Parcels Are Fumigated Prior to Shipping

December 12, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Business

Don’t expect your freight quote to indicate all the details of your shipping placements, because you’ll likely be provided with an overwhelming amount of incomprehensible information. Instead, you’ll only be given the basics that directly affect your shipping costs, like your parcel’s weight, dimensions, and delivery methods. But, in case you want a no-nonsense explanation for the company’s prohibitions against shipping food and perishables, then you should know the hard facts that’ll scare you straight. Your shipping company may hesitate to inform you that some non-perishables are fumigated at certain transport points because you may overreact at the notion and hang up on them. Fumigation is the government’s safety protocol, though, especially for parcels that cross international borders.

Fumigation is a compulsory practice, so shipping companies are expected to conduct these without passing on the trivial operation costs to your freight quote. The treatment intends to eradicate any pests or parasites that may be present on transported packages, those which could upset the indigenous ecosystem of the recipient country. Items that are most prone to the presence of parasites include furniture and paper products, office supplies, and clothing. Packages are fumigated inside their container vessels before they’re aerated for export or taken out for delivery by local couriers.

The fumigants used for the treatments come in gaseous states, so these are very volatile. Methyl bromide and phosphine are frequently used for this purpose, and both are toxic in concentrated small amounts. Phosphine is the result of the reaction of the enclosed damp air in the container and a solidified chemical (usually aluminium or magnesium phosphide). It leaves a grayish, powdered precipitate which easily sinks into the small nooks of parcel packaging. Methyl bromide, on the other hand, is gaseous in its base state, but it’s odorless and virtually untraceable. These chemicals pose obvious risks to your health, so you should get past your shipping company’s freight quote and inquire about their standard fumigation protocols to be sure.

Fumigants pose valid health risks which get deadlier with improper handling. The treatment procedures always observe all the necessary precautions, though, since the fumigators are the first in line when it comes to chemical exposure. They wear appropriate gear to prevent direct contact, and the containers are tightly sealed after the fumigation to let the chemicals permeate into the packaging. The containers are, then, aerated (usually with the use of exhaust fans) for two hours before they are resealed, labeled, and documented. The procedure may be conducted on entry and exit ports, though. The certification could be ignored on either end, and the fumigation may be repeated as an extra measure. In case the parcel you’re sending is meant for children or for people with compromised health, you’d best confirm your shipping company’s standard procedures immediately after you commit to their freight quote.

The thought that your package goes through chemical treatment may seem unsettling, but you should note that the practice is required by customs law in most countries. Shipping companies sanitize parcels within their warehouses, though, so the parcel should be free of any residue when it it’s delivered to you. At least you wouldn’t be stubborn enough to demand your shipping company to move perishables by standard freight; the prohibition is ultimately for your own benefit.

The best freight quote always comes from shipping companies with an established reputation for quality service. Choose a shipper who’ll recommend the best delivery methods at the best rates. Online quote comparison sites should help.


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