A container seal is an integral part of a shipping container. It is recommended for every shipping container to have at least one seal before a shipping line allows the container to be shipped. Container seals may come in many shapes. Which may vary from embossed lead wire seals to metal strip seals and metal bullet seals to padlocks. All of which have been used by customers to safeguard the precious cargo that is shipped in containers.
Depending on the shipping line or the exporter and the level of safeguard required, containers may be sealed with any of the above combination of commonly known seals viz Bolt Seal, Plastic Security Seal, Padlock Seal, Wire Seal, Cable Seals etc. The objective of the container seal or security seal is not just to minimize the risk of someone accessing the container and taking cargo out; but also to avoid someone putting illegal stuff into the container such as drugs, weapons of mass destruction, contraband, counterfeit etc.
For this precise reason, receivers of the cargo/container must make sure that the seal number shown on the bill of lading/manifest and the seal and seal number present on the container when they receive it are exactly matches the same. If there is a seal or seal number discrepancy between manifest and container, the receiver should IMMEDIATELY advise the shipping line of the same and invite them for a joint survey of the container. Hence the simple, unassuming container seal or security seal plays a very important role in global trade and global security.