The Importance of Packing List in International Trade

Packing list in international trade

Many different documents are required for international transportation. The most important documents include the shipper’s export declaration, the bill of lading, the commercial invoice, and the packing list. These documents are used to track the shipment, calculate customs duties, and provide information about the contents of the shipment. A packing list is one of the…

Many different documents are required for international transportation. The most important documents include the shipper’s export declaration, the bill of lading, the commercial invoice, and the packing list. These documents are used to track the shipment, calculate customs duties, and provide information about the contents of the shipment. A packing list is one of the terms that are used a lot in the business world. Undoubtedly, the correct understanding of these terms can be a good guide for us in commercial affairs. In this article, we are going to talk about an international document called a packing list.

Types of International Transportation Documents

In international trade and transportation, there are documents that specify the features and requirements of the cargo. Shipping documents are the most important documents during international sales and purchases and are considered to be the identification documents of the goods. Shipping documents are crucial at the time of a purchase since, after satisfying financial commitments and clearing accounts with the seller or bank, the buyer can only finish customs formalities and complete the goods clearance by providing international shipping paperwork. International shipping documentation and their various types are described in this article. The most common of these documents are:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List

It is important to follow the instructions on all international shipping documents carefully. Failure to do so could result in delays, damage to the shipment, or even legal problems.

What is a Packing List?

Packing list is an international critical document in which important export or import information is mentioned. It provides important information about the shipment that can be used for customs clearance and to ensure that the shipment arrives safely. This document should be accurate and complete to avoid any delays or issues in the shipping process. If you are shipping goods, be sure to include a shipping packing list with your shipment. This document can save you time and money by ensuring that your shipment arrives safely and intact. This list typically includes the following information:

  • Shipper and consignee information
  • Details about the contents of the shipment
  • Packaging and labeling information
  • Weight and dimensions of the shipment
  • Shipping and handling instructions

In general, this document can be utilized in at least three situations:

  • It is required by officials and evaluators when inspecting the contents of boxes or cartons.
    It is used by storekeepers to issue invoices and check the quality and quantity of products imported to customs.
  • A packing list is also used as a supporting document if there is a disagreement between the carrier and the exporter over the cargo’s measurement and weight. (Shipping Solutions)

How to Prepare a Packing List

As mentioned, packing lists are an essential part of the transportation process, whether you’re shipping goods domestically or internationally. A packing list is a document that itemizes all of the products being shipped in a single transaction. It is used by the carrier to verify that the products being shipped match the description on the this list. This document can be created manually or with the help of shipping software. When creating a packing list, be sure to include the following information:

  • A description of the products being shipped
  • The quantity of each product
  • The weight of each product
  • The dimensions of each product
  • The value of each product
  • The origin of the shipment
  • The destination of the shipment
  • The name and contact information of the shipper
  • The name and contact information of the consignee

In the video below, you can learn how to make a packing list from scratch:

Preparing Commercial Invoice and Packing List

Packing lists can be simple or complex, depending on the nature of the shipment. For example, a shipment of books might only require a description of the goods and the quantity. However, a shipment of electronic equipment would require a more detailed list that includes the weight, dimensions, and value of each item. Once the packing list is complete, it should be attached to the outside of the shipment so that the carrier can easily verify the contents. In some cases, this list may also be used as the commercial invoice.

Tips for Creating an Effective Packing List

When it comes to packing for a freight shipment, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make sure everything arrives safely and on time. This document is important as it will be used by the freight company to determine what items are being shipped, as well as how they should be packed. Here are a few tips for creating an effective packing list document:

  1. Include all items that are being shipped: This seems like an obvious one, but it is important to make sure that all items that are being shipped are included on the packing list. This includes any items that are being packed in boxes, as well as any loose items.
  2. Clearly label all items: All items should be clearly labeled with your name, address, and contact information. This will help the freight company to identify the items and get them to their destination safely.
  3. Use proper packaging: It is important to use proper packaging when shipping items via freight. This includes using boxes that are the proper size and strength for the items being shipped. Additionally, items should be properly cushioned and secured so that they do not shift during transit.
  4. Include a packing slip: A packing slip should be included with your list. This document should include your name, address, and contact information as well as a list of all items being shipped.
  5. Use a reputable freight company: This is perhaps the most important tip of all. Be sure to use a reputable freight company that has a good reputation for shipping items safely and on time.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your packing list document will be effective and that your items will arrive safely at their destination.


Preparing a packing list can greatly reduce your financial cost and time. By preparing this list, there is no need to fully inspect your goods when entering different countries. A full inspection usually involves costs that are the responsibility of the sender. By making a packing list, you can avoid such problems.

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What information should be included on a packing list?

A packing list should include a description of the contents of the shipment, the quantity of each item, the weight of the shipment, and the dimensions of the shipment.

How do I create a packing list?

You can create a packing list by using a template or by creating your own document. Be sure to include all of the required information, and make sure the document is easy to read and understand.

What is the Packing List document used for in the freight industry?

The Packing List document is used as a way to organize and keep track of the items being shipped via freight.

What are some tips for creating an effective Packing List document?

Some tips for creating an effective Packing List document include using clear and concise language, and including all relevant information.

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