If you’re shipping goods a key part of the process is packing or stuffing your containers. The full container will be subject to a number of lifts and drops, as it makes its way to its final destination before the contents are taken out. It takes proper care and planning to do the job correctly.
One question which is rarely considered is where you will be stuffing your container? If you’ve never used a shipping container before you might not have given it much thought. Perhaps you presume that the container is loaded at your premises and then taken to the port ready for shipping.
This can sometimes be the case, but it does of course then require the shipping of a full container from your premises to the port, which can sometimes be a considerable distance. There are a range of logistical and process issues to consider prior to the container being stuffed and readied for shipping.
A complex process
It can seem incredibly complex trying to arrange international shipping for your goods, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. If you’re a manufacturer looking to sell goods overseas, or a community group or charity shipping relief goods or materials to somewhere overseas, you might be wondering where to begin. Before you decide where to stuff your container ready for shipping onwards, you will need to better understand how international shipping works.
Get professional help
While it’s certainly possible to prepare a container for shipping yourself it usually makes sense to use the services of a freight forwarding company. These are companies that specialise in sending other peoples’ goods around the world. They essentially act as a middleman between the company or individual sending the goods and the shipping lines.
Can I deal with the shipping lines directly?
It’s possible to deal with shipping companies directly, but you won’t necessarily save yourself any money. Freight forwarding companies usually have excellent bulk buying power and the prices they offer will be similar to those of the shipping lines. The shipping companies are large entities, with well worked out and often quite rigid processes. They rarely offer much in the way of flexibility. If you use a freight forwarding company, you’re likely to have a contact at the company who can deal with any issues directly. Most shipping companies offer a well-run, and mostly hitch-free service but occasionally things do go wrong. A freight forwarding company is better placed to deal with any issues that arise with the shipping company rather than an individual or small business.
Taking care when you pack your container
Your freight forwarding company will be able to outline when and how your shipping container should be packed. Perhaps more important than where your container is stuffed, is how carefully the contents are added to the container.
All official transit documents are termed ‘shippers load, stow and count’ which means the shipper is required to pack and stow safely. They are also required to accurately declare what is inside the container. As well as packing safely, this also means that you are required to provide an accurate and detailed list of the container contents. Badly packed shipping containers not only threaten the integrity of the goods themselves, but also present a possible danger to the machinery and people who are handling the goods during their transit. As the shipper you are likely to be liable for any issue that arises as a result of poorly packed containers.
To help minimise the risk of issues occurring you can hire the services of professional packers. Cargo packing services will usually offer warehousing and packing services at their own premises before transporting the goods on to the port for shipping. Once the container is at the port, the terminal will not let members of the public onto the quay for the same reasons airlines won’t let members of the public wander onto a runway.
SSO Logistics can guide you through the process.
At SSO Logistics, international logistics services, they are experienced at guiding companies through the entire shipping process. They can provide shipping services anywhere in the world, including the shipping of hazardous goods. They understand that the process can be confusing and complex if you are unfamiliar with it. That is why they are always happy to answer any questions you might have.