Packaging and labelling

How can I make sure my shipment arrive in good condition

Are your goods fully protected when in transit? At all times? Suitable packaging is essential for protecting your goods. That includes when they are being loaded and unloaded and when they are being moved around a terminal from one truck to another, or when being packed into a container or unit load device for sea or air freight.

If your goods are stackable, then there is an even greater need for solid, reliable packaging.

What types of pallet are there?

You can make use of several different types of pallets, such as half pallet, EUR, EUR1, EUR2 and EUR3 pallets as well as North American pallets. Common to all is that:

  • Your pallet must be able to be handled by truck or other means of loading;
  • Your pallet must be stable and undamaged, so that there is no risk of tipping during handling.

How should my goods be packed on a pallet?

If your goods weigh more than 35kg in total, they must be palleted. Remember:

  • Pack your goods inside the pallet edges because if they hang over the edge they are likely to be damaged;Goods on pallet
  • Pack the pallet evenly – in particular make sure that the weight is evenly distributed too;
  • Wrap the goods with shrink film secured around the lower edge of the pallet. This reduces the risk of the goods moving and the pallet tipping;
  • Fix heavy or bulky goods to the pallet with plastic or steel strips and make sure the centre of gravity is even and low;
  • Use pallet spacers to prevent the goods from slipping.

What is a stackable pallet?

A stackable pallet can have another pallet on top of it weighing 400 kg. If not, the pallet should be booked by the load metre.

What inner protection should I be using in a pallet?

That depends on the goods being packed, but inner protection options include corner protection, bubble wrap, styrofoam, airbags or padding which protects the goods within each carton, which reduces the risk of squashing.

What outer packaging options are there?

Outer packaging protects the goods themselves, and can include cardboard, pallet dividers, wooden boxes, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, edge protection and shrink film.  The outer packaging must be suitable for the type of goods being moved, and their weight. An overloaded carton easily bursts while goods loose in a carton can shift, increasing the risk of damage.

How do I send furniture, doors and other items of awkward size and shape?Door transport

The risk of damage is always greater when transporting special goods, so they should be packaged professionally. This type of freight must be transported on pallets wherever possible. For example, doors and worktops must be packed with hard corner and edge protection, and also with strong corrugated cardboard.

How do I minimise the risk of theft of high-value goods?Dangerous goods

If you are moving high-value goods such as electronics, clothing or alcohol, then package them as neutrally as possible. Use shrink wrap and security tape, which should preferably be brightly coloured as this makes it easier to track with security cameras. If possible, avoid using visible logos, as these can attract unwanted attention.

How do I pack liquids to avoid leakage?Liquid substance

Liquid goods include beverages or tins of paint, which must be suitably packaged with absorbent material to avoid leaking onto other goods and equipment. A consignor who dispatches inadequately packaged goods may be held liable for damages.

How do I send dangerous goods?

It is your responsibility as sender to classify, pack, label and label dangerous goods according to the regulations for the mode of transport to be used. You must also hand over any document required for transport to the carrier. Check your local regulations – and remember that in many countries, all companies that send out dangerous goods must employ a qualified safety adviser. Did you realise that cocoa is dangerous?

How do I pack temperature-sensitive goods?Temperature controlled cargo

Always consider the ambient temperatures at origin, destination and during shipment. On some journeys, your shipments may be subjected to temperatures from well below freezing to high summer temperatures if left outdoors in direct sunlight for some time, for example on an airport tarmac. 

If the goods are sensitive to cold, they can be covered with thermal cargo covers. Alternatively, you can book trailers or containers which can cool or heat. 

How do I label my shipments?

It is absolutely essential to label all shipments with DSV labels prior to collection. Sender and recipient must be clearly shown on the label, which should be affixed to a flat surface and be clearly visible on the side of the goods.

How do I label fragile goods?

Fragile goods must be clearly marked as such, for example with glass symbols and arrows that show right side up. There are devices available such as Chockwatch and Tiltwatch that can be used to monitor for shock and sensitivity. 

How do I load cargo securely?

As sender, you are responsible for the goods being packaged to withstand normal transport handling. When the driver is not present at loading or when the driver is only available on ramp, then you must stow and secure your goods so that no part of the load can slide, tip, roll or shift.

This can be accomplished through locking, closing, wiring or a combination of these. In addition to this load protection device which DSV always has available (usually a tension belt per load gauge), the sender should make additional load protection equipment available to the driver. This applies to both part and full loads. Examples of such additional equipment are intermediate plates, support beams and airbags.

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