October 2009

In This Issue:
• China Shipping Basics
 — Basic Shipping Knowledge
 — A Guide to Timing and Cost
 — Safe Packing and Handling
• Case Study: Product Collection and Display Solutions
• Meet the Staff: Grace Wu
• Upcoming Events

  China Printing Solutions: A Resource for Quality Printing in China

Shipping From China

With thousands of containers shipped out every day, Chinese ports rank among the highest in the world in terms of global shipping volume. This month’s newsletter tackles the basics of international shipping, as well as secure packing and handling.

Basic Shipping Knowledge-Buying Terms:

First things first — decide by what terms you wish to have the goods delivered. A long list of internationally accepted commercial shipping terms defining the roles of buyer and seller (Incoterms) are possible. Here are the most common:

• FOB – (Free On Board) Title and risk pass to buyer including payment of all transportation, insurance cost, customs clearance and import duty once delivered on board the ship by the seller at the port of origin.

• CIF – (Cost, Insurance and Freight)-- Title and risk pass to buyer when delivered on board the ship by seller who pays transportation and insurance cost to destination port.

• DDP – (Delivered Duty Paid) -- Title and risk pass to buyer when seller delivers goods to named destination point, usually the final location, having cleared customs and with all import duties settled.

For a complete list of Incoterms, please click here!

You can often save money by buying FOB China or CIF at the local port of call and controlling the importing yourself. For moderately experienced importers, this is a good way to go. However, this places the burden upon you to manage customs clearance and local delivery. Be sure to research the product's Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number in advance to evaluate potential import duties, and secure the assistance of a highly competant customs agent.
Click here for a HTS on-line reference tool: http://hts.usitc.gov/

Be sure also that you receive all required documents, as you won’t be able to import the goods without them. In addition to the standard set of Commercial Invoice, Bill of Lading and Packing list, you may need additional documentation such as pallet fumigation or Country of Origin Certification, depending on the details of your shipment and country. US buyers must pay close attention to the new "10+2 Filing Rule", which goes into enforcement in January 2010.

For more information, please click the links below:

A Guide to Timing and Cost:

Before shipping, you’ll need to plan out your shipping time and cost. Here are some rules of thumb, based on CIF cost:

Estimate Shipping Time
Estimate Cost (US$) for Full Container loads by Ocean (20’/40’/40H’)
North America
25-30 days for East Coast
15-20 days for West Coast
$1300/ 1700/ 1800
South America
25-32 days
$1500/ 1800/ 1900
13-15 days
$1100/ 1500/ 1700
25-30 days
$900/ 1300/ 1500
3-7 days
$200/ 300/ 400

*Costs shown are rates to port, do not include customs clearance or local delivery and are highly subject to change according to fuel costs and current market rates.
*For further inquires regarding terms, conditions and costs for international DDP delivery, Please contact us!

- Insurance—Make sure the total value of your shipment is insured, not just the ‘salvage costs’.
- Always allow additional time for potential customs delays, particularly in USA and South America. It is difficult to predict which shipments, and for what reasons, might be called aside for inspection, but when it happens it will delay deliveries anywhere from 2 days to a week.

Safe Packing and Handling:

When designing a packing plan for safe transport of your goods, the following are primary considerations which should be accounted for:

• Carton wall layers and thickness - While shipping cartons come in many different designs and in three primary wall layer options, (Single Wall, Double Wall, and Triple Wall), most shipments that China Printing Solutions executes utilize Double Walled Regular Slotted Cartons (RSC). Within that configuration, it is worthwhile considering the thickness (flute) of each wall. There are 5 main flutes: (A,B,C,E, and F). For Double-Walled Cartons, common combinations include B+E, B+C and C+C as shown here.

Three common double-walled carton combinations are shown here. For complete diagrams and thickness of corrugated board, Click here!

Carton Burst Strength - The Burst Test (also called the Mullen Test) standard is used to evaluate the ability of the carton to contain its contents without rupturing under pressure. CPS prefers to use a minimum of 200 lb/sq In. (14kg/sq cm) burst test strength for most printed material cartons.

Carton Edge Crush Strength - The Edge Crush Test (ECT) standard is used to evaluate the stacking strength of cartons and the ability to withstand blunt impact upon corners. CPS prefers to use a minimum of 32lb/in2 (2.5kg/sq cm) ECT strength for most printed material cartons.

Pallet material type - Pallets come in a range of materials including natural wood, fiberboard, corrugated paper, aluminium and plastic. While a host of considerations come into play as to which type is chosen for a given purpose, natural wood and fiberboard are the most common solutions that CPS uses, with natural wood providing the strongest and most secure performance.

Pallet deck board spacing - For natural wood pallets, how close together pallet deck boards are spaced contributes to the overall performance of the pallets. CPS prefers to use a maximum deck board spacing of 80mm.

Carton stacking pattern - Factors including product weight, container size and efficiency of the pallet cube must be taken into account when deciding the stacking pattern of your cartons. If practical, it is preferred to use an interlocking stacking pattern of cartons (one where rows of cartons are aligned in alternating length and width orientation) to reduce pressure on the carton edges, increase stability of the pallet cube and thereby minimize the tendency of the stack to tilt to the side during transport or warehousing.

Carton overhang - For practical reasons, it is sometimes necessary that the carton stack slightly overhang over the pallet area, which can result in instability and damage. While the ideal solution is to design the unique combination of container size, pallet size and carton size such that this is not necessary. Where it is necessary CPS recommends allowing no more than 0.05 in (13mm) of overhang on any side.

Pallet Topsheets - Wooden or plastic pallet covers (top sheets) should be securely fastened to the top of all pallets if double or triple stacking of the pallet is anticipated.

Pallet Wrapping - Pallets should always be securely stretch wrapped no less than three times around the full height of the carton stack to limit the potential for shifting movement during transport.

There are many more factors which affect the performance of product packing including humidity, temperature, expected length of stacking time in shipping and warehousing, type of tape used to seal cartons and total gross weight of goods per pallet. In addition to the measures stated here, China Printing Solutions Internation may utilize inner and outer carton designs, plastic support straps, dunnage within cartons/in gaps between cartons/between containerized pallets, corner boards on the edges of pallet stacks, corrugated shrouds around palletized goods and other measures to ensure safe transit, depending on the needs of the product. To discuss special packaging needs for your project, please contact us!

Testing - In addition to thoughtful planning of quality materials and packing solutions for your product, testing of packing solutions before shipment may be required. There are four basic catagories of distribution hazards: Shock, Vibration, Compression and Atmosphere. The following table specifies tests that are used to simulate specific hazards in distribution:

Distribution Hazard
Major Test Category
Associated Test Types
Handling Drop and Impact
Drop: free-fall/rotational/on hazard/hazard impact
Incline Impact
Horizontal Impact
Vertical Impact
Transportation Vibration
Fixed Displacement: rotary/vertical linear
Variable Displacement: vertical/horizontal
Random: vertical/horizontal/multi-axis
Stacking Load
Static (dead load)
Machine: apply & release/apply & hold
Dynamic Load Under Vibration
Atmospheric Conditions
Temperature: soak/cycle
Humidity: soak/cycle
Pressure: soak/cycle

China Printing Solutions International is now proudly a member of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), an independent body that develops standards and test procedures for the safe transit of goods. To learn more about packing and testing,
visit ISTA's website.

Fitting it all Together:

For better or worse, there are a myriad of choices of pallet and container sizes. Designing a packing plan must not only take into account safe transit as described above, but also practical considerations including space and cost efficiency. Here is some useful reference:

Common Pallet Specifications:

Dimensions, mm (W * L)
Dimensions, in (W * L)
Region most used in
1219 * 1016
48.00 * 40.00
North America
1000 * 1200
39.37 * 47.24
Europe, Asia; similar to 48x40"
1165 * 1165
44.88 * 44.88
1067 * 1067
42.00 * 42.00
North America, Europe, Asia
1100 * 1100
43.30 * 43.30
800 * 1200
31.50 * 47.24
Europe; fits many doorways

Common Container Specifications:

20' container
40' container
40' high-cube container
20' 0"
6.096 m
40' 0"
12.192 m
40' 0"
12.190 m
8' 0"
2.438 m
8' 0"
2.438 m
8' 0"
2.438 m
8' 6"
2.591 m
8' 6"
2.591 m
9' 6"
2.896 m
18' 10"
5.758 m
39' 5"
12.032 m
39' 4"
12.000 m
7' 8"
2.352 m
7' 8"
2.352 m
7' 7"
2.440 m
7' 9"
2.385 m
7' 9"
2.385 m
8' 9"
2.650 m
7' 5"
2.280 m
7' 5"
2.280 m
8' 5"
2.560 m
1,169 ft3
33.1 m3
2,385 ft3
67.5 m3
2,660 ft3
75.3 m3
maximum recommended gross weight
66,139 lb
30,400 kg
66,139 lb
30,400 kg
68,008 lb
30,848 kg
empty weight
4,850 lb
2,200 kg
8,380 lb
3,800 kg
8,598 lb
3,900 kg


- Carton Size and Weight: When deciding how many units to pack per carton, consider how the cartons will fit on pallets to maximize space efficiency. Also, try to keep total weight within 10-12 kgs (22-26 lbs), and no more than 14 kg (31 lbs), to avoid injury of handlers, product damage, or penalties in some warehouses for overweight packages.

- Carton Re-use: Exporters typically aim to deliver goods safetly into your hands, not to anticipate your re-shipment needs; if you intend to re-use export cartons for individual shipments to customers, let your supplier know that, and plan to use better (and possibly more expensive) cartons.

- Carton stuffing: Be sure cartons are packed completely full (using dunning like crushed paper or sealed air if necessary) so that the outward pressure provides reinforcing support.

- Carton and pallet labeling: In addition to required carton markings, (weight dimensions, units, country or origin), it is useful to label large and clearly the item number or product name on all sides of the carton and pallet for easy identification.

- Keep total pallet height within 1m in order to permit double-stacking inside of the containers.

- Know the import regulations of your country - natural wood pallets, if permitted, are likely to require certification of heat-treatment and/or fumigation to destroy insects which may disrupt the ecological balance.

- Delivery by full container load (FCL) is nearly always the most cost and time-efficient option - If you're planning to use a Less than Container Load (LCL) shipment, consider ganging up on orders or even using a partially filled FCL container (≥10 CBM).

- Local road and bridge weight limits may often be less than that prescribed for ocean transport. For heavy products this should be taken into consideration before a container stuffing plan is executed.

Case Study:
Product Collection and Display Solutions

Client: The New Coloring Book Company

Project Name: The New Coloring Book Collection

The New Coloring Books and Postcard sets are collections of whimsical and artistic line drawings that appeal to kids of all ages. Created by artists for the artistic soul, CPS was asked to be a collaborative partner on the structural design and engineering, materials selection and retail display solutions.

Key Challenges: The client began with an open mind as to many aspects of the product. CPS went through many rounds of options and directions before production. Engineering the displays to be flexible, cost efficient and easy to construct was a key challenge.

Techniques Used: Graphic Design, 4 color offset printing, lamination, structural engineering, UV Coating, hand assembly, shrink wrapping.

Meet the Staff:
Grace Wu I Account Executive

An honors graduate of the UK’s Lancaster University with a focus in Management Science, Grace Wu has spent the past several years serving clients world-wide. At a young age, Grace jumped into business feet first, managing accounts and providing excellent client services for various companies before coming to China Printing Solutions, where she now acts as account executive.

As the company continues to expand, she excels at balancing work flow in order to both satisfy current clients and attract new ones. Fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, Grace is an effective communicator within the office and with clients and friends.

Though a native of China's Jiang Xi province, as a connoisseur of ethnic foods, Grace feels right at home in the booming city of Shanghai, where she spends her spare time shopping, singing and playing tennis.

Grace can be reached at grace(at)chinaprintingsolutions.com.

Upcoming Events
Oct-Nov, 2009

Through November 2: CPS General Manager Aaron Landis in USA, to arrange a meeting, please email alandis(at)chinaprintingsolutions.com

Nov. 11-13.Paperworld China (Shanghai)

Nov. 25-27.CHINA SIGN FAIR (Guang Zhou)

Useful Tools:

Spine width/Weight/Volume Calculator Click here!
On line Quotation Request Click here!
Binding Diagrams Click here!
Folding Diagrams Click here!

Corrugated Board Flute Sizes Click here!

Specifying for China Printing

+1.877.CPS.3933 +1.314.266.0741 +44.(0)20.7193.0741 +61.(0)3.9018.5729
© 2009 Ivie Asia Limited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Have comments on this newsletter? Please email sales@chinaprintingsolutions.com