The Proper Way to Pack a Fragile Shipment

Fragile items require a great deal of care to ensure they are not broken in transit. Even if you are using professional shipping services, you should still keep these tips in mind when packing delicate goods to avoid having them damaged.

Provide the Proper Cushioning

Fragile items should be surrounded by at least two inches of cushioning material such as bubble wrap or foam packing peanuts should only be used to fill in the gaps and voids. Make sure to fully wrap each item, securing your packing material with tape to keep it in place. You should also place an adequate amount of cushioning material between items such as dishes as well. A good rule of thumb is at least two inches of material between delicate goods such as dishes, vases or glassware. Fragile items should not sit directly against the walls of a box. Instead, there should be a layer of peanuts or other fill material in between to prevent items from being jarred.

Use the Right Box

Avoid using thin gift style boxes to ship any items, opt for corrugated cardboard instead. Corrugated cardboard is sturdy enough to hold heavy items without buckling, which is something you can’t be sure of with other pressboard boxes. Whenever possible, use a new box, since cardboard becomes less durable over time. If you must use an older box, check it over carefully to make sure there are no rips, tears or other damage that would make it unsafe to use. Boxes that have gotten wet might be weak once dry, so you must avoid using them.

Watch the Weight

Just because you are using a very large box doesn’t mean you should pack it to the brim. All boxes have weight limits, and may easily fall apart if they are exceeded. When using a new box, the recommended weight limit may already be printed on it. Older boxes may not have this information visible; avoid used boxes that once held items that are considered dangerous or hazardous as these boxes may not be acceptable to reuse. It’s also a good idea to remain under the maximum weight limit per box, if you have reached the limit but still have room fill the remaining space in with packing material, or use a box reducing too to lower the height to fit the contents snugly.

Seal Tightly and Mark Carefully

Even if your box is already put together, you should reinforce the bottom seam with an additional piece of tape that is at least two inches wide. Pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced filament tape is recommended, since these types are waterproof and extremely strong. Close your box by sealing the center seam shut, with three pieces of two inch wide tape and then tape the end edges of the carton so it is in a H pattern. Label the box as “fragile” on the if you like, but remember that most of the handling is done by machinery that can’t read the fragile stickers. Packing a fragile shipment really isn’t all that difficult. By using some common sense measures, you can make sure your shipment is protected, regardless of the distance it needs to travel.

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