Barrier seals provide the maximum protection for shipping cargo via trucks and containers. Installed on the locking rods of the shipping container doors to secure both doors, they are easy to install and require no special tools. Most of the barrier seals featured on this page are a one-time use product.
Our CargoShield product is our best barrier seal; it has been independently tested and certified to ISO 17712:2013 as a high security seal. It resists physical attack from saws, cutting sheers, bolt cutters, levering by crowbar, impact by hammer, etc. To remove the seal use a electric cutting wheel, which normally takes about 2 minutes in field conditions.
Our most affordable barrier seal is our DualGuard product, which is a combination bolt and cable seal. The DualGuard has been independently certified to meet ISO 17712:2013 as a high security seal too. The seal is removed using bolt cutter.
Our MS-BAR9 is a reusable barrier seal. The recommended locking method is a bolt seal (purchased separately), but it is also compatible with a padlock you supply.
For added security, all of our barrier seals have matching serial numbers on key components.
Choosing A Barrier Seal
ISO-rated barrier seals are independently tested to meet structural performance standards to earn the "HIGH" security rating. C-TPAT recommends HIGH security seal for cross border shipments.
Ask prospective suppliers of your barrier seals to provide written verification the seal was independently tested to comply with ISO 17712:2013 as a HIGH security seal.
Seals which fit wider spacing on the locking rods will be compatible with more containers and trucks. Sometimes the locking rods on rail cars and ocean containers have wider spacing than truck trailers.
Matching serial numbers on all the major seal components offer more security. Engraved numbers are more durable.
Thicker steel (higher cross sectional area) offers more security because it takes longer and is more difficult to remove. Hardened steel offers some added resistance for hack saws, but offers no added resistance to cutting wheels.
A companion latching cable secures the barrier seal to the door latch to minimize tampering with the seal and locking rods on the door. Also, this configuration requires two cuts to remove both the barrier seal and the latching cable, which improves security.
Seals with bar codes of the serial number offer improve productivity in recording the serial number.
Seals packaged in individual boxes are easier and less cost to distribute in small quantities.
For the best security, we recommend our CargoShield product (MS-BAR10 or MS-BAR11).
The MS-BAR9 is locked with a bolt seal or padlock, so the barrier seal componets are reusable.
As a lower cost option, we also offer a bolt/cable combination (called DualGuard). Both the bolt and cable are ISO-rated to ISO17712:2013 as a HIGH security seal, as required by C-TPAT. It requires two cuts (using a bolt cutter) to remove the DualGuard.
Comparison of Our Barrier Seals
|ISO-Rated as HIGH SECURITY||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Major Components with Serial Numbers||3 of 3||3 of 3||3 of 3||3 of 3||1 of 3|
|Engraved Serial Numbers on Barrier Seal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (on label)|
|Includes Latching Cable (or Bolt)||No||No||Yes||Yes (Bolt)||Yes|
|ISO-Rated Latching Cable (or Bolt)||-||-||Yes||Yes (Bolt)||No|
|Engraved Matching Serial Number on Latching Cable||-||-||Yes||Yes (Bolt)||Yes|
|Bar Code of Serial Number||No||No||Yes*||Yes**||No|
|Fits Locking Rod Spacing (outside clearance):|
|- Minimum (inches)||4.5||4.5||4.5||3.0||9|
|- Maximum (inches)||17.25||17.25||17.25||30.0||17.5|
|Steel Bar Dimensions:|
|- Width (mm)||35||35||35||5mm dia cable||38|
|- Thickness (mm)||8||8||8||5mm dia cable||6.3|
|- Cross Sectional Area (square mm)||280||280||280||20||239|
|Exposed Holes which reduce cross sectional area||Yes||No||No||No||Yes***|
|Shackle Thickness (mm)||5.8||5.8||5.8||5mm dia cable||6.3|
|Full Case Quantity (seals)||6||6||6||50||10|
|Seals Packaged in individual boxes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
* Bar Code is located on Latching Cable Lock
** Bar Code is on Cable Seal Lock
*** Exposed holes for spacing of 15 inch or longer (exposed holes allow the bar to be cut off quicker)
Other Security Options
Layering security improves security. Although barrier seals offer exceptional security, for the highest security, use more than one sealing method.
Typically barrier bar seals are provided without any companion seals to secure the door latch. If no companion seal is provided, using an optional bolt or cable seal to secure the latch will improve security.
Some barrier seals are available with latching cables (which have matching serial numbers) to also secure the barrier seal to the door latch. This configuration reduces tampering of the locking rods and barrier seal. Our product MS-BAR11 is a barrier seal with a companion latching cable -- both the barrier seal and cable are ISO-rated.
For high security applications, barrier seals can also be combined with Cargo Door Seals, which are large tamper evident labels to prevent the removal or opening of the container doors. When removed, the Cargo Door Seals will self "VOID" to indicate tampering.
Our most affordable barrier seal is a bolt/cable combination (called DualGuard). Both the bolt and cable are ISO-rated to ISO17712:2013 as a HIGH security seal, as required by C-TPAT.
For more information on these options, click on these links:
Stock Barrier Seals
MS-BAR9 components assembled
MS-BAR9 locked with bolt seal - recommended method
MS-BAR9 with typical padlock and security label over key hole
MS-BAR9 with typical padlock and security label over key hole
The recommended method to seal the MS-BAR9 is using our MS-B8 bolt seal (purchased separately) inserted into the hole of the bar. In this configuration, the bolt seal is a one-time use item (removed by cutting with a bolt cutter), but the MS-BAR9 barrier seal components are re-usable.
Another option -- though less secure -- is to use a padlock. Although we don't recommend any specific padlock, the MS-BAR9 is compatible with any padlock which meets these dimensional clearances:
Maximum Shackle Diameter: 11mm (7/16 inch)
In October 2014, we reviewed these padlocks to confirm the dimensional clearances (you can decide if these padlocks meet your security and budget requirements):
We only evaluated a few locks for fit. There are many other brands of padlocks which are dimensionally compatible.
The lock companies offer padlocks keyed the same or keyed differently.
For added security, consider a keyed padlock which includes these features:
- the key cannot be removed when the lock is open.
However, the security risks for padlocks include:
- control of the keys
For added protection against these risks, the key hole can be protected with a tamper evident label with a serial number. Please see our wide selection of residue or non-residue security labels to fit your padlock.
Combination padlocks are another option for locking the MS-BAR9
Our premium bolt cable seals are also available custom imprinted. There is a minimum order quantity of 100 seals. Please call for more details and to place a custom order.