From embossed lead wire seals to plastic and metal strip seals to plastic and metal bullet seals to padlocks everything has been used so far to safeguard the precious cargo that is shipped in containers..
Depending on the shipping line or the exporter and the level of safeguard required, many containers carry any of the above types of seals.. But foremost importance is that a seal be present on the container and that it is put in the right place..
What would be the right place..?? A container has two lock rods on each door.. The left door closes first and then the right door.. So the effective place where the seal needs to be put is on the right door as that has to be opened first.. Either on one or both of the lock rods.. If required you can put an additional seal(s) on the left door, but that really doesnt matter unless the cargo cannot be taken out through one door..
Example pic of a container door with lock rods and bullet seal..
Receivers of the container must make sure that the seal number shown on the bill of lading/manifest and present on the container when they receive it are exactly the same including if there is a prefix or something on the seal.. It is possible that XYZ 123456 and just 123456 could be two different seals..
If the bill of lading/manifest and the physical seal dont match, they should IMMEDIATELY advise the shipping line of the same and of any possible claim situation.. It is also advisable to do a joint survey of the container alongwith the shipping line..