Logistics - March 1, 2022

Importance of Secondary Packaging in International Shipping

Importance of Secondary Packaging in International Shipping

A secondary package forms an integral part of a complete product or shipment in any trade transaction, especially where international logistics are involved. In addition to preventing damages, strong packaging helps create a positive brand image. An initial positive impression of a product or brand opens the door for you to form a more personal relationship with them and build a loyalty or advocacy relationship after the purchase. 

Many online sellers underestimate the value of packaging in eCommerce. But even if the products offered by the store are of great value, if the product damages occur regularly, there is enough reason for customers to switch to another brand in the market.

Imagine this scenario in a trade transaction involving international products whose orders are time-bound and lengthy transit time. Imagine being the buyer in this situation. What would happen to your business if you were the seller? To avoid this situation and to prevent the shipment from damages, strong packaging is required.

First, let’s understand the difference between Primary and Secondary Packaging:

Primary Packaging

Packages that are directly exposed to the product are known as primary packages, or consumer units. This primary container is intended for storing, protecting, or preserving the finished product, mainly against contamination A primary container is the first layer in which the product is contained. Packaging of this kind often targets consumers or end-users. The packaging also makes the products easier to handle and makes them more appealing to consumers. Consumers can also get printed information about the products from it.

Secondary Packaging

Secondary packaging is the exterior packaging that further protects and labels the package beyond the primary packaging. There are several reasons why secondary packaging is essential, including physical protection, barrier protection, secondary containment, adherence to regulations, etc. It also plays a vital role in distribution, display, and branding. It protects the primary package and product during distribution.

Benefits of the Good External Packaging

1. Effortless handling and transportation of goods:
No matter how big or small - if they are appropriately packaged. Also, proper packaging minimizes the time taken for loading and unloading cargo on different transport modes while making sure that the product does not get damaged before reaching the end customer. Packaging is also helpful in delaying handling costs.

2. Minimum risk of Pilferage and Theft:
A robust external packaging can minimize the risk of theft. The use of devices that cannot be tampered with, helps prevent pilferage. This is especially relevant for small, valuable products. There is a high theft rate.

3. Ensures quality and product standard:
Proper external packaging helps preserve the quality and standard of the product. The risk of damage is reduced by protecting the products from extreme weather conditions like excess rain, heat, moisture, and accidents. Perishable goods, such as fruits and vegetables, are also protected from decay and loss of shelf life.

4. Promotes timely delivery:
Correct and necessary handling instructions, weights and dimensions, and the complete delivery address facilitate timely delivery. External packaging should include weights and dimensions and the complete delivery address. Having the product shipped in a package with all the information on it facilitates the handling of the product at every transshipment point.

Few Best Packaging Practices

The extent of the loss caused by faulty packaging is also very critical to know. It has been shown, for example, that 65% of damage to cargo is associated with inadequately packed, blocked, or secured load in container trucks, particularly freight containers.

Those who are still unsure of the benefits of proper packing should consider that the Indian packaging industry is estimated to be worth $25 Billion and has been growing at 15 % per year. It is expected to reach $30 - $35 Billion by 2020, which should help drive home the need, importance, and consumer expectations related to packaging. To build and maintain your business in international trade, you have to understand the importance of appropriate packaging. And hence you have to select the correct type of packaging for your product.

Importance of Secondary Packaging in International Shipping

Consider the following points before selecting the packaging type and material:

1. Kind of Product: You should choose packaging which is compatible with your product. Packaging must be different for general products, machinery, spare parts, perishable goods, liquids, and hazardous cargo - each of them has its own requirements, so one solution won't work for all. It is advisable to pack perishable goods in an insulated container, and glass or fragile items require thicker containers or double packaging.

2. Transport mode: In addition to product type, mode of transportation also influences packaging choices. For example, air and water transportation require different packaging. Light, unsubstantial packaging can suffice when it comes to air transport, but water transport requires more robust packing that can withstand extreme weather conditions at sea and the long transit time.

3. Environment-friendly: You should also make sure that the material you use for packaging is eco-friendly, reusable, recyclable, and that it doesn't violate any environmental laws.

4. Pricing: The above points need to be considered to ensure the cargo reaches the destination port without being damaged or lost. Additionally, packaging costs need to be considered to ensure that they do not negatively affect your bottom line or margins

5. Buying requirements: Some importers have specific packaging requirements. In addition, some countries have laws and regulations regarding packaging. As an exporter, you need to be clearly informed of the packaging requirements. The importer may refuse to take the shipment if it is not packaged according to the specifications.

6. The importer's packaging requirements: There are numerous rules and regulations regarding packaging in the country you are shipping to, including material, palletization, labeling on the packages, etc. You must know these rules and regulations before shipping.

The secondary packaging cycle is as critical as primary packaging. In addition to protecting a product, it also protects the company's brand and reputation. In this regard, it is essential to make secondary packaging an integral part of a seller’s product portfolio and to develop creative, innovative, safe, and cost-effective packaging alternatives. The job is to ensure that your goods are delivered to the final destination after they've been packaged, tagged, and labeled properly. 


Taking your business international can result in new profits, customer bases, reputations, and leadership experiences. Once you set your packaging right the next thing to focus on is delivering their packages on time, with ease. Shipping aggregators like Shyplite will help you in streamlining your last-mile delivery. Get branding solutions, insurance, live tracking, and easy return management all in one single platform.

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