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The Packaging Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions

Welome to The Packaging Clinic where you can find answers to all your perplexing and complex packaging issues or just to find out the latest news regarding compliance or regulation issues.

You can also find the answers to a number of Frequently Asked Questions about simple everyday packaging issues that may also provide you with a few ideas for improving your current methods.

However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here please contact us on 01829 260571 or, send us your query by email

Questions

Q1. What are the new International packaging regulations for wood packaging (ISPM15) and will they affect me?
 
Q2. How do I optimise my payload in 40' and 20' sea containers?
 
Q3. What are the internal dimensions of 40' and 20' sea containers and a standard 40' trailer?
 
Q4. I ship parts that can corrode in sea containers. How can I stop this happening?
 
Q5. My current corrugated containers do not perform very well in the winter or on deep sea routes, why is this?

Q6. We are losing a lot of money through theft during transportation - do you have any suggestions?
 
Q7. We use triple-wall corrugated containers and have been subject to price rises way ahead of inflation. Is there an alternative I can use?
 
Q8. Our product is being damaged inside the box during transit. Can you design internal fittings to stop this happening?
 
Q9. My product is very heavy and I need to load the pallets and then put the box around it. What can you offer me?
 
Q10. Our products are packed and unpacked at several stages during the production process. What is the most cost effective packaging system?
 
Q11. We need cases that are non-standard sizes. Do you make them?
 
Q12. Our warehouse doesn't have racking. My current packaging will only stack three high, but I have the space to stack five. Can you help?

What are the new International packaging regulations for wood packaging (ISPM15) and will they affect me?
 
The new packaging regulations (ISPM15) applies to all wooden packaging that is exported outside the EU (excluding manufactured materials i.e. plywood, OSB, chipboard etc).

The USA has announced they will be adopting the new ISPM15 standard on 16th September 2005, other countries are sure to follow soon after.

To meet the new regulations the wood element of the packaging or pallets must be either heat treated or fumigated and then the completed package must be 'marked' under the UK wood marketing scheme, which we are registered against.

At the moment for exports from the EU the regulations currently only apply to China. Our Managing Director, is also a Director of TIMCON (the timber packaging and pallet confederation); we therefore get the latest news first. If you want the latest situation on ISPM15 please contact us.

How do I optimise my payload in 40' and 20' sea containers?
 
Assuming you are shipping in standard box sizes. Avoid using the Euro size 1200 x 800mm as this limits the maximum usable space to 68%. If you use the other common size, 1200 x 1000mm you get a much better space utilisation.

However, there is a down side. When you load them side by side, one of the rows has to be turned through 90º to fit. This is extra unwanted work for your forklift drivers.

The best footprint size is 1120 x 1120mm. This size will fit side by side across the container with only enough room for slight movements with forklift trucks. And the pallet can be a simpler design, which should be cheaper. Height-wise, the most efficient 'usable' height is 100mm.

What are the internal dimensions of 40' and 20' sea containers and a standard 40' trailer?
 
40' Containers: 12015 x 2345 x 2362mm. Between the doors: 2335 x 2260mm
20' Containers: 5890 x 2345 x 2400mm. Between the doors: 2335 x 2290mm
40' Trailer 13500 x 2400mm x variable height

Please be aware that although Sea Containers all have the same external dimensions, they do not all have the same internal dimensions. The sizes above should be taken as average sizes and not exact dimensions.

I ship parts that can corrode in sea containers. How can I stop this happening?
 
You can buy VCI bags/paper or sachets of silica inside a plastic bag to protect your parts for as long or as short as you require.

My current corrugated containers do not perform very well in the winter or on deep sea routes, why is this?
 
Deep sea routes or just changes in the weather make the sea containers sweat. The moisture is absorbed into the cardboard. Even the smallest amount of moisture absorbed will affect the strength of corrugated cases. To avoid this, a plywood or timber case will retain its strength way beyond even the longest transportation route.

We are losing a lot of money through theft during transportation - do you have any suggestions?
 
We have replaced cardboard boxes with plywood boxes for several of our customers. Plywood is much more secure as all parts can be designed to lock into place and be either nailed or screwed shut.

We use triple-wall corrugated containers and have been subject to price rises way ahead of inflation. Is there an alternative I can use?
 
Yes, our wirebound container can be made from several materials and thicknesses taking into account the strength required and target price factors. Plywood and OSB are much more price-stable materials than cardboard, as a result the wirebound container will save you money and give you a stronger case.

Our product is being damaged inside the box during transit. Can you design internal fittings to stop this happening?
 
We have never met a product that is too heavy or too awkward to design internal fittings for. Our design and development dept we have two full time designers and between them they have over 30 years experience in finding the best solutions, keeping your products safe and secure. 

My product is very heavy and I need to load the pallets and then put the box around it. What can you offer me?
 
Our wirebound container can be made in several forms. All allow for you to place your product on the pallet and build the case around it. This is far easier and less prone to damage than dropping a complete sleeve over the top.

Our products are packed and unpacked at several stages during the production process. What is the most cost effective packaging system?
 
We have several systems we can offer you - the metal edge case offers you a drop down front to allow easier access for light parts. If the parts are heavier the wirebound offers a gate front or complete removal front while your product is still on the pallet. If you want to have a fully re-usable system we again have several sizes we can offer that will last 50 trips or more.

We need cases that are non-standard sizes. Do you make them?

Yes. The vast majority of our cases are non-standard, designed to suit our customers' products.

Our warehouse doesn't have racking. My current packaging will only stack three high, but I have the space to stack five. Can you help?
 
Plywood boxes in 6 or 8mm will give you the capability to do this, but make sure you have the correct fork-lift facility to ensure safe handling of heavy boxes at this height.