Packing and marking is an essential part of delivering goods from one place to another. It’s of great importance to pack and mark your goods proper way to have them in the right conditions in the right place.
Packing goods for export is a highly specialized job. If the goods are improper packed and marked, the carrier will refuse to accept them, or will make qualifications about the unsatisfactory condition of packing in the Bill of Lading.
Packing can be:
– external (crate, bag)
– internal (box, packet, flask, etc.) – in which the goods are sold.
In case of consumer goods packing has a double function:
– advertising of a product (to attract customers)
The main conditions of the packing usually mentioned in contract are the follows:
- The equipment and spare parts are to be shipped in export sea packing meeting the requirement of each particular type of equipment.
- The packing is to secure full safety of the goods from any kinds of damage and corrosion during transportation by sea, rail way and combined transport.
- The packing shall be suitable for loading by crane, by autocrats, by tracks or manually.
- The seller shall be responsible for any damage to or breakage of the goods that may be caused by poor packing or for corrosion which may appear due to improper or insufficient coating.
Marking should be in indelible paint with recognized kind of marks. Often there are instructions to the crane driver: e.g. use no hooks, stow away from boilers, fragile, this way up. The shipping marks are important for loading because the cargo, which is going to be unloaded in the last port of call, has to be loaded first and vice versa.
The main conditions of the marking usually mentioned in contract are the follows:
- The cases in which the equipment is packed are to be marked on three sides: on the top of the case and two non-opposite sides.
- The marking shall be clearly made with indelible paint in English and language of origin
- All cases which need special handling must have an additional marking (handle with care, top, do not turn over) as well as other indications if specific handling of a particular case is required.
Usually, when we talk of packaging, we mean the wrapping of products for display in shops such as packets of biscuits, boxes of matches and jars of jam. The term packing refers to larger quantities packed for transport such as tea chest, crates of machinery and barrels of wine.
Nowadays more and more goods in foreign trade are carried in large containers. But there are still many ports and ships, which use the old kind of packing. That means that goods are packed separately (break-bulk) and not in bulk quantities.
Inspite the fact of the automatization being so advantageous, old stile loading is still often used. Many goods ‘re palletized .. The sacks or cartons ‘re stacked on pallets which ‘re than lifted by crane or folk-lift trucks.
I also can’t but mention the way the Exporter calculates the freight costs. The price of sending goods by sea, the freight charges, is measured either by volume or weight. If the goods ‘re made by heavy materials the freight is calculated according to weight, if the goods are made of light – according to volume. The measurement ton for sea freight is 40 cubic feet (over 1 cubic metre). If one ton of the goods takes up less space than 40 cubic feet the freight is charged according to the weight, if more – according to volume. When u export goods & want to know the cost of freight, u need to know the stowage factor of the goods. The stowage factor is the weight of 40 cubic feet of the goods.
Big ports have changed completely in the last twenty years. Docks and ships look quite different nowadays. Instead of forests of tall thin cranes lifting pallets, we see a few huge heavily built transporter cranes lifting big steel boxes. Instead of hundreds of stevedores working in the holds and on the quayside we see no men at all; we just see huge machines . Instead of long warehouses at the dockside, we see open spaces with stacks of boxes. Lines of goods trains with the same boxes stand nearby. The ships themselves look like huge steel tanks with lots of smaller tans stacked in them.
The capital cost of containerizing ports is enormous. So the majority of ports still use traditional methods.
Containers are steel boxes of different sizes but usually 8 by 8 by 20 or 40 feet (2.4 by 5.9 or.12 metres). This size is limited by the width of roads. But all containers are same width and height. This is a revolution in transport. The advantages are:
Handling at docks can be done mostly by machines. Ships specially designed can receive the containers.
Very few stevedores are needed. A traditional ship took one hundred men, three to four weeks to unload. A container ship of the same size takes twelve to fifteen men, three to four days.
Unloading and loading a container ship is very fast. Fewer ships can deliver goods more quickly.
Packing can be done in suppliers’ factories. Containers needn’t be opened except for Customs inspection until they reach the customers.
Warehouses are unnecessary. Containers are waterproof and can be stacked by straddle carriers outside in the rain.
During Ro/ro transportation, containers can be handled in two ways: can be off-loaded from lorries belonging to traders onto slave trailers & parked to speed handling operations. Containers can also be double-stacked & than towed on board; or they can be stacked in the marshalling areas & carried on board by folk-lift trucks. Trailers too can be parked in the marshalling areas & then towered on board temperature controlled trailers can be connected to the electrical plant in the ship. Small-unit containers are pre-loaded onto slave-trailers & protected by tarpaulins if necessary these can be folk-lifted on board. Wheeled or self propelled cargo such as cars, can be driven on board & stowed in the lower hold.
Ro/ro ships have lifts to take containers to upper & lower decks& can often carry as many as 3 hundred containers & a hundred 30 foot trailers.