January 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio January 1999 Current Issue
January 1999 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:



Shipping Overseas

The following checklist was compiled with the help of John Antonucci, assistant vice president of sales, BARTHCO International, Inc. (a full-service international shipping company), 7575 Holstein Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19153


  • Your company’s transportation department
  • A major airline
  • Integrators: DHL Airways, Inc.; Federal Express; United Parcel Service
  • An international freight forwarder (FF), specializing in moving large quantities of freight internationally and shepherding it through customs

  • Where do they ship to? Do they specialize in particular areas of the world?
  • Do they have experience in the country you’re shipping to?
  • Do they have experience in shipping meeting/incentive materials?
  • Let the FF know what you need shipped. For example, is your cargo priceless (art), breakable (wine), hazardous (chemicals)? It’s illegal to knowingly ask a FF to move hazardous cargo without first divulging that information.
  • Do exit doors lead directly out of the building?
  • Are they bonded (insured)? What are the limits of the insurance? Insurance should cover the value of the goods being shipped.
  • Are the quoted shipping rates inclusive of document preparation charges, etc.?
  • Are they members of the International Air Transport Association? (Call 516-747-3312 or visit the Web site at If not, the company is probably a middleman and contracts out.
  • Do they offer 24-hour airport pickup service?
  • Do they offer short-term storage and repacking, if necessary?
  • Is there a certain freight they specialize in moving? (For example, BARTHCO International specializes in shipping fragile materials such as high-end artwork that requires security.)
  • Ask for a list of clients and check them out.

  • Pack and seal the goods in sturdy containers.
  • Make sure the goods are braced and packed in such a way that the weight is evenly distributed. Cargo can be damaged if materials shift during shipment because they are not well packed.
  • Large or multiple boxes of the same size should be packed on pallets to ensure greater ease in handling.
  • Are electrical circuits in sleeping rooms grounded?
  • All boxes should be uniformly labeled in permanent ink and numbered.
  • To avoid pilferage, do not list the contents or brand name on packages. Also, use shrink wrap whenever possible. This reduces the chances your cargo will be tampered with.
  • Check to make sure all labels are legible.
  • Indicate country of origin, weight, cautionary marks (This Side Up) and weight in both pounds and kilograms. (Weight indicators are important because they alert shippers to heavy boxes that might cause injury.)
  • Cautionary marks for hazardous and fragile materials should be in international symbols and listed on three sides of the box. (Ask your FF for a list of international symbols.)
  • Make and keep a master list of items shipped and number of boxes; if anything is lost or missing, you’ll know what needs to be resent, purchased on the other side or brought along with you. A master list is also essential when settling a claim with your FF and the insurance carrier.

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