In this article, let’s explore the potential reasons why your product might not reach your customers in the right condition and how packaging inspection can help you avoid them.

1. Packaging materials are crushed during shipping and handling

Like most importers of consumer products, you may choose to pack your products in cardboard shipping cartons before they leave the factory. Cardboard shipping cartons are light, inexpensive and can provide great protection from a number of outside elements. They’re also highly stackable for transport. But they’re not invincible. If your customers report that your inventory arrived in crushed shipping cartons, you might want to look into the following causes.

1). Stacking too many heavy cartons leads to crushing.

2). Improper packing assortment leaves your products vulnerable.

3). Inadequate packaging materials don’t protect your product.

What packaging quality control measures help prevent crushing during shipping and handling?

1). Clarify packaging materials and assortment in a QC checklist.

2). Combine a carton drop test and other packaging checks with product inspection.

3). Consider more rigorous packaging testing at an accredited laboratory.

2. Poor packaging sealing or storage method leads to water damage or warping

1). Packaging materials can leave products vulnerable to water damage. If shipping cartons are improperly sealed, your products might suffer warping or water damage when exposed to temperature and humidity changes during transit. And cardboard can easily absorb too much moisture during shipment and shrink in size once the moisture evaporates.

2). The storage environment can damage products. You also need to consider how your factory’s environmental conditions might affect the storage of packaging materials.

Which QC steps help prevent product damage from humidity and temperature changes?

1). Audit your supplier’s facility to verify proper storage methods.

2). Clarify proper packaging and sealing methods in your QC checklist.

3). Check sealing and storage method during inspection.

4). Perform lab testing for climate conditioning.

3. Your product is seized or delayed at customs or your distributor’s warehouse

Most importers don’t willfully circumvent customs laws in this manner. But even if you unintentionally provide unclear information on labels affixed to your shipping carton, you could still face processing delays at customs. There’s also a chance your goods pass through customs, only to have your distributor refuse them or charge you fees for mislabeling them.

What packaging quality control checks help prevent processing delays?

1). Mark and number each package so customs staff can identify it with the corresponding marks and numbers appearing on your invoice.

2). Show a detailed description on your invoice of each item of merchandise contained in each individual package.

3). Mark your goods legibly and conspicuously with the country of origin unless they are specifically exempted from country-of-origin marking requirements.

4). Package goods in a uniform manner so that each carton includes the same contents and values, and when possible, with only one kind of good in each carton.


Broken products, warping, water damage and delays can all affect your relationship with your customer and your distributor. So, when it comes to ensuring products reach their destination undamaged and on time, it’s always better to prevent and address these issues by clarifying requirements, auditing suppliers and inspecting and testing packaging prior to shipment.

Packaging may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of product quality. But it’s one of the most important factors determining whether your product reaches your customers in the right condition.


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