At Craters & Freighters, we take security very seriously


A prospective customer asked us, “Are there any additional security requirements when shipping overseas?”  We’ll answer this today with a resounding “YES” and back it up with information directly from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The mechanical seal used in insuring the security of a container is becoming the standard and there are serious penalties for not using them correctly.  Craters & Freighters Omaha uses these seals to assist in the security of all container freight.

Who is the ISO?

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

This International Standard establishes uniform procedures for the classification, acceptance, and withdrawal of mechanical freight container seals. It provides a single source of information on mechanical seals which are acceptable for securing freight containers in international commerce.

NOTE The purpose of mechanical seals is, as part of a security system, to determine whether a freight container has been tampered with, i.e. whether there has been unauthorized entry into the container through its doors. Seals can be effective only if seal users properly select, store, account for, apply, document, and attend to seals prior to use and in use; while these issues are not addressed in this International Standard, they are relevant to successful use of the seals covered by this International Standard.

Seals that conform to this International Standard are suitable for other applications, such as bulk railcars or truck trailers used in cross-border and domestic operations. Users and regulatory agencies can apply this International Standard to other applications as they deem appropriate. [1]

What does this mean to you?

There are a few classifications of seals you’ll want to be aware of.  First, “What is a seal?”

Definition of seal from the ISO website:

mechanical device marked with a unique identifier and usually designed for a single use, which is externally affixed to the container doors and designed to evidence tampering or intrusion through the doors of a container and to secure closed doors of a container

Note 1 to entry: Depending on its design and construction, the seal provides varying degrees of resistance to an intentional or unintentional attempt to open it or to enter the freight container through the container doors.

Note 2 to entry: Seals need to be designed and constructed so that tamper attempts create and leave evidence of that tampering.

Note 3 to entry: All grades and types of seals require inspection to indicate whether tampering has occurred or entry has been

Classifications of Seals [2]:

High-Security Seal *Craters & Freighters Provides these seals:

seal that is constructed and manufactured of material such as metal or metal cable with the intent to delay intrusion

Note 1 to entry: High-security seals can generally be removed with substantial bolt cutters or cable cutters.

Security Seal:

seal that is constructed and manufactured of material that provides limited resistance to intrusion and requires lightweight tools for removal

Indicative Seal:

seal that is constructed and manufactured of material that can easily be broken by hand or by using a simple snipping tool or shear

For more information on security seals, visit the ISO website – we’ll make it easy for you.  Visit them here.  [1], [2]


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