10 Parcel Packing Tips

During its journey, an average parcel is handled 12 to 20 times. With hubs sorting up to 250,000 parcels per night, a small percentage of parcels will inevitably be accidentally damaged.

The way a product is packaged can play a key part in its safe transportation and will affect how it looks when it reaches its final destination.

Here are 10 basic things to consider when preparing your parcel for transportation. (These tips are not exhaustive and are suggestions only.)

1. T&Cs and Legislation

All Carriers have their own policy regarding what they will and won’t transport. It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with their Terms & Conditions, and with the legislation of countries you are sending to

2. Size

Choose the size of your packaging carefully: too large and it can crush more easily; too small and it won’t allow enough room for adequate protective filler such as bubble-wrap and air cushions.

3. Shocks

All shipments are unavoidably subject to shocks during transportation — on a bumpy road, conveyor belt or when being stacked and handled. Wrapping the contents individually in bubble-wrap will help protect them. Items should be cushioned on all sides.

4. Looking Good

To help ensure your packaging and contents arrive in good shape, insert corrugated card to create a double wall at the bottom of the box and fill the base with cushioning material.

5. Close Carefully

Once you’ve applied a layer of extra protection on top, close the package carefully, making sure no cushioning material can escape.

6. Seal Safely

Seal your package with pressure-sensitive plastic tape or water-activated paper tape, preferably around 50mm in width. Avoid using strings or cord as these can get tangled up in sorting equipment.

7. Strapping

When applied correctly, with proper tension, strapping is an ideal way to strengthen your shipment. Loose strapping is ineffective, and too tight strapping can damage the box by cutting through it.

8. Labels

Even the stickiest labels can come off; an extra address label placed on the side of the package is a good precaution.

9. Cautions

Use “Arrow Up”, “Fragile” and “Handle with Care” labels on relevant packages. But be aware that these are not a substitute for careful packaging.

10. Precautions

Use un-branded boxes, particularly if sending high value electrical items; or wrap boxes in plain black plastic if they bear a description of their contents. Take advice regarding the packaging of sensitive items, liquids, chemical substances, etc. to ensure their safe and legal transportation.