It would be devastating to produce the perfect product, only to have the packaging fail.
Your packaging is just as important as the quality of the products they contain.
That’s why it’s important to conduct a container loading check - to ensure that the correct packaging, quantities, and order details are securely loaded before releasing the final payment.
In this article, we’ll outline how to prepare for a Container Loading Check (CLC), and the 3 critical elements that are included in the packaging quality control checklist (used during the CLC).
Container Loading Checks can be carried out by an independent third-party quality control inspectors to ensure transparency.
While inspectors have knowledge and expertise concerning regulatory standards and shipping requirements, they need to know the specific packaging guidelines for your product.
This can be achieved by creating a detailed packaging quality control checklist to match your company's requirements.
When conducting a container loading check, inspectors use a packaging quality control checklist that is comprised of standard internationally recognized criteria and your company’s packaging standards. Here are three critical elements of the checklist:
1. Product variety and quantity per carton.
During this step, inspectors verify that the contents of packaging cartons have two things: the correct product(s) in them, and the correct quantity of each product.
Inspectors randomly select cartons and review the stock-keeping-unit (SKU) included in that carton.
Then, they count the number of SKUs to determine if the product counts are correct or incorrect.
This ensures that your shipment contains the correct assortment of products.
2. Correct packing materials are used.
Packaging must be durable enough to survive unpredictable weather, storage conditions, and rough handling during shipping. As such, packaging and shipping cartons are usually comprised of three layers, each of which must be inspected.
This is the packaging that holds the product and is in direct contact with it.
Packaging that is outside of the primary packaging and is used to protect the primary packaging or group primary packages together is called the secondary packaging.
Examples include cardboard cartons, cardboard boxes, and cardboard or plastic crates.
Tertiary packaging is used to hold groups or stacks of cartons, such as pallets, for shipping.
Companies should take into consideration whether shipments will be in pallet loads or mixed shipments, such as those used with express carriers, and then determine the best packaging material to use.
Tertiary packaging materials might be one or more of the following: corrugated cardboard sheets and boxes, bubble-wrap, industrial shrink-wrap, polyethylene, and aluminum foil.
3. Barcodes and labeling
Missing or illegible markings on secondary packaging can cause a myriad of problems, including fines and delays.
Customs inspectors need to know where the products originate from, where they’re going, and whether the contents comply with regional regulations.
If that information isn’t visible on your packaging, customs could hold or reject your shipment.
In addition, they may fine your company based on the value of the merchandise, plus, charge money to recoup any costs incurred for transporting, storing, or disposing of the goods.
The following markings are required on the secondary packaging:
Purchase order (PO) number
Number of items and descriptions
Carton dimensions and weight
Number of cartons within each set
Warning labels and storage instructions (e.g., “fragile,” “this side up”)
Of these, improper barcodes cause the most shipping delays.
Here are common problems which can be encountered when scanning barcodes:
Faded or low contrast between the lines and the background
Barcode is too close to the edge or of the sticker
Creased or damaged barcode sticker
Barcode is too large or too small to be scanned
Barcode sticker is the wrong orientation
Mitigate the risk of your products being damaged during shipping or shipping errors going undetected by conducting a container loading check. QIMA provides professional and transparent container loading checks for all types of consumer products.
Receive fast feedback with industry-standard reports delivered online on the same day as inspection, so you can save time and money by making quick and informed decisions.
Ready to schedule your container loading check? Contact us today.