Freight Shipping Marks for B2B Shipping

Mar 17, 2024 Chapter 5. Shipping

What is B2B Shipping?

B2B shipping, short for business-to-business shipping, refers to the transportation of goods between two businesses. Unlike B2C (business-to-consumer) shipping that delivers products directly to individual customers, B2B shipments typically involve large quantities of goods headed for other companies.


Here’s a breakdown of key characteristics of B2B shipping:

  • Larger Shipment Sizes: B2B shipments tend to be bulkier, involving pallets or containers full of goods. This is because businesses often order large quantities of raw materials, components, or finished products to meet their own production or sales needs.
  • B2B Shipping Methods: Due to the size and weight of B2B shipments, they are often transported via freight methods like trucks, trains, or ships. Smaller B2B orders might utilize parcel services like UPS or FedEx.
  • Logistics Complexity: B2B shipping often involves more complex logistics than B2C. It may require coordinating with multiple parties, managing customs clearances for international shipments, and ensuring proper handling of large or specialized cargo.
  • Focus on Efficiency: Businesses seek cost-effective and timely delivery of their goods. B2B shipping providers often offer services that streamline the process, like route optimization and real-time tracking.


B2B shipping is a crucial part of the global supply chain, ensuring businesses receive the materials and products they need to operate.





What are Shipping Marks?

The shipping mark’s function is to facilitate the staff to identify and distinguish the goods in each of transportation. At the same time, it shows the weight, size, nature, and precautions of the goods, etc., in the shipment. The staff must operate correctly to ensure the integrity of the cargo and persons and ships’ safety.


Shipping, being the vast and widely used means of transportation that it is, needs very careful and as precise as possible marks that indicate the contents of the carton. Almost every package contains an entirely different set of objects and needs to be treated with appropriate care and caution. Without shipment/ handling marks, the possibility of damage to goods increases exponentially.

Thus, these shipping markings are used to let the handler understand how fragile the contents may be. This is why you’ll find that every card box has some certain, universally understood stickers or marks to indicate caution.

shipping marks import from China



What Should be on Shipping Marks?


At present, a complete of shipping marks required in international trade. The shipping marks can divide into primary shipping marks, secondary shipping marks, and indication signs.



Primary Shipping Marks


Primary shipping marks

The primary shipping marks are usually simple geometric shapes (such as triangular, circular, diamond, etc.) with the textual representation, including the consignee name, trade contract number or letter of credit number, and shipping symbols.

The primary shipping mark should be fully recorded in the relevant shipping documents such as the shipping order (shipping order), bill of lading (bill of lading), manifest (manifest), and so on.



Sub Shipping Marks

The secondary shipping marks is a supplement to the primary shipping marks, and its content generally includes:


1) description of goods

The name of the goods generally refers to the specific standard shipping name, which should be written in both English and the country of production, and the height of the text should not be less than 5 cm.


2) port of destination (destination)

The destination port needs to write the full name of the port of arrival directly in the text. Abbreviations, abbreviations, and codes are not allowed. The customs generally refuse to release goods without a port of destination.


3) Package number

It prints the serial number on the goods or outer packaging for each cartoon. The part number is used to assist the primary shipping marks to distinguish cargo groups and calculating the number of packages.

shipping marks information


4) Weight and measurement

The shipment size refers to the external dimensions of the outer packaging or naked shipment, and the weight usually indicates the total weight and the net weight. The weight and size shipments codes are used to be collected shipping, handling, and storage work basis.


5) The country of origin ( Country of Origin)

The country of origin is generally expressed in English and the language of the country of origin. The country of origin logo is a trade of one international export standard. Many countries prohibit importing goods without the mark of the country of origin, and most countries will impose fines on them.



Indication Signs

Indication signs, also known as protection signs, remind relevant personnel of matters that they should pay attention to loading, unloading, storage, opening, etc.

shipping marks sign






Who Provides the Labels and Shipping Marks for Import Shipment?

The buyer provides the primary shipping marks and generally displays the product brand, product name, contract number, model number, destination name, etc.

The sellers provide the Sub shipping marks, including product size, gross weight, net weight and other information.


The seller generally designs the shipping mark in international trade, and there is no need to specify it in the contract.

However, if the buyer specifies the shipping mark, the buyer and the seller must specify the time for the buyer to provide the shipping mark in the packaging contract. If the buyer has not provided it within a limited time, the seller can decide on its own.



Guidelines for Shipping Marks

The shipping companies must follow certain rules and regulations regarding the shipping and handling marks. Here are some of them:


  1. The identification shipping marks used to indicate the destination and port need to be made in waterproof ink by stencils in clear font size. The package needs to have them on at least three sides. 

  2. Trade names must be avoided. The reason being that they might indicate the exact contents of the package, increasing the chances of theft. Rather, coded marks should be used. Even the codes have to be changed time and time again to avoid the handlers’ chances of familiarity. 

  3. These marks also need to be indicative in case the package needs to be specially handled. The lading bill must also have this information. 

  4. As mentioned earlier, too, all markings need to be legible, permanent, and clear. The marks also need to be in a language or languages that are understood at both places; origin of the package and its and destination

  5. It is recommended that the markings are made with stencils and that they are waterproof to be legible throughout the journey. 

  6. Do remember to use stencils to make the markings in clear and legible sizes and fonts and waterproof ink to not be missed. 


Every freight has to be handled by numerous people until it reaches the precise destination: the home, office, or wherever it needs to go. Thus, these markings are a good way to ensure the protection of the goods and their safe transportation.



Picture Shipping Markings

One of the problems that could occur is that the person handling the package does not know the package’s marking’s language. A similar problem would occur if the handler does not have a formal education and can thus not understand the markings.

A simple solution is pictorial markings. These allow everyone to easily know how the package needs to be handled and eliminate the chances of any sort of confusion. Big names like DHL and most cargo companies use this method to ensure the safety of the packages entrusted to them. 


Please make sure to note down what each package is carrying while packing it. This will help you in putting down the appropriate shipping marks on them. Here are some markings that may be applied depending on the contents of the crates.



UN Packaging Standards

The united nation’ Performance Packaging Standards were introduced in January of 1991. Since then, shipping companies need to be compliant with these standards if they wish to deal with potentially hazardous contents. Part of the compliance is to ensure that the correct markings are used in the packages and markings that indicate the right shipping process.



Hazard Categories

  1. Explosive materials. Contents that bear explosives labels and fall in one or more categories from 1.1 to 1.3 are not allowed. Products falling in 1.4F or 1.5 are also, in most cases, not allowed on aero planes.
  2. Toxic gasses and flammable and non-flammable markings
  3. Flammable liquid substances
  4. Substances that are prone to combustion and those which are reactive with water. Also flammable solids
  5. Oxidizing matter
  • Solid or liquid poisonous contents
  • Radioactive substance 
  • Solids and liquids that are corrosive by nature, e.g. Acids and alkalis
  • Other substances are potentially hazardous regardless of whether they match the criteria described above. 


If you have any shipping marks issues when you import from China, please contact us to get a help. We can help you consolidate your shipments from China, and label the correct shipping marks.



Freight shipping marks are essential for smooth B2B shipping, especially for international transactions. They act as a visual identification system that helps track and handle your shipment efficiently throughout its journey.

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[…] you intend to import goods from China, Alibaba or any other website, please follow the simple shipping customs to control the way […]