Monthly Archives: November 2015

Top 10 tips to safely package and ship your large and heavy goods overseas

When shipping your large and heavy goods abroad, it’s vital that you package them in a way that keeps them in good condition and also gives guidance to those receiving them in the other country.

Shipping boxes 1

Large and heavy goods require appropriate packaging to prevent them from becoming damaged, or from damaging other items in the shipment.

For a shipment to be cost and time efficient, you need to ensure that your packaging is fit for purpose, whilst also remembering all the legal requirements that have to be met.

That’s why we have put together this very handy list of top 10 tips and things to remember when packaging and shipping your large and heavy goods overseas.

  1. Palletise your goods to reduce the risk of damage

One of the best ways of saving space, ensuring that all your goods arrive at their destination without damage, is to use straps for pallets, holding them all tightly and securely together on a pallet. Pallets are easily transported using a pallet jack or a pallet truck, and therefore save time and energy for both the carrier and those receiving the goods.

Remember that there is EU regulation in place that effects some pallets and pallet boxes. ISPM15 is the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures NO.15, and was put in place to prevent destructive organisms from being transported from one country to another in treated wood work. You can use products such as our Wooden Pallet Boxes & Inka Pallets that comply with these export regulations.

  1. Extra strong strapping will prevent damage, theft and tampering of goods in your shipment

Extra strong strapping and custom packaging tape keeps your items together and prevents people from opening the packages in transit.

With products such as custom packaging tape, it also allows you to add extra branding and instructions to your products.

  1. Use void fill to protect surrounding items

 It is vitally important that the appropriate void fill is used to ensure that products don’t move around and become damaged in their shipping box when they are being transported. This is especially true with large and heavy goods that could potentially damage stock around them.

Bubble wrap is good for protecting the item itself, but if you want to protect other items from large and heavy goods falling on them, void fill such as vermiculite is ideal.

  1. Clean your items thoroughly to avoid fines at customs

Certain items can become dangerous if they are not properly cleaned. For instance, if a wood pallet is not cleaned, it can begin to rot and become a home for parasites and organisms that can carry infections and diseases. If dangerous goods are not properly declared or packaged, they can be stopped from going through customs and fines can be issued to the exporter and carrier.

You should wash or wipe products thoroughly and inspect for elements such as damp that could lead to rot or product damage.

  1. Research what products are classed as Dangerous Goods

Goods that are considered to be potentially dangerous need to be packaged and labelled in a way that protects the item and those who have to handle it. If you send these goods on a regular basis, you may also be required to employ a DGSA (Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor).

Dangerous goods are separated into categories depending on the type of damage they can cause and the type of event that must occur for those products to become lethal.

Examples of dangerous products include:

Flammable liquids and gases, toxic waste, infectious substances, radioactive material.

For a full list of the categories of dangerous goods, head to the ‘shipping dangerous goods page on the .gov website.

  1. Check weight restrictions applied by the forwarder or carrier

Depending on the size of your goods, you may need to be aware of weight restrictions. These usually only come into effect with much bigger items (larger than pallet loads). However, even with smaller goods such as large parcels, there are increasing charges as size and weight grows.

It is important that you research the freight agent’s and forwarder’s charges as it can often work out cheaper to palletise your smaller items.

  1. Fill out an ESCI as accurately and with as much detail as possible

An ESCI (or Export Cargo Shipping Instruction) is an instruction document which is given by the exporter to the carrier. On this document will be notes about the route, the way an item should be handled, who should receive the goods and an allocation of costs.

Many insurers won’t pay out on goods that don’t have a correct and completed ESCI. These notes are especially important for shipments that require temperature control or include fragile goods.

Shipping boxes 2

  1. Don’t forget your Standard Shipping Note

Standard Shipping Notes are a necessity if you’re shipping goods abroad. They contain information about the goods and those carrying them and are used by the carriers and custom officials. Without these notes, your goods can be prevented from leaving or entering a country.

  1. Take out export insurance

Export insurance protects the exporter against the risk of not being paid under export contract, or not being able to fulfil that contract because of events that prevent the delivery of goods.

Given that the economy and politics of nations can change in the space of days, export insurance gives you peace of mind and could save you large amounts of money.

10Avoid taxes by acquiring an ATA Carnet

If you’re moving goods into another country on a temporary basis, you may be eligible for an ATA Carnet. An ATA Carnet is a document which secures tax and duty free importation of goods into a country as long as they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are sample products
  • They are being displayed at a trade show
  • They are being used for construction.

Avoiding taxes on these imports can save your business money and time.

Picture credit to Bridget Colla and Jaxport


55 years on: we spoke to Sealed Air who revealed how Bubble Wrap has stood the test of time

With the impending introduction of a new ‘unpoppable’ Bubble Wrap dubbed as iBubble, we spoke to the company that originally created the popular packaging material in 1957, Sealed Air. We asked them how Bubble Wrap had stood the test of time as a protective packaging material popular with retailers and consumers alike.

Sealed Air Logo

Rajapack: We’ve heard that Bubble Wrap was invented after two shower curtains were placed together and was originally intended as wallpaper. Can you give us any more ‘insider’ info on how Bubble Wrap moved from wallpaper to protective packaging?

Sealed Air: The original waffled wall-covering was a marketplace flop.  Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, the creators of the wallpaper and founders of Sealed Air, then tried to position their creation as greenhouse insulation. But that idea, too, was unsuccessful.

Their luck changed when international powerhouse, IBM launched its 1401 Data Processing System in 1960, and needed protective packaging for sizable shipments of the delicate electronics. Fielding and Chavannes realise how effective their invention could be in this field and brand their product, Bubble Wrap. In response to the initial success of Bubble Wrap, they launched the Sealed Air Corporation that we recognise today.

Rajapack: What are the key benefits of Bubble Wrap as protective packaging?

Sealed Air: Using air to pack was a revolution, and is still just as valid today as it was 50 years ago. It’s more sustainable, flexible, cost-effective and protective to use air to protect than to use material. And we keep innovating to ensure Bubble Wrap’s place in the hearts and minds of our customers is never called into question.

Rajapack: How do you ensure that the Bubbles don’t pop prematurely?

Sealed Air: All air cellular packaging materials are made from polyethylene. However, polyethylene alone does not provide good air retention over time or under a weight load. That’s why we use a co-extruded barrier that is 100 times more resistant to the passage of air than even a thick single layer of polyethylene.

Bubble Wrap in use

Rajapack: How can Sealed Air and Bubble Wrap become more environmentally responsible, something that is becoming increasingly important to customers?

Sealed Air: As a knowledge-based company with a focus on sustainability, our objective is to provide our customers with solutions that solve their business challenges while reducing waste throughout the supply chain.

By considering the ethical and environmental impact of our solutions, we deliver products with measureable sustainability improvements over the products we replace. It’s something we call “The SmartLife™ approach.” This is a customer-centric method of product innovation – and Bubble Wrap plays its part in this approach.

Rajpack: How has Bubble Wrap evolved over time, and do you think it could be improved?

Sealed Air: Bubble Wrap has diversified and adapted with customers’ needs throughout its 55 years on the market. The size of bubbles have been made both bigger and smaller, to enable greater versatility in protection as customer requirements have changed over the years.

It is innovation that has kept Bubble Wrap as one of the most popular protective packaging materials on the market.  It’s been added to the lining of envelopes, leading to the development of a whole host of protective mailers. This simple, but highly effective application of the bubble technology makes it quicker and easier for retailers to pack and ship products.

Most recently, we’ve introduced a new, revamped version of Bubble Wrap that doesn’t pop. This new version of Bubble Wrap can get into markets that original Bubble Wrap could not reach before, and doing so while drastically reducing the amount of trucks on the road to get our product into the hands of our customers.  We will continue to develop and innovate in order to ensure Bubble Wrap stays as effective as possible.

Popping the Bubble Wrap

When you’re sending goods to your customers, it is vital that you protect them so that they arrive in ideal condition. Bubble Wrap continues to be one of the market leaders in protective packaging, and with Sealed Air continuing to develop and innovate their product, it is set to continue to safely package products for years to come.

If you would like any more information on how Bubble Wrap can aid your packaging operation, contact one of our packaging specialists on 0800 542 44 28. You can also view all our Bubble Wrap products on the Rajapack website.