Prohibited items in shipping containers

Shipping containers are one of humanity’s greatest inventions. These containers make things so much easier it is insane. It is ridiculous just how much they ease up the move. Instead of packing things into several trucks and then transporting the items across the country, you could pack everything in a shipping container and then move stressfree. That is especially good if this is going to be an international relocation. Still, there are some limitations. For instance, there is a list of prohibited items in shipping containers. You can’t simply get everything you have and shove it in a container.

There is a long list of prohibited Items in shipping containers, but most of them are simply common sense.
You can’t merely pack anything.

Still, the list consists of items that are common sense. Nothing that could endanger the container and the unit transporting it should be packed within it. Again, my common sense and yours are not the same. That is why we are going to discuss a list of things that can never be aboard your shipping container. This list of prohibited items in shipping containers will go into as much detail as we can but still remain generalized. We cannot talk about every single item that can’t go in.  If you need a fully detailed list, you should contact your service provider and discuss this further. Again, you could ask questions and start organizing your cargo based on the answers.

Prohibited items in shipping containers – what can’t you bring?

When you look at the list of things you can’t pack – you will mostly focus on things that could explode or spill some toxic items. The list exists to protect the rest of your items as well as the ship transporting the goods. You have to understand that there will be some movement, and some of the things in your container could fall over. The container will not remain stationary in a warehouse in Saudi Arabia forever. The list will cover items that can fall over without any consequences.

Furthermore, there are some common sense things that you cannot place on your container. For instance, you are not allowed to ‘pack’ living creatures as they are most likely not going to survive a lengthy journey. Also, it is highly advisable that you do not pack plants.

But these are just some of the examples. When we present our list of prohibited items in shipping containers, we will not focus on items but on the effect an item could cause.

List of prohibited items in shipping containers


The top of our list of prohibited items in shipping containers, as well as the top of every other list is items that could cause an explosion. Usually, house appliances and all other items that have a way to cause an explosion have such warnings placed somewhere. That is the first thing you should explore in detail. It doesn’t matter how big of a blast, if it can cause one – it cannot go in. That is one of the few things that are non-negotiable in any way. You simply cannot put the contents of the container, the container itself and the crew managing it in any type of risk.

There are items that bring danger to everyone on the ship, and not just the items. Be careful about this.
Don’t pack things that could endanger anyone aboard the transport.

Also, be very careful about trying to smuggle this. You should never attempt such things as you should be aware of how many people you would be putting at risk. Furthermore, someone finds something like this you are in trouble. But, don’t do it and you won’t lose a second of sleep over it.

Illegal items

You should be aware of the fact that if your container is going across a border – it will be inspected. Anything illegal that would cause trouble if it was found on your person could cause an equal amount of trouble if it were found on a container you are shipping. We all know what illegal items are, but just to be on the safe side we will mention a few:

This is something you do not want to play with since it could land you in prison. There is no point in explaining why this is bad, but if you think that the container is immune to a search you are very mistaken. There is actually a lot of focus on containers because people think of hiding items inside. Everything illegal is amongst the prohibited items in shipping containers. So keep in mind the customs clearance in Saudi Arabia.

Anything living that you pack in a container will probably never survive the trip.
Also, nothing alive gets in a container.

Living Beings

We really do not think that this should be mentioned, but we are going to do it anyway. Nothing alive should ever be a part of your shipping container. It is absurd to expect that an animal or a plant should suffer from being stuck in a small container, without air or light, for a long duration of time. We hope to reach to your humanity and ask you not to do so, because most likely whatever living you place inside will not survive the trip. People have placed dogs with food and water inside, and it was a very inhumane thing to do.

Toxic items

Anything that could go through a chemical process of becoming toxical is prohibited. There is a very detailed list of substances that could never make it within a shipping container. This is something you should follow by the letter in order to ensure everyone’s safety. Such toxic items could become gaseous and cause someone to get seriously hurt if they were to inhale them. This is just one of many examples of how things could go wrong with such substances.

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