Considered as an accessory function in olden times, today packaging is a dynamic element of the sailing activity to the extent to which it brings value to the product. Packaging aims at protecting the merchandise during transport, handling and during storage. Packaging has to be sufficiently strong, for, the risks are going to increase as a result of distance covered, especially during breaking up of load. On the other hand the sector of packing has to face certain constraints of protection of environment.
In EXW incoterm, packaged goods are sold but one can as well sell them in loose form. There are products which do not require specific packing. According to law, packaging is not considered for withstanding accidental shocks and jolts. Packaging must not be taken lightly. It is a very important part of the operations of the exporter, for, in case of damage, the goods will have to be reimbursed or replaced free of cost, or the exporter will have to issue a credit note to the client.
The transporter is presumed to be responsible for the deterioration or losses from the legal point of view. However, he can acquit himself of his responsibility by communicating reservations which shifts the onus on the third party.
The exporter becomes in that case responsible and is under obligation to contract an insurance policy. But this latter may not function in the case of packages which are not suitable.
Packaging consists of different materials :
As for marking, some symbols are used for marking packages. Marking depends obviously on nature of the products : dangerous products, for instance, are fit for very rigorous packing and labeling standards. Marking is also going to generate an additional cost. On the other hand, one should avoid describing the nature of the product on the package and marking must be readable, indelible and discreet.
As for the containers, these bring together the goods from the same unit of loading. They allow repeated use at the point of transport without breakup of load. They protect the goods against theft and afford economic packing.