Understanding Mil Spec Packaging Regulations & Codes

Military packaging refers to the addition of materials to military items to preserve them during transportation. There are many factors to consider during the packaging process, including selecting the right container and properly bracing, weatherproofing, and marking packaging. Military specification, or mil spec, packaging codes can be challenging to follow. 

This article offers a brief overview of some of the most common mil spec packaging regulations, and why it’s important to stay compliant. 

Why Compliance Matters in Military Packaging

When packaging military materials, compliance is especially important. Durable packaging protects military goods against damage during transportation and while in storage. Additionally, military specs ensure that equipment meets and exceeds certain performance expectations. As a result, there are many different regulations to follow.

An Overview of Mil Spec Packaging Codes

The Department of Defense has specs for shipping, transporting, and storing goods which are important because they ensure that any military equipment is properly packaged for intact distribution and storage.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the most common mil spec packaging codes that exist.

Military Standard (MIL-STD) 1186

Firstly, MIL-STD stands for “military standard.” Number 1186 is the standard that covers cushioning, anchoring, bracing, blocking, and waterproofing. This includes all related appropriate test methods.

MIL Defense Detail Spec (DTL) 6060

MIL-DTL means “military detail spec.” This spec covers heat-sealable, water vapor-proof bags of complex construction for use in military preservation applications.

MIL C 104

The next type of military code you might see are MIL C codes. These are connector specifications. MIL C 104 offers an overview of how to package wooden crates and other lumber and plywood. This includes two types and classes of sheathed crates. Some of the MIL C 104 requirements include crates not exceeding 30,000 pounds and dimensions not exceeding nine feet in width. There are also specific requirements for material, nails, strapping, and more.

MIL P 16789

Next, any MIL-P codes are specifications for planned maintenance. MIL P 16789 covers the packaging of all pumps, including primer movers and support items. Support items include reciprocating, centrifugal, oxygen, hydraulic, prime movers, as well as other associated support items.

ASTM D5168

Another type of mil spec packaging regulation is ASTM 5168. This standard was developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials; it covers the packaging of new triple-wall corrugated fiberboard containers for domestic and overseas shipments.


MIL STD 129P is a code that establishes uniformity in all markings for shipment and storage. Markings include numbers, letters, symbols, and colors. For example, any hazardous chemicals must be marked as such, and any hazardous labels must follow specific color schemes.

MIL STD 3010

MIL STD 3010 covers test procedures for packaging materials. Test procedures covered include water vapor transmission rate, seam strength, oil resistance, and puncture resistance.

MIL STD 2073 1D

MIL STD 2073 1D outlines standard processes for the development of military packaging, as distinct from commercial. These processes exist to protect any goods against corrosion, damage, and degradation.

MIL C 52950

MIL C 52950 covers specifications related to packaging wood shipping crates. This includes both open and covered wooden crates. It covers five types and two styles of open wood crates designed for net loads not exceeding 4,000 pounds.

ASTM D3951

ASTM D3951 establishes minimum requirements for packaging certain supplies and equipment, excluding ammunition, explosives, or hazardous materials.

PPP B 1672

PPP B 1672 governs the requirements for boxes. This includes boxes with reusable materials and cushioning.

MIL DTL 15011

This defense detail spec establishes the design, materials, fabrication requirements, and examination of 4-way entry, wood post construction pallets.


This standard outlines the methods used to form bonded palletized unit loads of military supplies. These methods are to be used with standard, general-purpose, 40 x 48-inch pallets. They can also be modified for use with other pallets.


MD00100452 covers the requirements for the palletization of Enterprise Business System (EBS) items of supply for handling, shipment, and storage. This code also includes any specialized requirements for medical materials, hazardous goods, and more.

ASTM D1974

ASTM D1974 covers the required methods for closing, sealing, and reinforcing fiberboard shipping boxes used for shipment. This includes solid and corrugated fiberboard boxes, but not triple walls.


MIL DTL 197 highlights all of the requirements for all types and sizes of stock and production bearings and associated parts.

Military Performance (PRF) 131

This performance specification (PRF) code discusses the requirements of barrier materials, including waterproofing, greaseproofing, and heat sealing. You may also hear the term “MIL-PRF 131k.” This refers to any Class 1 through 3 water-vapor-proof barrier materials.


Lastly, MIL DTL 117 covers when an item must be shipped to the government in a bag. It includes requirements for sheets of material, side welding, and parallel seams.

How to Comply With Mil Spec Packaging Codes

It’s important to comply with mil spec packaging regulations. Error-free packaging should follow Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and United States Army Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) solicitations. Any packages should also follow Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) clauses, as well as standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

To stay compliant, you must turn to trusted mil spec packaging experts.

Get Mil Spec Packaging Assistance From Export Corporation

For over 70 years, Export Corporation has been a leader in military packaging services. We work closely with defense contractors, manufacturers, and government authorities to ensure all packaging guidelines and regulations are being met. When you turn to us, you can rest assured that we will save you time and resources by handling all your mil spec packaging needs. Click here to learn more about our military packaging services. To request a consultation, contact us at (810) 227-6153 or fill out our online form.