Categories of export packing

The exporter will balance the cost of packaging against protection and the requirements of the customer. Some of the more usual categories of export packing are listed below (Walker, 1995):

■ Retail unit packs: cardboard cartons, cellophane bags, plastic containers, polystyrene mouldings, tin cans, bottles

■ Internal packing materials: wood wool, wood shavings, straw, chaff, waxed paper, sheets of cellophane film, multi-wall paper bags, plastics or paper linings

■ Outer transit packs: hessian sacks, special multi-wall paper bags, steel drums and cans, wooden crates, trusses, wooden cases, sometimes battened, or wire-bound. Plywood cases - occasionally metal edged. Barrels, t'ibreboard packing cases and plastic or polystyrene containers which can be very strong but light and easily manoeuvred.

Below is a brief classification of some of the relevant types of packing for export goods:

■ Bulky raw materials (carbon black, cement, fertilizers, etc.): plywood drums, multi-wall bags/sacks

■ Machinery and capital goods: wooden cases sometimes crated, sometimes on flats covered with polythene sheeting as when dispatched by air. Shrink wrapping often used and the goods must not move about within the cases

* Furniture: wooden cases, fibreboard cartons, crates, protective polythene and paper wrapping; often shipping on a knocked down (KD) basis, i.e. partially disassembled or completely knocked down (CKD) i.e. completely disassembled to save freight space and sometimes assembly costs on arrival

■ Kitchen and sanitary equipment: can be nested using straw extensively, and then packed in wire-bound crates

■ Liquids: casks, metal drums, carboys (especially for acids) suitably encased in straw wrapping

■ Instruments (electrical apparatus, radios, etc.): cases or cartons, great care being taken with the internal packing.

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