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How to Avoid Damage to Your Valuable Export Cargo

August 2020

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High Quality Export Packing

In the midst of economic uncertainty following the Covid-19 lockdown, UK exporting manufacturers need, now more than ever to ensure that when their valuable products become cargo in-transit, are delivered to their customer in perfect condition, regardless of whether the shipping terms are (EXW) ‘Ex Works’ or at the opposite end of the spectrum, (DPU) ‘Delivered at Place Unloaded’.

At the heart of protecting your valuable cargo during its export journey is the standard to which it is ‘export packed’, suitable for global shipping. Depending on the type of commodity being transported, the level of export packing can vary in order to ensure that the product that you, ‘promised your customer will be in perfect condition’ – arrives in perfect condition.

It’s essential that your appointed export packers, not only provide high quality packing and to ISPM 15 Standards (to avoid your packaging being rejected or destroyed) but also to give you expert advice regarding the level of packing required for your type of product, loading and unloading considerations, mode of transport and potential in-transit hazards, like moisture damage.

Types of Wooden Case

Standard case

A standard case is usually the more cost effective and most requested type of wooden case for export cargo. Secure, robust and capable of protecting many products extremely effectively a standard case could be the right choice for your cargo as recommended by your export packer.

standard cargo crate

Timber Close Board Case

This type of case will be required for particularly heavy items and should be recommended for high-value products to add further protection during transit.

timber boarded cargo crate

Polystyrene Lining

Used as an extra layer of protection for valuable, sensitive andor/ high value products, polystyrene lining is an extremely effective way of helping to ensure that your goods arrive in the same condition as they left.

Polystyrene lined cargo crate

ISPM 15 Standard

As mentioned above, export packing cases should be manufactured in adherence to ISPM 15 Standards. If cargo is not export packed to these standards, then your packaging could be rejected or destroyed at its final international destination or transit cargo points along its route.

Simply explained, ISPM 15 refers to the required international standards of treatment that must be applied to solid woods used to ship products between countries. Its main purpose is to prevent the spread of disease and insects that could negatively affect plants or ecosystems.

If you export outside of the EU, check if the country you’re trading with accepts ISPM 15 standards and if they have any other requirements.

Water Damage

Damage in this way can affect cargo via sea, air or road and prevention against this element can be advisable for all modes of transport but is often considered to be predominant in sea freight.

During longer times in sea freight, water can enter cargo in a number of ways. If the shipping container is sitting in water in the ship’s hold, there’s a chance it could seep up, so your cargo will have greater protection if it is not sitting directly on the bed of the container. Also high volumes of rain could potentially enter a shipping container as they are not 100% waterproof.

Another way for moisture build-up and affect your cargo is through condensation occurring when the container vessel transits through areas of differing humidity. Often known as container rain, water evaporates and forms condensation on the walls of the shipping container and (if not suitably protected) the surface and internal parts of your cargo causing irreparable damage.

There are 3 types of prevention of moisture damage:

Foil Barrier

Foil bag

Used to prevent corrosion, barrier foil bags control the relative humidity to below 40% by minimising the rate of water vapour ingress.

Desiccant Packs

Desiccant Packs

Desiccant packs reduce the humidity level inside your packaging. Thanks to its absorption capacity it reduces the dew point inside the package, protecting the product qualities and properties against humidity.

Water Proof Lining

water proofed cargo crate

Water proof lining, is as described and will add a layer of protection between the cargo inside the case and any form of direct water penetration.

Handling Indicators

handling indicators

Applied to the outer surface of the packing case, these detection devices are for cargo that must remain upright or are sensitive to shock during shipping and transit. The devices contain an indicator which turns red if the product is tipped over, upturned or roughly handled.

If you’d like to know more about Pinnacle Freight’s export freight and export packing services, contact us today.

If you’re in the UK, give us a call on 0845 621 611 or drop us an email at If you’re in the USA, call us on +1 757 306 1211 or email us at


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