Packages come in all shapes and sizes, weights and colours; but what is the best way to pack your items?
We’re discussing top tips for packing a range of notoriously difficult items to deliver.
Above all else, the packaging needs to ensure that your items arrive at the customer in one piece. Nobody wants to receive broken goods in the post.
These are the general rules to apply to all parcels:
- Make sure the packaging or box is the right size
- Wrap all items (especially fragile) individually
- Use packaging fillers (such as tissue, bubble wrap or polystyrene) to prevent items moving within the parcel
Fragile Items (Glass, Ceramics, China)
Fragile items, such as glass, ceramics, and china are all items that need a lot of protection; otherwise, they could break. Carefully select the appropriate protective wrapping for your item.
- Choose a sturdy and rigid cardboard box as the outer packaging
- Wrap the fragile item in tissue paper and tape into place
- If very fragile, place the item into a small box and fill empty space with more tissue paper
- Pad the bottom of the outer box with protective wrapping
- Pack the item into the centre of the outer box, as far away from the edges as possible
- Fill the box with protective packaging to prevent item moving and to cushion the pressure during transportation
This is a useful video tutorial on how to wrap fragile items:
Heavy Items (Wood, Metal, Electrical)
Heavy items require some suspension from transportation; however, it is better to select a stronger, more durable protective wrapping than you would for fragile items. Items made from wood, metal or heavy electrical goods should benefit from using Styrofoam.
- Select a box strong enough to carry the weight of the item
- Cover the fragile parts of the item (i.e. fragile handles and details) in tissue paper or bubble wrap
- Layer the interior of the box with Styrofoam
- If the item still moves around in the box, you will need to build a shape out of Styrofoam to fill the gaps
- Check here for an eBay seller’s step by step guide to packing heavy items.
The ultimate question you need to ask yourself is: should I pack these items together or separately?
If you decide to pack all items into one package, they must not rub against each other as this causes friction which could damage the goods. However packing the items separately can cost more because you will probably need to ship them separately. Many postal services do not compensate for damage to parcels that have been strapped together.
- Select a box that can comfortably fit all the items, with their individual wrapping, inside
- Cover all items individually in protective wrapping
- Place the most fragile items in the centre of the box
- Fill the box with protective material to cushion pressure during transportation
Art Work Packaging
Take extra care when packing artwork. Your customer will expect these to be wrapped carefully, so be prepared to wrap more than you would for usual items of that size.
- Top tips:
- Use wrapping material that won’t stick to the artwork
- Cover the artwork with a thick layer of protective wrapping
- If necessary custom build a box, as you want as little chance for movement in the box as possible. Make sure the box will fit over the artwork when wrapped in a protective layer.
This is a useful guide by Golden Paints for packing small pieces of artwork:
For packing larger artwork, FedEx has produced this useful guide:
Shoe boxes are widely used when delivery pairs of shoes. They are good because they are made of a strong cardboard box which protects the shoes from transport damage. However, you don’t want to leave the shoes loose in the box.
- Select the right sized shoe box
- Wrap the shoes in tissue paper or a material bag (best to wrap each shoe individually)
- Consider filling the inside of the shoes with tissue paper, to keep their shape stiff
- If the shoes have sharp heels, tightly cover the heels with protective wrap
One thing to make sure no matter what you’re packaging…
Some parcel delivery options will use a ‘Leave Safe’ policy, whereby they can leave the item in a place they deem safe if there’s no one in to sign for it. If you are using a service that may utilise this facility, always make sure you use waterproof packaging. Poly bags or similar items can be bought from many well-known retailers. By making sure your items are covered in waterproof packaging, you are protected against rain, snow and any other hard weather that may damage your items.
As always, we do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information on parcel packaging. However, if there is an item you are worried about or unsure how to package, then drop us a line.
Nike shoe box: