Sustainability | Environmental

The Importance Of Packaging And Shipping Your Handmade Products For Export


Handmade pieces hold stories of men and women who have given their lives to the craft. Each handcrafted product is a result of beautiful thought and skilled craftsmanship. This thought and skill must also be extended to its packaging and shipping. Currently, India is expanding its export market and in the past few years, the share of consumer products has grown rapidly. India is exporting a wide range of commodities to all parts of the world. There is an increased fascination towards traditional items and continuous progress has been made to develop new products for the export markets. One such product category would be handmade products made in India. With the rise of the global appreciation of Indian crafts, the export market for handmade products has been booming. It is given that diversification of the export market largely depends on factors such as quality, packaging, shipping, and overall user experience. Hence packaging and shipping play an important role in the development of the export market. It is imperative that the package used for these products should be sufficient and functional.

To generally define packaging, we can say that it is an outside protection for a product in the form of a box. Packaging plays an important role in products, especially handmade products. Adhering to international standards of packaging is of utmost importance when it comes to delivering the products. 

There are one too many aspects to the packaging of the product; The Container, The Safety Precaution, The Branding, and The Information. 

There are 3Ps of packaging that define the purpose of a good packaging system:

a) Protection: The main purpose of packaging is to physically protect handmade products, securing the product from any damage. This external shield is used to protect the handmade items from bumps, and scratches and is available in a presentable format for the customer. Receiving the beautiful handmade product in a well-secured condition with no faults will definitely leave a good impression on the customer.

b) Prevention: The secondary objective of the packaging is to prevent any disfigurement of the inner units of the box until the time of usage of the product. When it comes to handmade products, it is important to prevent any abrasion to the item from factors like sunlight, moisture, other pollutants, etc.

c) Promotion: Last but not the least, packaging possesses an opportunity to do branding and help promote the company. It is also helpful to showcase necessary information that might be helpful to the user. This objective aspect of packaging speaks for the brand and creates an impact on the customers. A great visual representation on the packaging of your handmade products can immensely affect sales and build a brand identity.

What are the benefits of packing goods for export in the correct packaging?

  1. To enhance the product value and hence user experience. Customized packaging makes the customer feel special and gives a pleasant unboxing experience. It makes the customer think that they’ve got more than they thought they would. This makes them feel happy about their purchase.

  1. To achieve smooth transitions of handling and delivering the products. The use of standardized boxes for packaging will help you manage and structure the shipments efficiently and get better prices from the box suppliers.

  1. To systematically establish a system of communications among the brand and also with the customer. If all the necessary information is readily available on the packaging, the shipping service will easily be able to locate the package without opening the box. 

What are the few aspects that you must keep in mind while packing and shipping your handmade products anywhere in the world?

  1. It is crucial to keep in mind that the handmade products will be transported to remote places and hence are exposed to damage. They are handled way more times than imagined as opposed to domestic shipments.

  1. There are two types of handling, mainly manual handling, and mechanized handling. Hence right measures must be taken in order to develop packaging that can sustain manual handling, especially in underdeveloped countries where the labor cost is less. 

  1. The subjective climatic conditions must be taken into consideration while exporting products. This includes heat waves, humidity, moisture, dust, violent sands, and other harsh deposits that might affect the product in any way.

What are the disadvantages of having improper packaging for your handmade products?

  1. Not having proper packaging for your handmade products can lead to damaging the product which means a further loss to the brand and a waste of efforts of the artisans and other concerned people in the chain of activities.

  1. When the product is received in a bad condition, we tend to lose the trust of the customers responsible for spreading a good word about the product. Hence, the unsatisfactory condition of the packaging directly affects sales. It will make the customer hesitant to buy any more products from the brand. 


Many small-scale handicrafts-producing industries need to possess the basic understanding of packaging and have the tools and technology for developing a proper packaging system for their goods. Since handmade goods are usually made in smaller quantities, they will have a difficult time sourcing reasonable materials at such competitive prices. 

Here are a few industrial norms with respect to packaging export handmade products:

  1. Clear and accurate labeling on the packaging of the products is a must for smooth transition and shipment. 

  2. It is essential to comply with the rules of the local area and make the packaging system in accordance with the regulations of the destination.

  3. Proper certification for particular materials is necessary to showcase the authorization and safety of the material, such as wood packaging. 

  1. Exporters must be aware of the packaging specifications with buyers to avoid contention in the process of shipping goods.

  2. In the case of fragile products, it is important to have specific packaging system guidance. 

  3. Make sure to provide the instructions and graphics on both transport and consumer packaging that aid in carrying out the necessary packing operations.

Container Convenience

Lately, using containers for shipping handmade products has been standardized because they offer the highest level of protection to the items. As they gain popularity for sea and air shipments, people are becoming more aware of their advantages. 

Country specific rules

A lot of regions have their own rules and regulations when it comes to the packaging of the products. It is crucial to be aware of the latest packaging standards that are specific to the country. If not followed through, it can lead to penalties, legal actions, and delay in shipments. However, the advantage of going through the regional packaging procedures saves a lot of hassle and helps in the smooth transitioning of the products from one place to another.

Air shipments

Transporting handmade products via air needs less packaging as compared to shipping through oceans or large vessels because the transit time is shorter. Even in air shipments, moisture control, and protection is required as the altitude changes and can lead to condensation.


There are a few popular packaging materials that do great wonders in keeping the product secure and safe. 

  1. Plywood: Plywood boxes and crates are most commonly used in the export packaging of handmade products. It comes with trouble-free construction options as wood is a substantial option for product packaging. 

  1. Corrugated: Another preferred and popular packaging material is corrugated boxes. It is a lightweight and easy-to-customize option for packaging. It provides sufficient protection and is also available at a low cost. 

  1. Other materials used in packaging are:

  1. As a Barrier: HDPE- PE film- 0.2mm thickness, LDPE- 0.03mm in thickness. Kraft paper, paraffin waxed paper, PVC film, etc.

  2. For Wrapping: Tissue paper, think Kraft paper, Transparent film

  3. For Soft Cushioning: Bubble wrap, paper cuttings, wood wool, etc

  4. For Stiff Cushioning: Plastic foam, PE Polyurethane, corrugated fibreboard paper cuttings

  5. For Light duty box: Paper board of more than 350g/m2, corrugated fibreboard.

  6. For Medium duty box: Single wall corrugated fibreboard box weighing more than 8kg/cm2 in bursting strength.

  7. For Heavy duty box: Double wall corrugated fibreboard weighing more than 10kg/cm2 in bursting strength.


Delivery speed and range

One of the most important factors to consider while selecting a shipping service partner is the delivery speed, delivery range, and delivery tracking. Any customer would appreciate their product being delivered as early as possible. Find out the pin codes they deliver to for understanding the delivery range of the service.

Courier tracking capability

Giving the customer access to track their shipment gives me assurance of the product delivery. This creates a good reputation as the customer is well informed about their purchase at every step. 

Pricing model for shipping courier

Most of the shipping services charge on an order basis or monthly basis. Depending on the pattern of orders that come in, you can decide which option is more suitable. Be informed about the surcharges on their pricing models and get the best rates from the shipping service.

There is immense potential for the handmade sector to grow and exporting these items can be slightly tricky due to the nature of the products and the complimenting quantities. There are certain documents that are required to export handmade products from India.

  1. Company Incorporation certificate

  2. IEC Code: Importer Exporter Code is a mandatory business identification number 

  3. Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts registration certificate

  4. GST registration

  5. Trademark registration

  6. Bank account statements 

  7. Address and ID proof

  8. Proof of possession of the business property


There are many developments that are taking place in the packaging industry that offer better protection and in turn better sales of the products. It is also helping brands create a brand recollection factor and build a sense of trust among the customer base. Packaging and shipping play an important role in affecting our export earnings. Hence it is crucial to pay attention to the packaging systems of handmade products. To conclude, we can all agree that having a proper packaging and shipping system for your handmade products can help you take your business to larger lengths.

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