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If you’re planning on moving overseas in the future, you probably already realise that you’re undergoing a great process which will require both patience and understanding. Here’s a list of packing symbols to review when overseas shipping. You may see these as cartons arrive in your new home or as you travel. You may also purchase your own labels to keep yourself and others protected throughout your move. Either way, becoming familiar with these images and their meanings will keep people and contents safe.

Top 14 International Packing Symbols You Should Know

1. Wine Glass

Wine Glass Shipping Symbol

This cracked wine glass label lets you know the item(s) inside is “fragile.” You’ll notice this symbol on cartons containing items such as china and glassware.


2. Hands with Box

Handle With Care Shipping Symbol

When you see two hands cupping a cube, you know that you should “handle with care.” Contents are more than likely fragile, made up of intricate parts or otherwise easily damaged.

3. Flames

Flammable Shipping Symbol

If you see the picture of fire, you must know the material inside is “flammable.” Keep the shipment away from open flame, sparks, smoking and hot surfaces.

4. Upward Arrows

This Way Up Shipping Symbols

The image of two upward arrows above a box indicates, “This way up.” For the duration of shipping/delivery, the carton should face upright.

5. X Over Hook

Use No Hooks Shipping Symbol

A symbol depicting a hook marked over with an X says, “Use no hooks.” Absolutely no hand hooks should be attached to pull the parcel.

6. Multiple Boxes in Prohibition Sign

Don't Stack Shipping Symbol

If you see the universal no-sign covering a tower of boxes, then “do not stack.” The image might even display a couple of boxes toppling to the floor, showcasing the outcome if you pile cartons.

7. Person Lifting in Prohibition Sign

Heavy Do Not Lift Shipping Symbol

When you’re moving boxes with this label, note that they’re “heavy,” so “do not lift.” You’ll need a trolley.

8. Stacked Boxes

Maximum Stack Symbol

Pay attention to numbers on the stacked boxes icon. If you see “3”, the “stack limitation” is 3 units. Some stacks will have top boxes marked with an 8 and X, for example. You then know the “max carton” stack is 7.

9. Box Beneath Sunshine

protect from heat shipping symbol

When you encounter the box under a sun and roof, this means “protect from heat.” It’s similar to the next symbol but less specific.

10. Thermometer

thermometer shipping symbol

The thermometer image is more particular, in that it will provide “temperature limitations.” It’s important to store containers between the noted degree range.

11. Umbrella and Rain

Keep Dry Shipping Symbol

The umbrella reminds you to “keep dry.” The package should never get wet or be stored in damp areas.

12. Scope

Centre Of Gravity Symbol

This iconic scope image represents the “centre of gravity.” The label instructs handlers with regard to the weight distribution of parcels.

13. Two People Lifting Box

Two Person Lift Shipping Symbol

This one seems obvious, but be sure to watch for warnings about a “two-person lift.” Sometimes, you don’t need a trolley; you simply need another able body.

14. Boxes on Trolley

Only Use Trolley Shipping Symbol

Don’t ignore this symbol. “Only use trolley” when you see it. Some items require not only major support but a smooth transition.

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