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How to pack for international shipping


 What you need to know:

-Packing materials
-Awkward items being packed
-Certain destination requirements (Customs Regulations)
-Professional packing
-Self Packing

Packing Materials

Packing supplies should be carefully considered whether you are self packing or having your goods professionally packed. Fragile items need double corrugated boxing along with padded paper and bubble wrap which would absorb any kind of unnecessary thumps. All your unbreakable easy box-able goods such as clothes, shoes, books, toys, etc, can be boxed up in a variety of sized boxes. Kitchen items should be securely packed. Every dish and cup should be separately packed and placed in dish pack boxes that have peanut foam for additional protection. Do not directly shrink wrap any wood items as this will not protect your wood and only harm your wood from moisture stains. Consider padded paper, bubble wrap and make shift boxes then shrink wrap. Nothing can be exposed, loosely packed or bare. You must have everything boxed up. Do not use movers blankets to box your goods, carriers and terminals will not accept your goods. If your shipping commercial items then your goods are most likely professional boxed from the manufacturer. Packing materials can be purchased at any uhaul store nearby or you can order them online at:



The volume your goods occupy will determine your final invoice. If possible, create a staging area which should be approximately 42" x 44". You should keep the boxes in any shape or size within the walls of the area you outlined. You can stack as high as 85".  Click here to view what is 100 cubic feet.  We can collect your loose boxes and offer you the palletizing service at our terminal. Palletizing is required when shipping many boxes, this is done for 2 basic reason, mobility and against loss of any box. Most shipping types will ship via LCL (less then container loads). All LCL shipments are via 40' containers. You can obtainer LCL quotes instantly online here, and obtain port to port, door to port and door to door quotes. Once your goods arrive to the export terminal they will get professionally measured by a third independent party and a documented volume receipt will be produced. If you require, we can offer you rates for exclusive containers. Container sizes can be found here: Container Sizes.



International shipping is based on volume. Pickup services from your location to the port are based on weight and volume. Each cubic meter / 35 cubic feet should not exceed 800 kilos / 1763 lbs. Any box being packed should not exceed 50 lbs. Individual boxes exceeding the weight limit can be assessed a fee for heavy lifting unless the goods are all palletized. If your opting for a door to port or door to door international shipping you need to consider a lift gate at pickup with the carrier unless you are shipping from a loading dock or a location that has a fork lift to lift your goods to the truck.



Every box must be labeled with:
-Shipper information
-Consignee information
-Terminal booking # 

Though rarely happens, boxes can get misplaced. With proper labeling your boxes will most likely be found and shipped to the correct destination.


Awkward item being packed

When packing large, or long items, you can simply use make shift boxes. Make sure items are not exceeding 10' in length, if they do please contact us for special rates or a waiver of any additional fees. We ship many large and awkward items that are even wooden crated such as printing machines, engines, filters, etc. If you require, we can offer you a crating service. Contact us today and let our experts crate your goods. Learn More on Crated goods.


When shipping internationally, items that do not arrive palletized will require to be palletized. Our export terminals will bundle your goods on a pallet, shrink and band it together. This is done for mobility and security of your goods against loss. Pallets dimensions vary, approximate size is: 42" x 48".  Boxes and goods are generally stacked up 85" high. Most pallets are from wood and are heat treated. If you will supply your own pallet ensure they are heat treated pallets or you can use plastic pallets.


Certain destination requirements

Certain countries have strict rules for imports, such as New Zealand. If your going to send your used bike make sure your tires have no soil on them or your bike will be quarantined. Shipping to Mexico?, make sure everything you plan on taking is presented at your local or nearby Mexican consulate and is approved with a sealed inventory, you will need the serial, make model, style of every electronic, cannot be new and only one of each, and obtain your fm2 or fm3 visas. Prior to shipping, you must check the regulations of the country your shipping to in order to avoid any additional fees or confiscation of goods.  Check out Customs regulations.

Professional Packing

Many shippers use the services of a third party such as moving companies or packaging stores to professional pack the items they are shipping. ShippingQuest offers professional packing service from one of our many affiliates. ShippingQuest offers professional packing and crating services. Contact us today and obtain a free quote.

Self Packing

Our services are geared to business and individuals. Most individuals have already boxed and packed the items to be shipped. If your are going to pack yourself, please adhere the guidelines on this page.



Whether your packing  on your own, or getting it done professionally, an inventory list of your items is required. General description of your personal goods are sufficient per box. If your shipping commercial items then a more detailed description or commercial invoice will be required. When preparing your own inventory, it should look like this:

-Box # 1 Documents
-Box # 2 Clothes
-Box # 3 Linens


When shipping commercial goods, the seller generally provides the commercial invoice with a description of the goods purchased.  If items have a value of $2500 or more then an AES filing with US Customs is required.


ShippingQuest is a pioneer for online freight shipping connecting you to hundreds of carriers you know and trust at discount prices for domestic and international shipping. Get connected to the most powerful and trusted name in the shipping industry and start saving today! 


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