Should the container number be mentioned on the packing list?

Transporting goods by sea in containers plays a very significant role in international trade. 

In the past 60 years, containers have become the primary means of transport of customer goods by sea. 

At the moment millions of containers circulated around the world every year. 

Tracking and tracing these containers is one of the most important security priorities of the custom authorities. 

Development of a standard container number system was a huge response to tackle the container tracking problem in international trade. 

With the help of the globally valid and standard container number, every share holder could trace and identify them fast.

Container tracking system will be most effective when the container number is mentioned on the shipping documents.

Container number is generally inserted on the bill of lading by carriers or their agents on behalf of the carriers as a standard sector practice.

In most instances shippers also add container numbers on the packing list as well. But is this a requirement, a good practice or unnecessary information. 

Let us discuss below.

What is a container number?

If you are not dealing with a fraudulent transaction, you should be able to identify corresponding container number/numbers on the bill of lading as an importer.

But what is a container number? What are the benefits of using a container number in international sea transportation? How to check a container number in order to make sure that the container number is valid and correct? 

On this article I will try to answer these questions. Let us start with the definition of the container number.