[Need to Know] Container Seals Guide

What is a Container Seal?

A container seal is a device used to secure the doors of a shipping container. It is a one-time-use device that is designed to be tamper-evident. Once the seal is placed on the container, it cannot be removed without breaking it. This provides a visual indication that the container has been opened since it was sealed.

Why it is Important?

Container seals are important for several reasons. They help to:

  • Prevent the theft of goods
  • Protect goods from damage
  • Ensure the integrity of the container contents
  • Provide a record of who has accessed the container

Who is Responsible?

The responsibility typically lies with the shipping company. However, the owner of the goods may also be responsible for ensuring that the container is properly sealed.

What are the Different Types of Container Seals?

Here are some of the most common types of container seals:

  • Plastic seals: Plastic seals are the most common type of container seal. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, they are relatively easy to break.
  • Bolt seals:  Bolt seals are more expensive than plastic seals, but it is most commonly used for container shipping. Bolt seals are extremely difficult to break and they are also highly resistant to tampering.
  • Wire Cable Seals: Wire cable seals are made of strong metal wire that is threaded through a hole in the container door. Wire cable seals are moderately secure and difficult to tamper with.
  • Padlock seals: Padlock seals are made of a plastic padlock that is attached to a chain or strap. Padlock seals are less often used for high-value container shipments.


The specifications vary depending on the type of seal. However, some of the most common specifications include:

  • Material: The material of the seal, such as plastic, metal, or wire.
  • Size: The size of the seal, such as length, width, and thickness.
  • Color
  • Weight
  • Durability: The durability of the seal, such as its resistance to weather, chemicals, and other environmental factors.
  • Security: The security of the seal, such as its resistance to tampering and theft.

How to Choose the Right One

 The best way to choose the right container seal is to consider the following factors:

  • The value of the goods you are shipping. If you are shipping high-value goods, you will need a container seal that complies with international freight requirements.
  • The length of the journey. If your goods will be traveling for a long time, you will need a seal that is durable and resistant to the elements.
  • The security risks involved. If your shipments are always at risk of theft or tampering, you will need a high-security seal with a barcode or RFID.


Container seals are an important part of the shipping process. They help to protect goods from theft, damage, and tampering. Choose wisely from several different types of container seals available, the value of the goods, the length of the journey, and the security risks involved.