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Guide for Packaging and Packing of Printed Products

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Detail Requirements
  3. General Attributes
  4. Special Packaging
  5. Packaging and Packing Materials

1. Introduction

The Guide for Packaging and Packing of Printed Products was developed by  Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Its purpose is to establish a common base of principles, practices and understanding between Federal Government departments and suppliers for setting out the packaging and packing requirements necessary to ensure protection of products in transit, storage and handling. Unless otherwise specified, the requirements of this guide are in effect and are the minimum requirements.

The contractor must supply packaging and packing, which conforms to good workmanship, sound trade practices, satisfactory materials and consistency. These requirements apply to all attributes whether or not they are mentioned in this document. Nothing contained herein or omitted from this packaging and packing guideline relieves the contractor or the designated shipper from ensuring the protection of the product in transit.

Please direct any comments or proposed revisions to:

Manager, Printing Procurement Division
Constitution Square
360 Albert St., 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0S5, CANADA

2. Detail Requirements

  1. New cartons only shall be used in all packing unless otherwise specified in the contract document. If authorized, re-use of cartons which have been used for shipping paper stock (8 1/2 in. X 11 in. or 8 1/2 in. X 14 in.) is permitted providing the cartons are in a "New Carton" condition.
  2. The packaging of printed matter shall accommodate a flat configuration whenever possible.
  3. Packaging shall ensure adequate protection against damage during shipment from the supplier to the destination.
  4. All printed matter shall be packed in a manner to ensure acceptance by common carrier for safe delivery to the consignee at the lowest applicable rate.
  5. Printed matter shall be compactly wrapped in specified quantities with good quality Kraft paper or shrink-wrapped in plastic, unless otherwise specified in the contract document.
  6. Closure shall be accomplished using carton adhesive, gummed tape or pressure sensitive adhesive tape, unless otherwise specified in the contract document.
  7. All fiberboard cartons or containers shall be in accordance with rules and regulations of carriers applicable to the mode of transportation.

3. General Attributes

3.1 Packaging

This may include shrink-wrapping or brown Kraft paper wrapping of individual or multicopies, paper or special banding or the use of individual lightweight boxes with lids.

In all instances the smallest unit package must be labeled and identified as to contents and banded packages must contain the precise number of specified units. The smallest packaged unit will be used to calculate the overall size of the packing carton. All cartons must be labeled as to contents.

3.2 Packing

  1. Cartons: New cartons must be used in all initial packing of each specific requirement. They must be uniform in size and designed to suit the contents in such a way that the carton is filled to capacity without any voids. If stated in the contract, cartons may be re-used providing they are in a "New Carton" condition and dimensionally suit the product configuration. The total weight of the filled carton must not exceed the weight specified in the contract. The cartons used must meet the specified requirements of the Canadian General Standards Board Specification 43-GP-33M. Unless otherwise specified in the contract document, cartons must not exceed 35 lbs. in weight.
  2. Skids and Pallets: All skids and pallets shall be of uniform size, unless otherwise specified, and shall be constructed of sound lumber, free of decay or deformation.

Stacked cartons shall not extend beyond the perimeter of the pallet. Cartons shall be stacked in such a way as to maximize stability within the stack and accommodate final securing such as, spot carton gluing, shrink-wrapping, top-cap, and strapping. The cartons shall not be stacked beyond 60" in height including pallet. Each pallet shall be strapped with not less than 4 bands of equivalent dimension and strength. Dimensions in excess of 40 in. require one extra band.

Where transit necessitates the stacking of loaded skids or pallets, a protective cap of lumber or similar rigid material shall be added to the top of the loaded skid or pallet, prior to final strapping and securing.

Material, not in cartons, must be protected by shrink-wrapping the entire load or by using protective sheets. If sheets are used, one sheet of new weather resistant paper or plastic shall be placed lengthwise and one sheet widthwise on the skid so that when the sheets are brought up over the stack of printed papers, complete coverage will take place with an overlap of at least 4 in. at all seams. All seams shall be sealed with adhesive or tape not less than 4 in. wide.

3.3 Sealing

Sealing of paper wrapped packages, for packing in cartons, shall be accomplished using gummed or pressure sensitive adhesive tape not less than 2 in. wide.

Closure and sealing of cartons and large self-packages shall be accomplished by gluing the flaps or using reinforced gummed or pressure sensitive adhesive tape not less than 2 in. wide. All over-lapped, skid-wrapped, paper wrapping seams shall be sealed with adhesive or tape not less than 4 in. wide.

3.4 Serial Numbering

Forms or other types of publications requiring numbering shall be labeled with the serial numbering sequence on a label affixed to the outside of the cartons. Skips and splices shall be identified and when shipped on skids or pallets the sequence shall be lowest serial numbers on top, highest serial numbers on the bottom unless specified in the contract document.

3.5 Labeling and Marking

The labeling and marking of packaged printing shall always display the contract number, description of the contents, the number of items and the consignee's address.

4. Special Packaging

There are many printed products that require specialized packaging because of their unique characteristics. Products, which are shipped over long distances, also require special attention. It is the supplier's responsibility to package and pack in a manner, which will consistently ensure safe arrival at the destination.

  1. Books: Books, which are expensive, delicately finished or exceptionally heavy, should be packaged with extreme care. Individual book containers are recommended for expensive books. Books that are delicately finished or heavy shall be interleaved with a soft paper sheet. Cartons containing two rows of such books shall have a cardboard divider between each row. All cartons shall be full to capacity with no voids to avoid movement of product and crushing of the container, during transit.
  2. Envelopes: Products manufactured for automatic machine processing, such as envelopes, must arrive at the machine-processing centre in a flat condition. Any warping of the product causes processing difficulties and may render the product unacceptable. A recommended method for packaging envelopes or inserts is compression banding.
  3. Forms: Single, multi and continuous flat forms require very precise packaging. Cartons shall be designed to suit the contents and be compression filled by placing forms in the carton to a height above the carton top that will compress level to the top and allow the closing and sealing of the flaps.
  4. Unloading: All skids, pallets and cartons shall be unloaded on to a dry, secure, weather protected horizontal surface and must be signed for receipt thereof.

5. Packaging and Packing Materials

  • Unbleached Kraft Wrapping Paper, suitable for manual or automatic wrapping machines (CGSB 9-GP-5B).
  • Paper, wrapping, weather resistant, vapor barrier, brown Kraft laminate, suitable for skid wrapping.
  • Film, wrapping, shrink-wrap, minimum caliper 2 mil must readily conform to the shape of the product to be wrapped and withstand breakage from movement during transit.
  • Fiberboard, corrugated, single wall board with one corrugated sheet between two flat sheets, suitable for making cartons and packaging (CGSB 43-GP-33M).
  • Carton, corrugated, suitable for domestic shipping of goods (CGSB 43-GP-33M).
  • Tape, paper gummed one side, activated by water (CGSB 43-GP-1a).
  • Tape, cellulose, pressure sensitive adhesive on one side, minimum width 2 in.
  • Tape, paper, reinforced with fibers, gummed one side, activated by water (CGSB 43-GP-28b).
  • Pallet, wooden, made from commercial grade lumber, capable of withstanding a load of three metric tons and be safely piled three high. Size to accommodate product without overhang.
  • Cap, wooden or high-density fiberboard, capable of withstanding a load of two metric tons without damage to the sheets or cartons of products. It must be the same perimeter as pallet or skid.