7 Types of Packaging for Different Cargo

7 Types of Packaging for Different Cargo

We live in a world of globalization. Our consumer behavior hinges on transporting various goods from one end of the world to the other. Every day, numerous products get transported via road, rail, air, and water. These can include anything from clothes, jewelry, to consumables such as vegetables, grain, and even pharmaceutical products. 

With overseas transport gaining traction, the packaging process is an essential step to ensure the safety and security of your product. There are different types of packaging options available based on the product or cargo type. Choosing the right packaging for your cargo will make sure that the handling team and shipping team deals with the products responsibly. 

Types of Cargo Packaging

Let us see what cargo packing method will work the best for you. 

  • Bagged Packaging

    Out of all different types of cargo, dry cargo is one of the most dominant categories. Billions of tonnes of dry cargo are moved every year via road, rail, ocean, and air freight. This kind of cargo shipment needs a specific type of packaging to hold them in place for long travels.

    As they don’t need external structural protection due to their dense packaging, these are shipped via the bagged cargo packaging method. The bags are made of woven fabric, jute, polypropylene, and multi-layer paper.

    Bagged cargo comes in standardized sizes of sacks of 50kg. It is found to be one of the easiest cargo types to handle and is used to transport a wide range of commodities due to its cost-effectiveness and recyclability too. Some of the commodities include fertilizers, grains, seeds, sugar, flour, salt, mineral sand, cement, aggregates, textile, fur, garments, and plant bulbs. 
  • Fibreboard Boxes and Carton Packaging

    Fiberboard boxes are generally used to transport dry or other cargo with a little protection. They are found to be easy to pack, cost-effective, and safe as well. Fiberboard boxes and cartons can withstand the pressure put on them during shipping and handling.

    There are also some varieties of boxes built with shock absorbers, internal walls, and shipping skid for load-bearing purposes. You can use fiberboard boxes and cartons for many kinds of cargo like packed garments, small appliances, electronic devices, medicines, medical products, electrical products, toys, and home maintenance kits.

    Fiberboard boxes and cartons can also be used to write product details, handling instructions, and other shipping details to safeguard the cargo. This makes it easy for the handling team on the ground to deliver the products without any damage. 
  • Wooden Boxes Packaging

    Out of all the types of packaging methods, the wooden box packaging method has gained a lot of popularity over the years. This can be attributed to its durability, strength, and reusability. Wooden boxes cargo packaging is quite similar to fiber boxes and cartons, however, they can withstand greater impact compared to other types of boxes.

    Wooden boxes are used extensively where exporters are not sure how the cargo would be handled or if the cargo shipment would get bounced between many intermediate shipping vessels. If you are shipping products that can be easily damaged by heat, water, or impact, the wooden box is an ideal choice. Typical products shipped using wooden boxes are garments, appliances, spare parts, photos, beauty products, household items, auto wares, and decor products. Wooden boxes are sometimes made of plywood too as it is cost-effective, easily available, and easy to work with as well. 
  • Wooden Crate Packaging

    Wooden crates are larger wooden boxes built like a skeleton. They are made out of wooden sections bolted together to give the cargo packaging strength. Wooden crates can be kept open as well and stacked on top of each other to protect the cargo in it. As they are sturdy enough to shield the contents from damage, wooden crates are one of the most popular types of packaging for shipping mechanical parts, furniture pieces, and many other things.

    The advantage of using a wooden crate as a staple cargo packaging material allows exporters to transport their materials for long distances without damage. Wooden crates can also be repurposed by breaking down the boxes and remaking new crates as per the cargo’s specifications. 
  • Drum Packaging

    Drums have been the preferred type of packaging for bulk liquid cargo items like crude oil, chemicals, and petroleum products. Drums can be from different materials such as steel, fiber, and plastics.

    Specifically, steel drums are found to be the strongest due to their composition of cold-rolled steel beams. They are leak-proof and can withstand any kind of force suffered during shipping. Such steel dreams are also used to ship products such as plastic beads, industrial-grade powders such as fertilizers and powdered aluminum. They are also cost-effective as you can use it to transport bulk quantities without multiple packaging items. Drums are known to carry 400-600 pounds and can be easily protected using rust-proof coatings. 
  • Vacuum Packaging

    Vacuum packaging is a packaging type that is popular for shipping perishable and medical items. Vacuum packaging ensures that the goods are kept in fresh condition without any contamination. When you ship food items and other medical supplies to a long distance, the cargo packaging method must keep them in usable condition for the whole time. As the shipping conditions cannot be controlled to a large extent by the exporter, vacuum packaging helps them ensure the quality of the delivered goods.

    Generally, food items are transported in refrigerated conditions by the ocean or air freight. In such cases, handling cannot always be monitored. Vacuum packaging combined with other protective layers such as wooden boxes or cartons can provide safety to the goods. Even if the cartons or boxes are damaged in the handling process, vacuum packaging will ensure that the end-product does not get spoilt. 
  • Shrink Wrap Packaging

    Some cargo types need more protection than usual methods. They cannot be transported using a single form of cargo packaging alone. Such materials are packed using shrink wrap packaging to protect from damage or any impact during shipping. Shrinkwrapping is a process of sealing a cargo of bags or boxes of loose materials using polythene sheets and heat sealing methods. This ensures that the packages stay in one place and provide support to one other during the shipping process. You can also use shrink wrapping to segregate different batches of cargo so that it comes easy during handling. The benefit of shrink wrap packaging is that it is very versatile and can be used for any kind of cargo such as toys, games, bags of chemicals, cartons containing food items, beverages, and pallet loads. Shrinkwrap serves as a way to identify if the cargo has tampered during shipment as well. 

Final Thoughts

Cargo packaging plays a huge role in determining the cost and feasibility of delivering any product. You must select the right type of packaging so that the product can be transported without any hassle, damage, and handling problems. Nowadays, the packaging is not just used to pack the items and keep them ready for transport.

Packaging also allows you to convey product details, shipping, and regularly handling instructions to the ground team. The right packaging can help you create a good image for your brand as well. Various cargo packaging methods are being invented daily to ease the workflow for exporters and shipping companies. As the market of export/import expands across the world, the packaging industry is slated to play a big role for many years to come. 

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