When crating items for shipment outside of the US, there are several considerations to keep in mind that will help avoid damaged merchandise or other, more significant problems. Export crating and planning transportation can be a large undertaking, complete with its fair share of pitfalls and problems. The following are several issues that have been found to cause major problems in international shipping.

Incorrect or Missing Labels or Paperwork

If your export package is missing the proper paperwork or labels, it could arrive at the wrong location. Additionally, incorrect packaging lists could force customs officers to disassemble your entire shipment to examine the contents of your shipping crate. Check and double check all labels and paperwork before shipping to ensure the correct name, phone number, way-bill, packing list, and bank draft.

Incorrect Crate Size

Ensuring that crate sizes are correct is crucial. Not only will an incorrect crate size expose your merchandise to potential damage, but it could affect how your crate is shipped. For example, if the crated products exceed 64″, they won’t be able to be transported via passenger or cargo planes which provide the largest degree of flexibility when shipping internationally. Additionally, if you must use other transportation methods, your cost of delivery can increase sharply.

Not Understanding Regulations

International shipping and exporting regulations govern many aspects of your shipment. Therefore, it’s important to understand both international rules, as well as, those of the location that you are shipping to. Not doing so could cause your shipment to be delayed in customs. Depending on what you are shipping, there may be additional restrictions or bans on certain items or substances. Make sure you do significant research on the shipping regulations of where you are sending your package to.

Failing to Protect Against Corrosion

If your product will be shipped via cargo ship, you should expect your crate to encounter corrosive salt from seawater. Therefore, it’s extremely important to protect your merchandise from extended exposure to corrosive air which could cause irreparable damage. Unfortunately, individuals tend to forget about this.

Not Following SPM15 requirements

ISPM-15 standards govern wooden packing material used to crate products for international shipping such as pallets, crates, and wood cases. The ISPM-15 rules are in place for preventing the inadvertent transfer of fungus or insects in the wood. Wood package material used in crating is required to be fumigated or heat treated and then stamped for the ocean freight to be admitted by customs at your shipping destination. If the ISPM-15 stamps are not absent, your international shipment could be refused and returned or even destroyed.

Inadequate Export Packaging

Whether your crate will be shipped via air or sea, it will come under threat of crashing into other crates or objects. Crating needs to be able to withstand the weight of additional cargo being stacked upon it. Also, it needs to be well built, with your product inside property secured and cushioned in order to reach its destination unscathed.


Transporting products overseas can be a complicated and time-consuming matter, but it doesn’t need to be. Rowe Transport offers custom crating solutions backed by decades of real-world experience and expertise. We know how to ensure that your goods are properly packed and created and in compliance will all rules and regulations. Have a shipment for overseas? Give us a call at 865-523-0421 or click HERE.