When importing from China, it is important for your shipping container to have appropriate sealing mechanism.
It is an important safety measure you cannot ignore.
That is why today I am going to show you how to seal shipping container the right way.
Take a look.
- Definition of a Container Seal
- Seal Numbers for Correctly Sealing a Container
- Significance of Sealing the Container in the Right Way
- Shapes and Forms of Seals for Sealing Containers in the Right Way
- Quality Certifications for Containers Seals
- Location of Placing the Seal on the Container
- Number of Seals to Put on a Container
- Compliance of Container Seals with the Right Guidelines
- Documenting the Seals for Sealing Containers in the Right Way
- Handling Broken Seals for Sealing Containers
- Modes of Securing the Container After Sealing in the Right Way
- Process of Sealing the Containers in the Right Way
- Process of Removing the Seal from the Container
- Significance of CTPAT in Sealing Containers in the Right Way
- Best Locks for Sealing the Containers in the Right Way
- Significance of Different Colors of the Seals on Containers
- Placing of the Container Seal on Containers
- Meaning of the Customs Red Seal on the Shipping Containers
- Significance of the Green Seal on the Shipping Container
Definition of a Container Seal
Shipping container seals
Container seals are locking devices that you will place at the door of shipping containers after loading with enough goods.
You should ensure that you place the security measure on the container to remain until the consignee removes it.
Seal Numbers for Correctly Sealing a Container
Shipping container seal
As a security measure, you should ensure that you set a seal and a seal number on the container doors.
You will use the seal number as the identification code of the container you are shipping.
Every shipping container has a unique sealing number which will help you in the identification process.
Under FCL, your shipper will inform you of the seal number alongside other identification or documentation details.
Under LCL, your freight forwarder will load and seal the container before informing you of the seal number.
Significance of Sealing the Container in the Right Way
When shipping from one country to another, you have to make sure that you seal the door of the container.
Here are the reasons why you have to make sure that you correctly seal the door of the container.
Securing the Merchandise
Security of the goods you are shipping should be the greatest priority when shipping from one country to another.
Implying that, you will use a specific type of seal on the doors of different containers that ensure the cargo is safe.
Ensures the Goods Reach the Customer
After placing the seal on the container door, you are sure that the goods inside the container will reach the customer.
In other words, your seal will make it difficult for unauthorized personnel to have access to cargo thud preventing theft.
Complying with Shipping Guidelines
You will also ensure that you seal the container doors correctly as a mode of complying with the shipping guidelines.
Choosing the right type of seal will depend on numerous factors including the destination country and ISO PAS 17712 charter.
Prevent Damage to the Cargo
You will also protect the cargo inside the shipping containers from any form of damage by sealing the container correctly.
It will prevent the entry of water since it is waterproof and prevent the entry of insects that might damage the goods.
Shapes and Forms of Seals for Sealing Containers in the Right Way
It is obligatory to place a seal on the shipping container to ensure that it is safe throughout the journey.
You have the freedom of choosing from the many shapes and forms of container seals for sealing in the right way.
Here are some of the most common shapes and types of shipping container seals that you can choose from.
This is the most common type of seal which consists of the metal barrel which will hold the metal pin from the top.
The main material for making the bolt seal is heavy-duty steel coated in water-resistant and tough plastic cover.
This is a type of seal that has the read-write combination code that you can open using Radio Frequency Identification Readers.
Radio frequency identification readers will help in the collection of data within a computer chip thus opening the seal.
You may choose any of the above types depending on the level o security you want on your container.
The other types of seals that you can use on your shipping container are:
- Embossed Lead Wire Seals
- Plastic Strip Seals
- Metal Strip Seals
- Plastic Bullet Seals
- Metal Bullet Seals
- Number Combination Padlocks
Quality Certifications for Containers Seals
The main quality certification that all shipping container seals must adhere to is ISO PAS 17712:2013.
You will get all the classifications as well as standards for every mechanical seal that you will use on the container.
You can also use the seals that conform to the ISO PAS 17712: 2013 to transport containers on trucks and railway.
Location of Placing the Seal on the Container
It is a requirement for you to have a seal on the shipping container and then place the seal in the right place.
On the shipping container door, you will see different features among them being two lock rods on every door.
You will close the left side of the door first before proceeding to close the door on the right side.
Implying that, you will open the right side of the door first before you open the left side of the door.
It means that the most suitable place for placing the seal of the container is on the right side of the container.
Apart from that, the right and left side of the shipping container door has lock rods where you will place the seal.
In addition to that, you may have shipping containers with antitheft locking devices (ATD) and secura cams.
You will find these features at the bottom part of the third locking bar of the shipping containers.
If possible, you will place high security bolt seals at the position of the security cam on the bottom end.
Number of Seals to Put on a Container
There is no rule on the number of seals that you will have to place on the shipping containers.
Implying that you can have any number of seals on the shipping container within the right places.
On a shipping container, you will find 4 locking rods where you can place the seals.
Apart from that, you may find optional secura cams and ATD which increase positions for placing the seals.
In other words, you can have as much as six seals on the shipping container or as low as one seal.
Compliance of Container Seals with the Right Guidelines
The type of seal that you will use on your shipping container will depend on many factors.
Among the numerous factors that dictate your choice for good container seals is quality compliance.
The main quality compliance certification that you have to adhere to on container seals is ISO PAS 17712:2013.
Apart from that, there are other forms of compliance that comes with the destination country and shipping company.
According to the destination country, you will have to comply with the set rules for the sake of their national security.
For instance, when shipping your cargo from or to USA, you must comply with the US Customs and Border Protection’s regulations.
Under the US Customs and Border Protection’s “CTPAT” regulations, high security seals that comply to ISO requirements.
You should consider following such guidelines even when shipping to other countries to ensure safety of cargo.
In addition to that, different shipping companies also have their seal guidelines which may not differ much.
Documenting the Seals for Sealing Containers in the Right Way
All the shipping containers that you import or export must have a unique identification number.
You will use the identification number on the seal of the container to properly identify your container.
It is the reason why you must ensure that the seal identification number matches the number on the bill of lading.
You will use the identification number on the seal and match it with the number on the bill of lading.
Apart from that, you should note that there are cases where the seal bares the same identification numbers.
In such a case, you will take a picture of the container with the seal identification number to prevent confusion.
What’s more, confusions on the identification numbers may attract huge fines and also cause container delays.
It is, therefore, your responsibility to ensure that you list the right seal identification number on the bill of lading.
Handling Broken Seals for Sealing Containers
In case you get a tampered seal or broken seal, it may mean a lot of things not necessarily theft.
It may mean that your container has been subjecting of custom inspection and your goods are in good condition.
In most cases, the customs officials inspect your container and place a new seal on it.
Apart from that, you will also get the old seal back as they inform you of the new seal on the container.
In case the seal is tampered with and suspicions of foul play on the cargo arise, you will have to report the matter.
You can document the whole process by taking pictures and reporting to the relevant authorities.
It is also important to avoid opening the container in the absence of a customs official during the inspection process.
Modes of Securing the Container After Sealing in the Right Way
There are quite a number of modes that you can use in securing the container after sealing it well.
Here are 6 of the most common modes of securing the container after sealing.
Lock Boxes on Shipping Containers
Lockboxes are special types of steel boxes that you cannot tamper with very easily.
It usually keeps your padlocks out of view making it impossible to tamper with the lock systems.
Heavy Duty Padlocks
This is the simplest mode of securing the container thus keeping the things inside the container safe and secure.
There are different shapes and styles of heavy-duty padlocks that you can use in securing your shipping containers.
You can also use deadbolts which are made of very hard steel thus providing extra security on the shipping container.
You will use this mode of securing the shipping container from inside thus making the almost impossible to open.
You can also use the portable and easily installable crossbar locks without welding it to the container.
The crossbar locks will prevent the handles of the shipping container from turning thus making it safe and secure.
You can also increase the security on your shipping container by installing an alarm system on the doors.
With the alarm system, you will be able to receive a signal from a remote location when an intruder touches it.
You can also have a perimeter fence around the shipping container especially when it is in a shipping container yard.
The perimeter fence will provide the container with extra security even before the intruder reaches container position.
Process of Sealing the Containers in the Right Way
It is a requirement by the law of shipping containers to seal your containers in the right way.
In many cases, you should ensure that you place the seal on the “secure cam” position for extra security.
Here are the main steps that you will follow to securely seal your container door in the right way.
1) Closing the Container Door
You will begin the whole process by closing the doors of the container beginning from the left door.
After that, you will close the right door and then engage the lock rods that run vertically on both sides.
On the lock rods, there are handles that have catches with holes for inserting the seals.
2) Fixing the Container Seal
You will proceed with fitting the container seals within the holes of the catches of every handle on the door rods.
For instance, when using the most common high-security bolt, you will separate the barrel from the pin.
After that, you will insert the pin within the holes of the catches and then secure it with the barrel.
You will repeat the whole process on the other catches until you complete placing the seals correctly.
Process of Removing the Seal from the Container
You have to check the seals on the container for any form of tampering before you open the seal.
In case of a problem with the seal, you will report the problem to the handler of the cargo.
If not, you will proceed with the opening of the container by removing the seal from the catches.
After that, you will free the handle and then open the right door of the container first.
As soon as the right door is open, you will proceed with the opening of the second door in a similar fashion.
Significance of CTPAT in Sealing Containers in the Right Way
CTPAT is one of the regulations which stands for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
It is one of the regulations that you have to conform to increase the safety of the shipping container.
It has participants from all the shipping companies and members of the supply chain seeking to improve security.
Apart from that, it conducts research on how they can improve the safety of the shipping container on transit.
(t also has rules for suspending members of the group if they fail to comply to the rules and regulations.
Best Locks for Sealing the Containers in the Right Way
When securing your container from theft or any other loses, you can use different types of locks.
Among the numerous types of locks, there are some that emerge as the best types of locks.
Here are the best types of locks that you can use to seal your containers.
- Container High Security Number Padlocks
- Crossbar Locks
- Truck Seals
- Hidden Shackle Padlocks
- Roll Door Lock Boxes
Significance of Different Colors of the Seals on Containers
Shipping containers seals are available in different color combinations that you can use.
In many cases, different colors on the container seals mean that they come from different shipping companies.
Apart from that, you will also note that the colors on the container seals represent the cargo types in the containers.
Placing of the Container Seal on Containers
You can use different types of seals on the container when sealing it from any form of theft.
The most common type of seal that you will use is the bolt seal which has two parts.
You will notice that the bottom and the top of the bolt seal has two unique identification numbers.
First, you will begin with snapping the two parts of the seal apart.
After that, you will insert the pin through a hole on the lock systems and then connect the base to the top.
Meaning of the Customs Red Seal on the Shipping Containers
When you find a red seal on your container seal, you will have to apply for another inspection.
In other words, you will apply for customs inspection under supervision during the unloading process.
Door of shipping container
Significance of the Green Seal on the Shipping Container
In case you find a green seal on the container, you can proceed with collecting the container.
In other words, you do not have to apply for further inspection of your container by customs.
When you work with BanSar, your shipping container will remain safe all the time.
We not only ensure your container is sealed properly but also ensure they are loaded and offloaded safely.
Contact us today for all your freight forwarding needs from China.