Packaging Advice

Let’s not fall out – please protect your items

Of the very few damages which do occur when using our parcel delivery services, the majority are due to insufficient packaging.

As a parcel network is in semi-automated and part of the sortation process utilises an automated conveyor system, it’s important that your items are packed securely. We would always recommend that you follow our packaging guidelines, in order to minimise any damage which may occur during transit.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Packaging

Do’s

  • All items should be boxed, with no loose ends, plastic bags or protruding edges
  • Your parcels need to be packaged well enough to withstand a drop from approximately waist height at arms length – this is in the event that your parcel falls off the conveyor belt during processing
  • When selecting your packaging supplies, please consider strength, durability and cushioning
  • When reusing a box, remove all labels and stickers. Ensure that the box is in good condition and not worn out
  • Many goods sold in attractive packaging will not be suitable for shipping – please repack your items in durable packaging in preparation for transit
  • Ensure your goods are well packaged inside your box using bubble wrap and foam or similar cushioning materials

Don’ts

  • Please do not pack your items in plastic, cloth or fabric bags – a strong cardboard box must be used
  • Do not strap parcels together – this may result in the loss/delay of your parcels and additional charges. Should strapped parcels be separated during transit, the consignment will no longer be covered for loss or damage
  • Please do not use cellophane tape or rope to seal your shipment – strong packing tape must be used
  • Do not over-seal your parcel as your package may need to be opened by customs authorities for inspection
  • Never rely on ‘fragile’ or ‘this way up’ labels, your packaging should be sufficient enough to protect your items – the parcel conveyor service will be in the main automated and the machines cannot read these labels
  • Do not overload your box, or under-fill your box as it may collapse – choose your box carefully

Choosing your box

  • Make sure your shipping box is in good condition
  • We recommend using double-walled cardboard
  • If sending a heavy parcel, ensure that your box will be strong enough to protect and carry your items
  • Make sure the box is the correct size for your items – we recommend a minimum of 2 inches of packaging inside your box, so please take this into account

Cushioning your items

It is important that you use plenty of cushioning in your parcels so that your item is not able to move about freely in the box. The use of good padding will protect your item against any knocks which it may experience during transit.

Use the most appropriate padding and wrap your items individually to prevent them from damaging other items in your package. We would recommend at least 2 inches of padding inside your box.

Appropriate Padding:

  • Bubblewrap – Air bubbles that are encased between two poly sheets as they are sealed together – the trapped air acts as a cushion and will help protect against shock
  • Polychips – Small polystyrene chips which will help to absorb any shock
  • Foam Sheets – Soft, very lightweight, strong material made of thin polystyrene – this is available in a variety of thicknesses, but we would recommend using foam with a thickness of 1/4-inch (0.64 cm)

Sealing your box

  • Seal the flaps of your shipping container using strips of strong packaging tape
  • Use tape with a minimum width of 2 inches (48mm)
  • Do not use masking tape, cellophane tape or duct tape
  • Strong, thick brown packaging tape would be ideal – if your parcel is heavy, please use extra strong tape

Attaching your shipping labels

  • Always attach your shipping label to the top of your package.
  • Don’t put your label over a seam or your sealing tape.
  • We would always recommend that you hand-write an address label and attach this to your package as well – this will be helpful in the unlikely event that your barcoded shipping label falls off during transit.

Sending fragile items?

If you are sending fragile items we would recommend that you wrap each item individually within your parcel – using bubble wrap or foam is a good idea. Please remember that your parcels are being sent through a parcel network. The parcel conveyor service will be in the main automated. As the machines cannot read, you cannot rely on ‘Fragile’ or ‘This way up’ labels or any other label. You need to ensure that your packaging is sufficient enough to protect your item.

Please note that many fragile items will be classed as Own Risk or Prohibited items and as such will not be covered for loss or damage. Please make sure you check these lists before processing your bookings.

Call us for advice

If you would like to get some advice from our Team with regard to the packaging of your items, please contact us on 01292 310 410.