Send a fragile package safely
Millions of parcels are sent worldwide every day, many of which contain fragile and high value goods. Packaging up and sending out fragile items can be stressful if you’re not sure how best to protect them.
Parcel delivery for fragile items needn’t be a cause for concern, at Parcel2Go we aim to make sending parcels as easy and stress free as possible, which is why we’ve put together this handy step by step guide on how best to package your items for maximum protection.
Before you start to pack your item(s), check that what you are sending is not on the prohibited or restricted items list. Couriers are not allowed to send certain items and other ‘high risk’ items may not be eligible for protection cover.
Step 1: Pick the perfect box
Choosing the right box for the job can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your items. There a few things we suggest you follow when choosing the right box:
- Where possible use a brand new box – used boxes always carry the risk of giving way and increasing the chances of damage.
- The box should be rigid and strong – double-wall corrugated boxes are perfect for heavier items and are less likely to give way or dent.
- Choose a suitable size – ideally this is big enough to hold you item(s) with enough room for packaging materials, but not so big that your item(s) can freely move around. You want to allow 2 inches (around 5 cm) on all sides for extra padding.
Step 2: Pack it up
Once you’ve chosen a new, sturdy box, it’s time to get the packaging that will add maximum protection. Packaging isn’t as straightforward and just throwing in a load of polystyrene, different package will be suitable for different items.
Glass should ideally be wrapped in tissue paper as a first layer – then wrap as per other fragile items.
All fragile items:
- Kraft Paper – If you have items with an opening or hole, such as glassware, crumple up some Kraft paper and fill in the empty space.
- Bubble wrap – Wrap items individually in small bubble wrap, you can then bunch them together using large bubble wrap – this will stop items from colliding.
- Corrugated liners – used to boost the structural integrity of the box.
- Styrofoam wedges – these are especially important to use on large, flat items with corners, such as mirrors.
- Air bags – anything with sharp corners can potentially pop the air bags and render them useless, they take up a lot of space and offer minimal protection compared to other packaging options.
- Polystyrene ‘peanuts’ – they don’t offer much protection for flat items that could slide between them.
- Newspaper – is fairly weak so won’t add much in the way of protection, especially for glass and ceramic items. The print can often run and transfer onto items, especially if the box gets wet, resulting in ruined items.
Take care not to over fill the box when adding in packaging, over-filling the box can result in it bursting or crushing the items. The same goes when taping items together, over using tape could add too much tension and also makes it difficult to unpack, meaning the recipient could accidentally break the item when trying to unpack it.
Step 3: Seal it
Properly sealing your box is key to keeping it stable and in turn keeping the contents safely inside. You’d be forgiven for thinking a bit of cello tape along the opening would do the trick, but there’s a little more to it than that. We suggest that you use any of the following tapes:
- Pressure-sensitive plastic (the most popular option)
- Nylon-reinforced filament tape
- Vinyl tape
Whichever tape you decide to use, it should be at least 2 inches (5cm) wide – this will ensure there is enough tape surface area to prevent the box flaps from slipping open. You also want to ensure you seal all openings of the box for maximum protection.
Step 4: Label it
The first thing you want to do is remove any old labels if you are reusing an old box, as couriers use scanners to read labels, you want to ensure they are clearly visible and well secured without obstruction from old labels.
The next thing to get right is the address label you’ll be adding to your parcel. If you’re sending internationally, ensure that you’ve addressed your parcel in accordance with the labelling format of that country, and the country name must be written on the last line of the address.
Labels should not be placed across a seam or a closure, in case the package needs to be opened for any reason.
You’ll need to include a return address and some contact details with your parcel should you need to be contacted in the unlikely event of a breakage. It’s also a good idea to include a contact name, address, and telephone number inside the package so as to prevent it from falling off the parcel.
This would also be a good time to label your box ‘FRAGILE’, this won’t necessarily prevent your shipment from being accidentally dropped, knocked or damaged, however it will encourage the courier to handle with care.
No amount of labelling is a substitute for good, sturdy packaging though, so ensure that your box and packaging materials are nailed before you even think about labelling you parcel.
Step 5: Send it
Now that you’ve carefully packaged and labelled your fragile item, all that’s left to do is send it. Knowing that your items are properly secured takes stress out of the delivery, allowing you to put your feet up and rest easy.
Booking with Parcel2Go give you access to the worlds more reliable couriers at the lowest possible price, you can choose whether to drop your items off at your local drop-shop or have a courier collect them straight from your door. With free tracking on all services, you can also stay up to date on your items whereabouts.
For any further information about our packaging advice click here.