Preparing your cargo for sea freight

May 26, 2017

The ocean can be a dangerous place. Rough weather, heavy seas, the wind and large swells all mean cargo onboard a vessel can be subject to a variety of motion and climatic conditions. This is why adequate preparation of cargo prior to shipping is essential. There are boxes, post packs and padded envelopes for small packages which can be posted by airmail, but when it comes to using sea freight, things get a little more complicated.

Use the experts

Austrade provides a lot of assistance to exporters. They recommend that exporters use a good customs broker and freight forwarder to assist them to get their goods to market. Look for a company with expertise in documentation and freight rate negotiations, with a track record in safely transporting goods by sea freight. It’s important to use a freight forwarder with knowledge and experience in your field of business who has both the scale of operation and the global outreach to accommodate your needs.

Packing compliance

The export of goods from Australia is controlled by laws and Government policies which you should familiarise yourself with. It’s important to understand the restrictions, licences and permits that are associated with your products. All goods leaving Australia must comply with the Australian standards.  Your cargo must also comply with any customs, quarantine or phytosanitary requirements for the country of destination.

Packing principles

The basic principle of packaging is known as the “unit load’ concept. The theory behind this is that cargo should be packed so it can be moved and handled mechanically (e.g. by forklift or crane) throughout the distribution network.

The benefits include reduced handling, faster loading and unloading, seamless transportation and efficient distribution. Small expensive items should be tightly packaged in strong cartons which are secured to pallets with shrink-wrap and tightly strapped. Large or irregular shaped cargo can be secured directly to pallets, ensuring items are adequately protected from damage.

Packing practicalities

The type of cargo you are exporting will determine the packing requirements required for safe shipping. Sending goods by the sea offers great flexibility and a variety of sea container types designed to meet your specific needs.

  • Standard 20’or 40’containers are great for palleted cargo and uniform packaging
  • Open top containers are ideal for transporting oversized cargo
  • Flat rack containers are especially suitable for heavy loads and cargo that needs loading from the top or sides, such as pipes and machinery.
  • Tank containers come in a range of capacity and pressure ratings for liquids or powders.
  • Refrigerated containers are perfect for temperature sensitive cargo.

Depending on the volume of cargo, you can consolidate your shipment and share a container, book a full container or use specialist services for very heavy or dangerous goods cargo.

MYCARGO is here to help. We provide comprehensive door to door service from almost anywhere in the world to Australia. What other companies call extras, we include as standard. For peace of mind, we allocate you a nominated contact person to manage your shipping. Call us on +61 8 9253 0121 to discuss how we can assist you.

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