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Marking

There are 3 principal types of marking which may have to he done on export packages:

1. The consignees’ own distinctive marks.

2. Any official mark required by authorities.

3. Special directions or warnings. In addition, weights and dimensions may be

required.

Good clear marking is essential if the goods are not to go astray, and for this reason marks are usually made by paint, inks or dyes through a metal stencil. Wooden cases are sometimes marked by burned impressions in the wood itself.

Under 1 we have the shippers’ or importers’ own marks, which arc registered and so serve as identification. These marks are as important to the many people engaged in shipping as the address on an envelope is to the postman. They include the name of the port of destination.

Under 2 we have special marks demanded by the country of export or import. Some countries require the name of the country of origin of the goods to be marked on every package, and weights and dimensions may also be required.

Under 3 we have some special instructions regarding manner of hand­ling, loading, lifing, etc., and various warnings both for the owner’s and the carrier’s benefit.

Specimens of marks

1 K R LTV

Durban X

Brisbane

2

FOREIGN PRODUCE OF SOUTH AFRICA

Net weight 100 kg. Dimensions

Gross weight 125kg. 1m. x 1.5m. x 2.25m.

Tare 25kg.

3

THIS SIDE UP FRAGILE

STOW AWAY FROM HEAT USE NO HOOKS

TO BE KEPT COOL DO NOT DROP

GLASS WITH CARE PERISHABLE

TOP KEEP DRY

ACID – WITH CARE OPEN THIS END

DO NOT STOW ON DECK INFLAMMABLE

LIFT HERE HANDLE WITH CARE

In the past it very often happened that even clearly marked containers were roughly handled or wrongly stored – simply because the stevedores loading or unloading them could not understand the directions and warnings! For this reason the practice has developed of stencilling sym­bols representing warnings and directions: these can be understood by speakers of any language.

Figure 30

Exporter informs prospective customer of packing and marking procedures.

The buyer (or importer) has the right to stipulate (i.e. to state and demand exactly what he wants) the correct form of packing and shipment. No buyer wants to find his goods damaged or missing on arrival. No supplier wants this to happen either. He may lose a customer.

The buyer will want the supplier to stencil special marks and numbers on the boxes, cartons, crates and other containers.

The supplier will give him this information, together with details of the dates, ports of call (if any) and scheduled arrival date in an ‘advice of despatch’.

There are special difficulties in export packing, and there are new methods of containerization, loading and unloading. For these and many other reasons firms employ a special export packing service or a forwarding agent to arrange their export packing for them.

Figure 31

The buyer sends the instructions for packing and marking.

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