Frequently Asked Questions - Packing

Offices | Contacts | Forms | Feedback | FAQs | Resources | News | Packaging Site Map

Listed below are compiled packaging FAQs for the 'Packing' topic. Our 'Packing' web page identifies what constitutes marking and covers marking requirement issues. If your question is not listed, please use either our feedback form to add a Packaging FAQ to this listing or E-mail us directly at:


  • What is packing?
    The 'assembly of items into a unit, intermediate, or exterior pack with necessary blocking, bracing, cushioning, weatherproofing, reinforcement and marking.1'

  • How do I pack kits?
    The packing shall be in accordance with the requirements specified in MIL-STD-2073, paragraph 5.3.


  • Why are there levels of protection?
    Levels of military preservation and packing that a given item requires to assure that it is not degraded during shipment and storage1.' There are two types of levels of protection: (1) Military level of preservation and (2) Military levels of packing.

  • What are the military levels of packing?
    There are two military levels of packing (Note, the third level of packing - Level C was deleted during the the MIL-STD-2073-1C revision):
    1. Level A. 'Protection required to meet the most severe worldwide shipment, handling, and storage conditions. A 'Level A' pack must be in tandem with the applied preservation, be capable of protecting material from the effects of direct exposure to extremes of climate, terrain, and operational and transportation environments.
      • Examples of situations which indicate a need for use of Level A pack are: War Reserve Material, mobilization, strategic and theater deployment and employment, open storage, and deck loading.
      • Examples of containers used for Level A packing requirements include, but are not limited to, overseas type boxes, and plastic and metal reusable containers3.'

    2. Level B. 'Protection required to meet moderate worldwide shipment, handling, and storage conditions. A 'Level B' pack must be in tandem with the applied preservation, be capable of protecting material not directly exposed to extremes of climate, terrain, and operational transportation environments.
      • Examples of situations which indicate a need for use of Level B pack are: security assistance (e.g. Foreign Military Sales (FMS)) and containerized overseas shipments.
      • Examples of containers used for Level B packing requirements include, but are not limited to, domestic wood crates, weather-resistant fiberboard containers, fast pack containers, weather-resistant fiber drums, and weather-resistant paper and multiwall shipping sacks4'.

  • Level A and B packing requirements are applied to intermediate and exteriors containers. Under what conditions are these requirements applicable?

  • Intermediate Containers. Intermediate containers shall be used under any one of the following conditions:
    1. When they are considered economical because of total quantity on order, production schedule or when they facilitate handling, storage and reshipment.
    2. When the quantity to be shipped to a single destination permits the use of two or more intermediate containers in an exterior container.
    3. When the exterior surface of the unit pack is a bag or wrap of any kind.
    4. When specified by the acquisition activity.
    Exterior Containers. When practicable, the exterior container being shipped to a single destination shall:
    1. Contain items of the same National Stock Number.
    2. Contain identical quantities of unit/intermediate packs.
    3. Contain item of the same contract.
    4. Contain items having the same lot number, cure, manufacture or expiration date.
    5. Be the most cost effective and be of minimum cube to contain and protect the items.

  • Is there is list of acceptable containers for Level A and B packing?

  • Yes. 'Acceptable shipping containers for Levels A and B military packing are listed in table C.II of MIL-STD-2073-1D. Selection criteria shall reflect the most economical container that will provide the required protection for any given military packing application1.'

  • Where can I find the packing requirement codes and what are they?

  • Packing requirement codes are located in MIL-STD-2073, Appendix J, Table J.IX1 and Table J.IXa2. 'The codes indicate the type of shipping container for military1 and non-military (minimal)2 packing3.'

  • When are minimal packing requirements utilized?
    When anticipated logistics paths indicate that items requiring military preservation' will not be exposed to shipping environments more severe than those normally encountered in the commercial distribution system1.' Refer to Table J.IXa2 for acceptable minimal packing requirements.'


  • How many packing lists are required with each package?
    According to MIL-STD-129P, 1-copy is to be attached to Container No. 1 and 1-copy is to be placed inside Container No. 1. It is recommended, not mandatory, that an additional packing list be placed inside each container.

  • Are there exception for the use of exterior container documentation (i.e. packing lists, DD250, DD Form 1155, DD Forms 1348-1 and DD Forms 1348-A)?
    Yes, The following are the only exceptions for exterior container documentation:
    1. No exterior documentation is required for containers of like items or single-item packs when the contents are listed on a label attached to the boxes, lithographed or printed on the boxes, or when a manufacturer's part list is provided (see illustration below). For FMS shipments, exterior container documentation is always required. Illustration of a Single Stock Number item consisting of other stock numbered items in a single container
    2. For controlled, sensitive, classified, and pilferable items (except for FMS shipments), the shipping documentation shall be placed inside all containers rather than on the outside. For classified shipments, markings which indicate the classified nature of the materiel and its security classification, if it will identify the classified nature of the shipment, shall not appear on the exterior of each container. If a pilferable shipment is also an FMS, the exception does not apply.
    If your shipment doesn't meet the listed exceptions, exterior documentation is required on all contract and DoD shipments.


  • If I still don't understand the packing requirements, who may I contact for assistance?
    For personal one-on-one assistance, contact our office at: (614) 692-4227/3757/3345, or fax us at: (614) 692-1901, or e-mail us at:

Content Inquiries:

Last Updated:  15 Oct 2015