Wood packaging for International Maritime Transport

“I need a wooden packaging for an international shipping. What specifications and regulations must you meet?”

This is one of the questions that we ask most before the first export by sea, in today’s post we will try to clarify all the doubts that arise.

Before getting into the regulations we will detail the specifications that this packaging must meet.

Maritime transport subjects our cargo to great physical and chemical efforts:

  • Physical, we must take into account when choosing packaging that it must be resistant to stiffness in practically all directions (unlike other types of transport), so the load to be transported should be as solidary as possible to the box (avoid all internal movements) and this will be sized and designed to absorb all these external efforts to which it will be subjected.
  • Chemical, on the other hand, the environmental conditions of this transport (% relative humidity, concentration of corrosive agents,…) can cause damage to the load, therefore it is necessary to guarantee a neutral environment around it that guarantees an absence of corrosive agents and humidity. For this, the most widespread and efficient way is to condition the load in a sealed (aluminum) insulated bag tightly sealed and accompanied by desiccant salts inside that absorb the initial moisture inside the bag (for the calculation of quantity and type of salts see the following post). Another very widespread form of protection is the use of shrink wrap (adaptable to the load control) so that the part to be packed contains as little air as possible inside. In the following image we can see a piece retracted with opaque white plastic with UV protection (resistance to solar radiation). We must also know other products that exist in the market such as VCI plastic, Netnocor, etc.

As for the regulations required for wood packaging, the standard that we must follow is the in ISPM it´s section No. 15, which regulates the characteristics that the wood must meet in order to be imported into another country, then we leave you the link to the Spanish and international version of this standard:

SPANISH PHYTOSANITARY TECHNICAL STANDARD

ISPM15 (INTERNATIONAL)

We must bear in mind that all wooden packaging according to this standard must be duly identified with the seal that reflects the type of treatment to which it has been subjected and the manufacturer’s identification number (more info).

In conclusion ,in view of the need for wood packaging for international maritime transport, we must select a sturdy packaging that absorbs external forces and properly condition our load on it so that this load and the packaging form a single reference system, subsequently, if necessary, we must properly isolate the load from the outside environment using any of the above detailed systems, As for the regulations, this packaging must be marked and have a certificate of conformity from the manufacturer, although this is not mandatory, it can be required by the country of destination if it deems necessary.

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