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Shipping 101: Package Markings and Symbols

Shipping LabelsMarkings and labels on packages provide information on how a parcel must be handled during shipping to prevent damage or loss. Properly marking a package with appropriate symbols is the shipper's responsibility. If a package is not properly marked, parties whose actions during transport, handling or storage have caused damage to the parcel may be excluded from liability.

Thus, it is helpful that a shipper is familiar with these markings and symbols and know when to use them to ensure the safe delivery of his goods. Here are commonly used symbols in shipping and what they mean.

Shipping Symbols - FragileFragile
Usually represented by the shattered stemmed glass, the fragile icon is one of the most familiar shipping symbols. It is used to indicate that the product inside the package is fragile and can be easily damaged and, thus, needs to be handled with utmost care.

Shipping Symbols - ThermometerThermometer
The thermometer symbol indicates that the item inside the box is temperature-sensitive. The mark usually indicates the temperature at which the product should be stored. This symbol is generally found on packages that contain perishable items such as food and medicines.

Shipping Symbols - This Side UpRight Side Up
Commonly represented by two arrows pointing up, this sign defines which side of the package should face upward so that the product inside is in the upright position during transit and handling thereby preventing damage.

handle-with-careHandle With Care
Usually rendered with a pair of hands cradling a box, the Handle With Care symbol also conveys that the package is delicate and requires careful handling.

Shipping Symbols - UmbrellaUmbrella
The umbrella symbol denotes that the package contains items that must not be exposed to water or moisture. This sign is usually found on packages containing electronic devices, clothing, and goods that corrode easily.

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