packer.  This process is controlled so the lumber can be tracked and ensured to meet regulations.
The check off of the above considerations when shipping a product overseas can prevent delays or damage in the long run and ensure a safe and timely delivery to your client. Costs associated with packaging can vary greatly upon the weight and size of the product, types of parts/metals, type of transportation and expected storage time. It is best to consult an experienced packaging company to further understand a cost structure for packaging.
Quick Tips:
1.       Domestic Packaging and Truck loading Techniques are NOT adequate for Ocean Shipping and Container Loading
2.       Read your order carefully to understand if special packaging and markings are REQUIRED or if there is a requirement for long term storage.
3.       Keep accurate records of package contents for reference and correlation to exporting packing list
4.       Take photos to show professional packaging was employed should there be a damage or loss claim to be filed.

Contact Information: 
Sara E Scarfo
Business Development Manager
Cell: 443-977-7446
Office: 410-483-6250
Fax: 410-483-6254


  1. Very good, summed it up! Effective way to get interesting information of Metal products ,well I I would like to share some interesting website that one http://www.gulfcoastsupply.com

  2. Nice post.
    Established in the year 1996, Rajanaa Wood is engaged in the sphere of manufacturing and supplying a wide range of industrial packaging materialsISPM 15 Certified Wooden Packings


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