Everything You Need to Know About International Packaging Symbols

04 Jan 2024, By Adam

Everything You Need to Know About International Packaging Symbols

No business owner or retailer wants lost or damaged goods. They want their shipment spick and span and on time. 

For that, international packaging symbols are essential. It keeps the shipment safe and protects it from manhandling. Besides, it makes the packaging informative and tells the courier companies, transportation units, and end users what is inside the box. 

In this blog, we have summed up the critical transit packaging symbols. It is important to note that the symbol can be a text or an image. The purpose is to guide the handlers and prevent the shipment from potential damage.

So, let us get to the point. 

Handling and Care Symbols

This Way Up

It tells how the boxes should be placed. The arrows point in the upward direction. It means it shouldn't be tossed or moved sideways. The side-up sign ensures safe handling and protects the enclosed items from harm. Plus, it guides from which side the box needs to be opened. 


The name says it all! The sign tells that the box contains delicate and fragile glass items. They are highly prone to damage and, hence, need to be handled with the utmost care. These care symbols are used for crockery, furniture, and decoration pieces.

Handle with Care

It is a unique symbol with hands cupping a box. It is self-explanatory and shows the box shouldn't be thrown, tossed, or handled roughly. Handle with care means that you shouldn't stack or drag the box. No need to put extra pressure on the boxes. 

Keep Dry

Are your products not waterproof? The keep dry symbol is a must-have. The umbrella signs tell the box should be kept under the shade. No exposure to water at all. Keep your boxes away from rain!

Temperature Sensitive 

The sign consists of a thermometer logo and storage conditions. It is used for food, pharmaceutical, or chemical products. Therefore, keep the boxes away from sunlight and extreme temperatures. 

Keep Away from Heat

It is an interesting care symbol. It shows the box is placed under the shade and is protected from harmful UV rays. Follow the instructions, or else the products might melt, deform, or spoil. 

Flammable Materials 

Does your shipment contain perfumes or flammable liquids? This transit symbol is very important. It tells the handlers that the products within can catch fire if exposed to high temperature, spark, fire, or hot surfaces. 


It is an exclamation mark enclosed in a triangle. It applies to boxes containing chemicals, batteries, or hazardous substances.

Do Not Use Blade

Do not use a knife or blade, meaning the box should be opened with the utmost care. Using sharp objects damages the enclosed items. 

Avoid Placing Near Magnets

Electronic products are sensitive to magnetic forces. Hence, the items should not be placed near magnets. 

Max Stack

It tells how many boxes can be stacked upon each other. Follow the given sign and prevent your boxes and the products from being damaged. It is a sign with two horizontal bars and a number at the top. The number signifies how many boxes can be placed on one another. If you exceed the limitations, the products will be damaged.

Do Not Stack

It is the opposite of "max stack." Literally, you can place anything on top. The products are fragile and can't bear extreme pressure or weight. 

Do not use a hand hook

It is a hook with a cross. It clearly states that you can hang the boxes. The box will open either open or tear apart. Not suitable for heavy products. 

Do not lift

It is a sign with a man leaning and trying to lift the box. The box is too heavy to be lifted. You might get injured while lifting the box.

Two Person Lifting

It says the box can't be singly handled. It requires two or more people to move and lift the boxes. 

Trolley Lifting 

Certain boxes can't be pushed or dragged. It needs to be handled swiftly and smoothly. For that, the trolley lifting symbol is good to go. 

Package Weight 

It is a powerful symbol with the letter "kg." It tells the total weight and is mainly used for heavier products.

Scope or Center of Gravity

It tells about the weight distribution and where most of the weight is concentrated. 

Eco-Friendly Symbols

Sustainable packaging has created a buzz for all the right reasons. Jump on the bandwagon and impress the eco-conscious suppliers with the following signs.

FSC Sign

Deforestation is a growing concern for the environmentalists. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification ensures the material is sourced from well-managed forests. 

Recycle Sign

It is one of the most widely used signs. It shows that the box is recyclable and complies with the sustainability practices. It is 100% eco-safe and poses no threats to humans and animals. The recycle sign is printed on food, cosmetics, apparel, and toy packaging. 

Tidy Man

Keep your environment clean with this sign. It shows a man throwing trash into the bin. It highlights social responsibility and urges the customers to discard the items properly. You can spot this sign on retail packaging. It says loudly, "Do not litter."

Plastic Recycling Symbols

These signs consist of multiple arrows with numbers. Let us take a look at the following.

Recycling PET or PETE

The arrows make a triangle with the digit 1. The box contains water bottles, mouthwash bottles, or condiments jars. 

Recycling HDPE (High density polyethylene)

It is a triangular sign with digit 2. It is used for plastic bags, shampoo bottles, milk, and juice containers. 

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)

Packaging symbols make everything easy to understand. This symbol is used for medical devices, drain pipes, and automotive interiors.

PP (Polypropylene)

It says the box consists of medicine bottles, straws, and bottle caps.

PS (polystyrene)

The shipment needs to be handled carefully. It contains egg cartons and disposable cups.

LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)

It applies to nylon products, sunglasses, DVDs, and CDs. 

The above-listed care, sustainable, and recycling symbols make your packaging communicative. Certain signs or symbols vary from country to country. However, the packaging symbols tell what is inside the box and prevent the enclosed items from leaking, breaking, contamination, or damage. The signs are integral to the packaging and offer great value for money. 

About Urgent Boxes

We are a professional packaging supplier based in the USA. We offer all-rounder packaging solutions. Therefore, whether you order retail or shipping boxes, you get the best quality. Our packaging is durable, practical, and well-labeled. Place your orders and get an instant price quote, error-free printing, 24/7 customer support, and free shipping services. Choose us and go global with our high-quality printing and informative packaging symbols. 



Related Blogs

Comprehensive Guide to Measure the Dimensions of Cereal Boxes
Custom Packaging Tips

Comprehensive Guide to Measure the Dimensions of C...

Are you a cereal box manufacturer looking for righ...

by: Adam | 27 Sep 2023

RGB VS CMYK Choose the Right Color Model for Printing Designs

RGB VS CMYK Choose the Right Color Model for Print...

Ultimate Guide to Choose Color Models for Printing...

by: Adam | 29 Sep 2023

How to Seal Mylar Bag A Complete Guide [Updated] 2024
Custom Packaging Tips

How to Seal Mylar Bag A Complete Guide [Updated] 2...

Mylar bags are the best choice if you are looking...

by: Adam | 24 Nov 2023

What is Aqueous Coating in Printing and Packaging?
Knowledge Base

What is Aqueous Coating in Printing and Packaging?

Introduction to Coating Solutions in Customized Pa...

by: Adam | 04 Dec 2023

Guide to Understand Flutes in Corrugated Boxes
Knowledge Base

Guide to Understand Flutes in Corrugated Boxes

Best Guide to Corrugated Flutes As a business and...

by: Adam | 24 Oct 2023

Get a Free Quote

Ideas, Deals & Swag, Sign Up Here!