A guide to secure packaging to ensure safe shipping and deliveries

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Secure shipping goes beyond simply transporting products from one location to another. It holds the key to maintaining the integrity of your merchandise, fostering customer trust, and upholding Sri Lanka's esteemed reputation as a reliable exporter. Given the diverse and often delicate nature of its main export goods, including tea, garments, and more, this concern holds particular significance for businesses in Sri Lanka. With this, we delve into invaluable tips for achieving secure shipping practices, highlighting the critical role of partnering with DHL Express in guaranteeing safe and reliable overseas shipping.

1. Essential aspects of good packaging

For secure shipping, you must be smart about how you pack your goods. By using the best packaging practices and customising them to suit your products, you can fortify the safety and security of your products, ensuring they arrive at their destination unharmed and in optimal condition:

Using the right materials

Selecting the appropriate packaging materials is the foundation of safe shipping. Research the right type of packaging for your goods and how to pack them, especially if you are packing food, beverages, or even fragile items. There are tons of packing supplies in the market, ranging from cost-efficient to sustainable. Here is what you should know about the different packaging supplies for shipping:

  • Vacuum packaging: Packing goods, especially food and beverages, using vacuum packaging can help preserve their freshness, protect them from contamination, and prevent spoilage. For Sri Lanka's renowned tea exports, particularly its Ceylon tea, vacuum packaging is the best choice for keeping its exquisite taste and aroma, ensuring customers receive it at optimal quality.
  • Double-wall corrugated box: Utilise double-wall corrugated boxes to enhance the structural integrity and durability of the packaging. This type of packaging is particularly beneficial when shipping apparel and textiles, which are another major export in the country. Packing with double-wall corrugated boxes ensures they reach their destination in pristine condition.
  • Heavy-duty cardboard box: When shipping heavier or bulkier items, opt for heavy-duty cardboard boxes that provide extra strength and resilience, minimising the risk of damage during transit.

Cushioning and protection

You must provide adequate cushioning and protection to prevent potential damage during handling and delivery. Consider the following tips:

  • Bubble wrap: Wrap fragile or delicate items with bubble wrap to create a protective layer that absorbs impacts and prevents breakage.
  • Foam inserts: When packing items with irregular shapes or multiple components, utilise foam inserts. These custom-cut inserts snugly hold the products in place, providing added cushioning and preventing movement during transit. Foam inserts are especially beneficial for shipping intricate jewellery.
  • Air pillows: For lighter items, air pillows can act as a cushioning material, filling empty spaces and reducing the risk of shifting and potential damage.
  • Shrink wrapping: When shipping items that require extra care, such as electronic components, consider shrink wrapping to tightly seal and protect the contents, preventing moisture or external factors from affecting the product.
  • Fragile tape: Use specialised packaging materials like fragile tape to indicate the delicate nature of the contents clearly. This alerts handlers to exercise caution during shipping and helps ensure proper care throughout the journey.

Correct labelling

Proper labelling is essential for secure shipping and smooth customs clearance. Follow these labelling guidelines:

  • Clear shipping labels: Ensure your packages have legible and accurate shipping labels, including complete sender and recipient information, contact details, and delivery addresses.
  • Product information: Include detailed product information on the packaging labels, such as item descriptions, quantities, and specific handling instructions. This helps carriers and customs officials understand the contents and handle them appropriately.

Eco-friendly alternatives for some packaging materials

If your business wants to uphold sustainable practices in operations, you can also opt for environmentally friendly packaging when shipping goods overseas. Here are some biodegradable packaging alternatives to minimise your plastic use:

  • Biodegradable packing peanuts: Instead of traditional polystyrene packing peanuts, choose biodegradable options made from cornstarch or other organic materials. These packing peanuts dissolve in water and can be composted, offering an eco-friendly alternative.
  • Biodegradable bubble wrap: Look for biodegradable bubble wrap made from recycled materials or bioplastics. These options provide similar protective cushioning while being environmentally friendly and easily degradable.
  • Eco-friendly packaging tape: Opt for packaging tape made from recycled materials, biodegradable materials like paper, or water-activated adhesive tape. These choices ensure secure sealing while reducing the impact on the environment.

2. Navigating Sri Lankan shipping regulations

To avoid delays, penalties, or issues in transit, you must understand and comply with shipping regulations. This applies to both Sri Lankan and international regulations. 

When shipping goods overseas, your business must be registered under the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Inland Revenue Department, and Sri Lanka Customs. For this, you will need to present your Original Business Registration Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation or other related documents. Then, once you have been registered, you will need to prepare other shipping documents, like the bill of lading, air waybill, certificate of origin, and more. Make sure to double-check if the products you are planning to export will require certain registrations, licenses, or certificates before shipping them to their destination country. For example, if you’re shipping teas from Sri Lanka, you will be required to present a Certification of Average Auction price on bulk tea. 

3. Insurance and liability: Protect your shipments

No matter how secure your shipping process is, unforeseen events can occur. It is essential to have a comprehensive insurance policy in place to protect your valuable shipments. This insurance coverage acts as a safety net, providing financial protection in case of loss, damage, or other unforeseen circumstances during transit. 

Additionally, understanding the terms of liability in case of loss or damage during shipping is crucial. Different carriers and shipping providers may have varying levels of liability for lost or damaged shipments. Familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of your shipping contracts, including any limitations or exclusions, to make informed decisions about insurance coverage. This knowledge empowers you to assess risks and take necessary precautions to minimise potential liabilities.

4. Contingency planning: Prepare for potential disruptions

In some cases, you may encounter potential disruptions, which may damage your brand’s image and affect your sales overseas. Whether it's a human error in the shipment details or customs delays, you must have a contingency plan in place. Consider factors like alternative shipping routes, emergency contacts, and communication channels to mitigate potential risks. By developing a comprehensive contingency plan, you can proactively prepare for potential disruptions, minimise their impact, and maintain the continuity of your product’s delivery.

5. Choosing the right logistics partner for international shipping

When it comes to secure shipping, selecting a trusted logistics partner is of utmost importance. That’s why when it comes to overseas shipping, DHL Express has your business covered. We offer comprehensive solutions to ensure the safe delivery of your packages. Here's why choosing DHL Express is a smart decision:

  • Advanced tracking system: With MyDHL+, our shipping management platform, you can monitor your shipments at every stage of the delivery process. With real-time updates, you can stay informed and have peace of mind.

  • Expertise in handling diverse goods: Our extensive experience in handling a wide range of products, including fragile, perishable, and high-value items, ensures that your shipments are handled with care and delivered securely.

  • Understanding customs regulations: Navigating customs can be complex, but with DHL's knowledge of customs regulations, your shipments can breeze through customs procedures smoothly. We can offer advice on documentation and compliance with the applicable regulations.

Protecting your shipments not only safeguards your business but also enhances Sri Lanka's reputation as a reliable exporter. By partnering with DHL Express, you get an overseas shipping partner with years of experience and a proven track record. Get secure and efficient shipping operations for your business, and achieve greater heights. We also have a guide on how to ensure seamless international direct shipping for further insight. 

Open a business account with DHL Express today and experience our secure and reliable shipping services yourself.