Packaging your parcel

Packaging your parcel your parcel

Protect your parcel

We know you want your consignment to arrive in pristine condition. It’s important that you package it correctly to help ensure this happens.

As well as protecting your parcel, correct packaging also prevents damage to other customers’ consignments,so carriers insist on it, and may refuse to accept a parcel that is unsuitably packaged.

All carriers handle parcels with the same level of care, regardless of fragile or other labels. Parcels may be stacked and are processed through automated sortation centers using conveyors and chutes so this way up labels may not help – orientation cannot be guaranteed.

The Shipping Carton

  • Size-make sure this is appropriate to the content: overloaded boxes may burst; under-filled boxes are likely to collapse.
  • Strength-choose boxes that are strong enough to hold the weight of your consignment, make sure it is made of corrugated cardboard and with good quality outer lines. Use heavy-duty, double-layered cardboard for valuable items. Check the weight specification of the package, and do not exceed this limit.
  • Quality-always use high quality materials. If you are going to resue old boxes, make sure they are in good enough condition to withstand the transit and be sure to remove all the old labels.

KEEP IN MIND: Never use boxes that have hazardous labels or symbols on them: parcels with these symbols will be stopped
by the courier and you may incur fines.

  • Do not strap boxes together: each box should have its own label.

Inside the Carton

  • Cushioning– use materials such as bubble wrap, kraft paper, and loose fill polystyrene to protect your items from moving or breaking.
    For fragile items, there should be at least 5cm of cushioning between each item, and between the items and the carton wall. Materials
    such as towels and blankets are not suitable for cushioning.
  • Positioning– Place fragile goods in the centre of a package; ensuring they do not touch the sides.
    Use cardboard dividers when sending flat, fragile material such as vinyl records.

Sealing and Labeling

  • Seal your items with a quality adhesive parcel tape, not sellotape or other materials such as rope or ribbon.
  • Customs may need to inspect the contents of your package: seal it securely, but do not overseal it!
  • Ensure your shipping label (also termed air waybill) is securely attached to the flat, topside of your parcel.
    The barcode and shipping address should be clearly visible and not obscured in any way.

Distinctive Items

  • Sharp items such as scissors should be fully protected with securely fixed heavy cardboard at edges
    and points.
  • Small items should be packed into flyers.
  • Powders and fine grains should be placed in strong plastic bags, securely sealed and packed in
    a rigid fibreboard box.
  • Liquids should be stored in leak-free containers, packed with lightweight and strong internal material
    such as Styrofoam and sealed with a plastic bag.
  • Rolled Plans, maps, and blueprints should be stored in triangular rather than cylindrical tubes.
  • Data, discs, and audio types should be fully cushioned for extra protection.

Carrier Guidance

Sending wooden packaging, pallets, or crates?

Many countries require wooden packaging materials such as pallets or crates to be heat-treated prior to shipping. This is due to the ISPM 15 regulation, which exists to protect local eco systems from foreign insects and disease. Failure to comply could incur delays, fines and even declined entry into the country. Please see the ISPM 15 regulation section of our website for more information, and to check if the regulation is applicable to your destination country.