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Packaging to Fit Military Specifications

International shipping takes some extra care and attention to detail. This specific industry requires a lot of the company responsible for shipping, but these requirements are compounded when it comes to Military Spec packaging.

Several things can go wrong in any large shipping order, but the consequences may not be as dire in comparison to poor adherence to mil specs. The military understands the importance of strict obedience to regulations. If these regulations are not met on military shipments, there is little sympathy to be found. So how does one avoid the pitfalls of international shipping when it comes to mil spec packaging?

These questions and more will be explored and answered as we discuss why mil spec standards are so stringent, and what to do to meet these specific standards.

Why Mil Spec Packaging?

When you send a package into the field, any number of things could happen to it. Military Packaging exists to prevent any damage that sometimes can happen with worldwide shipment, handling, and storage. Of course, any responsible shipping company should do all they can to ensure the safety of your package, but the military doesn’t rely on non-certified shipping agencies.

If the items didn’t reach their destination or were in poor condition, all manufacturing quality and engineering put into the package were in vain. To prevent this waste of time and resources, and to ensure the successful delivery of important packages, the military has created specifications to promote optimum design and lessened cost.

What Happens When Mil Specs Aren’t Met?

When specifications aren’t followed exactly, several things can happen depending on the type of item(s) being transferred. For wood packaging material transferred in crates and other similar packaging, the consequences of not following policy are fairly strict. These consequences could include the package being marked “frustrated,” repacking with increased cost and time delays, or even destroyed at the port of arrival.

In addition to a package being sent back, stopped, or destroyed, some policies require refusal to ship a package that is not up to mil specs. If the refusal happens during the shipping process, the contractor would have to pay any remediation costs. This is why it’s best to leave military spec packaging up to highly trained and government-approved professionals.

Shipments can be stressful, especially with such stringent requirements. Let someone else worry about mil spec packaging who knows the exact policies and requirements. This will prevent any expensive mistakes in your packaging and help you avoid further stress. Most importantly, letting a professionally trained shipping company take care of mil spec packaging gets your package delivered on time and intact.

Meeting Military Specifications

By providing specifically manufactured packing materials such as tubing, sheeting, foil, and protective bags, the military can know that each package will receive the proper packaging it needs. When civilians send a package, their packing material could range from cheaply made stuffing to good quality padding. By requiring the package to be up to mil specs, military policies create the best possible packaging for any number of items.

So what types of things are specific to military packaging, and why are they so special? The following list gives a fairly comprehensive explanation of which materials are specific to mil spec packaging:

  • Heat sealable bags

  • Cushioning and dunnage

  • Military fastpacks

  • Desiccant (absorbant material) and humidity indicators

  • Labels and tape

  • Preservatives and lubricating oils

  • Chipboard cartons

  • Weather-resistant cartons

  • Wood crates and pallets

  • Barrier bags, tubes, and roll goods

  • Wraps and blankets

Some of the most specific forms of packaging involve the heat sealable bags, which come in many varieties of material and manufacturing. In addition, desiccant promotes a moisture-free environment for the package, and lubricating oils keep certain items free of dirt and damage. As you might guess, all of these specifications contribute to the most secure form of packaging available.

How to Meet Mil Specs With Your Packages

The best way to meet mil specs with your packages is to hire a reputable shipping company with the government-approved standards and policies for mil spec packaging. If they have received an endorsement and the permission to provide official mil spec packaging, they’ve certainly met the necessary requirements and have the knowledge you need.

That being said, find out which shipping agencies have been practicing mil spec packaging for a reasonable amount of time, and ask how often they adjust to new techniques and requirements. They might be certified for mil spec packaging, but standards often change so any shipping company will need to maintain their policies in adherence to government adjustments.

It’s also helpful if your shipping agency provides a basic outline of what mil spec packaging entails, so that you can check their accuracy and understand the process, too. The next time you have to send military shipments, rely on trusted professionals to meet your mil spec packaging needs.


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