The globalization of markets and the growth of e-commerce have led to a significant expansion in the shipping industry. International cargo shipping is essential to global trade, connecting businesses across vast distances and waterways.
Cargo preparation is often overlooked in international shipping, even though it is extremely important. Adequate preparation is crucial to ensure your cargo reaches its destination safely and efficiently. Careful planning and attention to detail are critical for air and ocean freight services. There can be lifts, mechanical equipment, and conveyors to handle the cargo, and you must ensure that your shipment can withstand these pressures.
So, what preparations do you need to ship your cargo through international seas? To help you with that, here are the top six tips to prepare your cargo for international shipping.
Ensure The Goods Can Handle Shipping Pressures
The first and foremost consideration is to analyze if your goods can be protected throughout the international journey.
International shipping via sea can subject your cargo to various kinds of pressure, including pressure from the weight of the shipment itself, pressure from the water during transit, and pressure from the movement of the barge. It is particularly true when shipping larger goods across long distances via barge towing.
The idea is to protect the goods and prepare them to handle what international shipping throws at them. If your goods are shipped with different goods, ensure they remain protected and stay placed on top, alongside, and against other goods without getting damaged. In other words, make sure the goods are stackable.
Similarly, you also need to pay attention to the weight and distribution of the cargo. Ensure that the load is evenly distributed and the weight is properly balanced. It will help prevent shifting during transit and minimize the pressure on any one part of the cargo.
Choose the Right Container
The first step in preparing your cargo is to choose the right container. The container you select should be perfect and appropriate for the cargo you want to ship. For instance, if you wish to send perishable goods, opt for a refrigerated container to keep the shipment at the right temperature throughout the shipping process.
In addition to selecting the appropriate container type, you should ensure the container is in good condition and free from damage. Inspect the container thoroughly before loading your cargo, and be certain there are no cracks, holes, or other defects that could compromise the safety of your shipment.
Properly Label Your Cargo
Labeling your cargo is crucial to ensure it reaches its destination safely and smoothly. The labels should include the recipient’s name, address, contact information, and any special handling requirements. Additionally, the labels should be affixed to the container securely to prevent them from falling off during shipping.
When labeling your cargo, you should use clear and legible fonts to ensure the labels are easily read. Additionally, you should avoid using abbreviations or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to the shipping company or the recipient.
Also, when sending larger goods, consider palletizing or crating your goods regardless of whether it’s full or part shipping. It will help improve the structural security of your heavier and larger goods and prepare them for international shipping.
Moreover, providing clear and accurate label information helps prevent delays or errors during shipping, saving you time and money in the long run.
Secure Your Cargo
Properly securing your cargo is essential to prevent unexpected damage to your goods. Use appropriate materials such as straps, ropes, or nets to secure your shipment inside the container.
Additionally, ensure the cargo is balanced and distributed properly to prevent shifting during transportation. It is especially important when shipping via towing, as the vessel’s movement can cause the load to shift if it is not secured correctly.
When securing your cargo, you should use materials appropriate for your shipment’s weight and size. Any defects or damage to the securing materials can compromise the safety of your cargo and increase the risk of damage during transportation.
Protect Your Cargo From Inside
Protecting your cargo from the inside is as important as securing it from the outside. Use shrink wrap or plastic sheets to protect your cargo from moisture, dust, or other contaminants during shipping. Additionally, you should use appropriate packaging materials, such as bubble wrap or foam, to protect fragile items from damage.
For example, when shipping delicate or fragile items, you may need to provide additional cushioning or protection to keep the goods protected from unforeseen situations such as harsh weather. Shipping fragile goods without filling the surrounding space can massively increase the likelihood of damage.
One way to protect your cargo with adequate internal packaging is to use the box-in-box packing method, in which the box containing the goods is packed inside another larger box with filled surrounding space.
Choose a Reliable Shipping Company
Even if you follow the above-listed tips to ensure your cargo arrives at its destination safely and on time, you must choose a reliable shipping company to do so. For instance, when shipping via barge towing, you should select a company with experience in this transportation type.
Towing a barge requires specialized equipment and expertise, so choosing a shipping company with the necessary resources and knowledge to handle your cargo is important. Additionally, you should ensure that the shipping company has appropriate insurance coverage to protect your shipment in case of loss or damage.
Also, remember to check the company’s safety record and credentials to ensure they meet all regulatory requirements and have the right professional expertise onboard to complete the job successfully.
Preparing your cargo for international shipping can be complex and requires adequate planning and attention to detail. From choosing the right container, labeling and securing your shipment, and protecting it from the outside elements to choosing the right shipping company, you must ensure that your cargo arrives at its destination safely and efficiently. So follow the five tips outlined in this article and ensure that your cargo arrives at its destination safely and efficiently and that your business operations can continue smoothly.
Jeena Alfredo is a passionate digital marketer at The Business Goals. She is working with other companies to help them manage the relationship with The Business Goals for the publications.