How to label your packages for export

The last phase of packing your product for export effectively is always labeling. Parcels can travel thousands of miles through modern and sophisticated global networks before they finally reach their destinations. To ensure that your packages are always delivered in time and in excellent conditions, it is important to label your packages for export shipments correctly. If you have never exported anything before, here are some labeling tips to help you out.

Label your boxes with all the necessary information

When exporting, some of the information that you will need to include on the label, which is important for making sure that your goods arrive undamaged and safely include:

  • The country of origin
  • The shipper’s mark
  • The weight and or volume of the package or items you are shipping. Your net and gross weight measurements should be included in metric measurements, which is the accepted standard worldwide.
  • Cautionary marks and instructions for handling such as GLASS to indicate fragility or THIS SIDE UP.Consignee details (the receiver of the items)
  • The seller’s name and order number
  • The number of the package or size of the case if you are exporting multiple boxes or crates. For instance, labeling ‘one of two’ and so on will guarantee that your shipment arrives together at the port of destination.

Make certain that the country of origin is labeled correctly- the country of origin may differ from the country of business if the products were actually manufactured in a different country. Check the regulations in your destination country to ascertain the rules (different export markets may require the country of origin to be marked in a specific way). Inappropriate details regarding the country of origin on the label may result in confiscation of goods by the customs authorities of the destination country so prudence should be exercised.

Do not add unnecessary information that does not serve a purpose

Unless your destination country requires you to specify the contents of the package or box, you should refrain from denoting the contents of the package on the label. Specifying the contents is often an invitation for thieves to steal your goods. If you must, use coded marks to identify the goods in accordance with your destination country.

Only use brand new boxes

Sidoman understands and sees the value in recycling. However, recycled boxes often contain old marks, which lead us back to the above point.  If you are planning on using old boxes, make certain that all old marks, addresses, labels, and advertising is removed or obscured permanently to limit the confusion that handlers or carriers may face.

The label must be clear and permanent

The labels that you use must be large and easy enough to read. Ensure that you have enough space to fit all the important information required. The labels that you select must also be waterproof and resistant to natural elements.

Label multiple sides

Consignee marks, which are the symbols placed n packages for identification purposes should be included on multiple sides. Consignee marks generally consist of triangles, diamonds, circles, crosses, squares etc and design letters or numbers that help to identify the nature of the package.

If possible, try and make all five sides of your carton, this way, handlers can locate your carton no matter how it is positioned.

Make your label markings in English

Unless notified otherwise, English is the best language to use for your markings. The freight forwarding service that you use should be able to notify you whether you also need to provide the markings in the language of the export country.  If such markings are necessary, you may have to translate the labels with the help of a translator. Alternatively, the embassy or consulate of your destination country should be able to help because they are always eager to facilitate international trade.

Not sure how to label your goods? Sidoman can help here.

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Tuesday 14th Nov 2017

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