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Packaging Suggestions

Choose a good box.

The outer box should be large enough to fit the package and any needed cushioning material. If the box is old, it must be strong enough to support the contents and be able to be stacked with other boxes. Make sure there are no old labels, creases, tears, or punctures. The flaps should be intact.

Check the weight.

Make sure the weight of the item(s) you are shipping does not exceed the limit stated on the shipping container, usually found on the bottom of the box. Click here to calculate weight.

Protect the contents.

The most common error made in packaging is failure to properly protect contents inside the parcel. Shocks, bumps and drops received on the outside of the carton can pass through the contents. Surround each item with bubble pack, styrofoam "peanuts," foam-in-place or corrugated dividers to protect against shock that occurs when packages come in contact with each other or hard surfaces. Wadded newspaper can only be used for lighter packages. Not less than two inches of quality packaging material must be used to separate items in all directions from the inside of the box.

Multiple Items.

Be sure each item is individually cushioned and separated from other items.

Seal it securely.

Proper closure of all your packages is as important as enough cushioning. If the carton opens accidentally in transit, all your packing will go to waste. Use heavy-duty, pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced tape. Don't use masking or cellophane tape. Never wrap cartons in paper or tie them with string.

Label properly.

The address label must include the complete name and address, including the ZIP code. If necessary, make sure to put the business name, apartment or floor number. While you're packing the box, it's important to place a duplicate label inside the carton in case the outer label is damaged. Do not put the labels on a seam and securely fasten or tape them to the box. Remove or mark out old address and any other markings on the boxes to avoid confusion. Pay extra attention to make sure all the information is correct. Remember to include your consignee's telephone number.

Special tips for specific items.

Fragile items, such as glass and ceramics, need extra packaging. Use bubble wrap around these items and place in a separate box inside the packing box. Note: Cardboard partitions between glass items do not offer adequate protection by themselves. Fragile items should be wrapped individually with bubble wrap. Electronic equipment should be shipped in its original packaging, surrounded by additional cushioning materials and placed inside a larger box. If you open the box containing the gift before shipping, be sure to repack it exactly the way it was packed.

Sending liquids.

Liquids should be stored in leak-free containers and sealed with a plastic or vinyl bag.

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