In the last decade, JS Quality has inspected myriads of goods in China factories. Of all the defects we picked up, the most redundant ones were related to packaging. Ranging from inadequate material and sizes, minor damages, inaccurate information, to unreadable barcodes, our Quality Inspectors have seen all kinds of packaging quality control defects.

Have you ever purchased batches of prodcuts with unreadable barcode? Or no barcodes on the products themselves? Have you ever succeeded in getting a refund for the fees invoiced by your warehouse to sort your delivery from China?

Importers who have experienced this already know the answer : Yes, Yes and No. Sadly, not all the factories in China are familiar with standard packaging practices in your market. More than that, we have witnessed great discrepancy between packaging from one Buyer to another in the same factory.

In this article, we will focus on everything you need to address to ensure that your packaging passes the Pre-Shipment Inspection :

– Make your requirements known from the start

– Request packaging & print samples

– Send only Final packaging files to your supplier in China

– Publish a Packaging QC checklist

– Book a Pre-Shipment Inspection that includes drop tests

Why do you need to clearly state Packaging Requisites before Quality Control?

There are 2 main reasons why Packaging Requirements should be shared with your Chinese supplier as earlier as possible in the process of sourcing in China.

Packaging should be part of Risks Management, same as Product Safety

Buying from China implies taking risks. As any other International Buyer, you know that these risks need tending. Pacakging falls into the scope of the aforementioned risks. Naturally, a good purchaser shall implement adequate risk management to packaging imported from China, together with product requirements.  Waiting for a Pre-Shipment Inspection to address an issue does not constitute sound Risk Management.

Packaging is sub-contracted to a local Chinese supplier in 99% of cases

Whether your products are retail, wholesale, or industrial, they all need packaging. Some may say that sharing Packaging Requirements later in the purchasing process is safer. But we have had numerous opportunities that proved the contrary.

The reality is that your supplier in China sub-contracts the packaging and printing to a local Chinese shipping carton factory. Which means that delivery times apply. The more you wait to share the specifics, the greater the possibility of one of the 2 issues arise :

– Your factory in China ordered cartons, but it’s wrong;

– products are ready but the packaging has not been delivered yet;

In both instances, your order will suffer delays. A delay in China automatically leads to further delay down the supply chain.

The best solution so far is to make your Packaging Requirements known at the same time as your Product Requirements. Chasing you Chinese supplier for updates on product and packaging manufacturing helps a lot. The key is to:

1) share your requirements earlier;

2) keep a constant pace in updates;

3) prepare adequately for the Pre-shipment QC;

Request packaging & print samples

Preferred when dealing with a Chinese manufacturer for the first time, or dealing with a demanding client. Packaging can get quite complex. Printing standards may differ from what you are used to. Eventually, you may even consider them sub-standard.

A packaging sample is the first step to a 0 risk during Pre-Shipment Inspection

Considering the size of the production batch, you may require your factory in China to issue a packaging sample before order. It is usually considered standard practice for buyers who import new products in China.

Packaging does not necessarily means the shipping carton. It usually includes the several layers a product will be packaged in to allow for delivery. They are usually called Primary,Secondary, Tertiary … packaging.

If the sample you get meets all your requirements, it can be considered a “Golden Sample” meaning you can provide it to the Inspection company in China. They will use it as a reference during Pre-Shipment Inspection.

A printing sample can avoid heaps of hassles especially for Retail

Many times our colleagues at JS Sourcing have refused print proofs. Even though they came from Supplier whose client base was “European” (meaning, European cosmetics standard apply). There is no shortage of printing factories in China. But some of them should rather be called “workshops”. Consistently, we pick up issues with :

– color specks in white zones;

– mind boggling color deviations;

– inconsistent color scope within a batch;

Getting a print proof, or

Every inspection check is incomplete unless a Pre-Shipment Inspection is conducted for the products.

Though it’s important as it reduces the risk of receiving poor-quality goods, still pre-shipment inspection is often ignored by manufacturers and suppliers as they primarily focus on the inspection during the manufacturing process.

A professional pre-shipment inspection assures suppliers that their products are ready to be sent to the market. The inspection makes it easy for the exporters to assess the quality of the goods during the production process and take corrective measures when required.

Checking for proper packaging materials and methods is the foremost step of pre-shipment inspection. For this, you need to prepare for packaging a QC checklist. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to prepare before commencing the pre-shipment inspection procedure:-

For what reason do you have to address packaging pre-requisites before the examination?

Many Importers don’t have the foggiest idea about all the sub-providers inside their supply chain. So the most ideal approach to guarantee that your packaging fulfills your guidelines is to give clear-cut packaging requirements to your provider.

  1. Set expectations in your PO to avoid resistance to packaging tests

Many suppliers tend to hinder the pre-dispatch inspection process. For instance:- Industrial facility staff may disallow reviewers to play out certain packaging checks that have chances to harm the products.

To evade the problem, confirm all the packaging requirements in your PO before placing the order. You can include points such as:

  • The inspection would be conducted by whom?
  • When will the inspection occur?
  • What kinds of packaging tests would the product undergo before shipping?

By incorporating these points in your PO the supplier at present may not be able to oppose portions of an examination they believe are pointless or hard to pass.

  1. Give packaging quality control requirements in a QC agenda

Besides setting desires for checking the packaging of your product before transportation, adequately conveying your packaging requirements to your supplier will assist you with anticipating issues. A QC agenda is an arranged, organized rundown of your product and packaging requirements, some of which ordinarily include:

  • Packaging materials: for example retail containers, polybags, and so forth.
  • Packaging variety: for example units per retail container
  • Fixing technique: for example staples, glue, clear/obscure tape, plastic/metal straps.
  • Container marking: for example -Barcodes, manually written/printed names, container markings, standardized identifications
  1. Send all-important retail marking and work of art documents to your provider ahead of time 

Mistakes may occur anytime, anywhere and by anyone. With regards to packaging QC, wrong spelling, wording or designs on retail packaging are among the most widely recognized packaging flaws discovered during the examination. To refrain from such issues you should give every detail to a manufacturer in a document.

Thus, these were some of the points that must be taken into concern before the pre-shipment inspection. If you are looking for a pre-shipment inspection in Chinas, Shanghai JS Sourcing is here to help you out. Reach out to us to avail of our services in China.

If you are looking for a pre shipment inspection in Chinas, Shanghai JS Sourcing is here to help you out. Reach out to us to avail our services in China.