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Shipping Packaging Symbols And Their Meanings

Shipping Packaging Symbols And Their Meanings

Shipping and transportation companies are responsible for sending numerous different items from one place to destinations all over. As the packages and boxes could contain almost anything and be transported to many countries, there are bound to be people speaking various languages involved in the shipping process. Due to this, packages are labeled with a variety of different symbols that are recognized internationally. There are various common packaging symbols that have important meanings, which all people should understand.

This Side Up

One of the most common symbols that you will find on the packaging is the “This Side Up” image. This symbol is a square that has two arrows pointing upwards. This gives direction to package handlers that the product should always be stored and shipped in a specific manner to protect the contents. It will also provide the ultimate recipient of the package with an idea of how they should open it.


When shipping various products out across the world, a package will need to be moved around a lot. If something is fragile within the box, it could quickly become damaged if the package is not handled with care. To ensure that all people handle a package the right way, fragile items are stored in boxes with a fragile symbol or label. While a box may be marked with a “Fragile” stamp, an international symbol for it continues to be a picture of a wine glass with a small crack in it.

Handle With Care

Similar to fragile packages, some packages should be handled with care. Even if something would not necessarily break in transit, some items should be cared for throughout the process. Two hands that carefully protect and grasp a small object typically characterize the handle with a care symbol.

Flammable Materials

While many package symbols are designed to help ensure that the underlying contents are not damaged, others are created to help ensure everyone is safe during the transportation process. If you are transporting a flammable product, handling it a certain way is crucial and keeping it away from extreme heat or open flames. If the package does contain flammable contents, it will typically be labeled with a symbol that has a small flame of fire.

Heavy Package Symbols

There are also symbols that identity when a package is heavy and needs additional care when lifting it. If you see a symbol that shows two people carrying a box, it is a sign that multiple people should lift the box together. For even heavier packages, you could see an image that shows the use of a dolly to move a package.

Stacking Restriction Symbols

When sending boxes through the transportation process, there are bound to be situations in which they will need to be stacked on one another. However, there are situations in which boxes should not be stacked too high. If a box is not strong enough to withstand the pressure, it could collapse, and its contents can be damaged.

If you see a large number on the side of the box with two horizontal lines below, it is a symbol that you should not stack more than that number of boxes above it. You may also see a similar symbol with a line through two stacked boxes, which symbolizes that you should not stack any number of boxes.

Packaging symbols are fundamental as they will provide clear warning and direction to individuals, no matter what language they speak. These symbols can help protect the package, keep people safe, and allow the shipping process to move more efficiently. There are various packaging symbols in particular that you should know and understand.

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