Protect your parcel
Your parcel is precious, package it with care!
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 centres using conveyors and chutes so this way up labels may not help – orientation cannot be guaranteed.
The best way to protect your parcel in transit is to follow these easy guidelines:
The Shipping Carton
The "Shipping Carton" is the box in which you place the goods you are sending.
- Size - make sure this is appropriate to the content: overloaded boxes may burst; under-filled boxes are likely to collapse
- Strength - choose boxes strong enough to hold the weight of your consignment, made of corrugated cardboard and with good quality outer liners. 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 reusing old boxes, ensure they are in a good enough condition to withstand the transit and be sure to remove all old labels.
REMEMBER! Never use boxes that have hazardous labels or symbols on them: parcels with these symbols will be stopped by the courier and may incur fines.
- Please do not strap boxes together: each box should have its own label.
- All contents must be packaged in some way, and packaging made of fabric is not suitable.
We can supply you with reinforced, double-walled cardboard boxes which can be delivered to your door via an Interlink next day delivery service for £5.99 + VAT. These are available in sizes:
60 x 50 x 58 cm, 24 x 20 x 23 ins @ £2.75 each (XL)
60 x 40 x 58 cm, 24 x 16 x 23 ins @ £2.50 each (L)
40 x 30 x 50 cm, 16 x 12 x 20 ins @ £1.95 each (M)
40 x 30 x 40 cm, 16 x 12 x 17 ins @ £1.85 each (S)
All sizes shown are approximate.
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.
REMEMBER! You should fill all remaining space in the box with additional cushioning material to minimise the impact of transit on your items. Packages should be able to withstand a drop from waist height onto a solid floor.
Sealing and Labelling
- 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.
- 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 a lightweight and strong internal material such as Styrofoam and sealed with a plastic bag.
- Semi-liquids or greasy or strong-smelling substances should be sealed with adhesive tape and wrapped in grease resistant paper.
- Rolled plans, maps and blueprints should be stored in triangular rather than cylindrical tubes. They are stronger!
- Data, discs and audio types should be fully cushioned for extra protection
For carrier-specific information, please check the carriers’ packaging advice guidelines.
- DHL packaging advice
- UPS packaging advice
- TNT packaging advice
- TG International packaging advice
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.