Consideration and care are crucial when packing your parcel for international delivery. It is even more important if you are dealing with fragile items. The parcel has potentially thousands of miles to travel, it will be handled multiple times in various locations, and go through many sorting systems. It is your own responsibility to ensure that your parcel is packaged securely and safely to ensure it is delivered to the destination country safe and with no delays. If there are breakable items, it is essential to take the utmost care when packing. Here is our guide to the best packing tips for safe international parcel delivery.
Here is a list of packaging materials you may require to safely post your parcel internationally.
- Sturdy and durable cardboard box
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tape
- Cardboard inserts
- Brown plastic tape
- Fragile packing tape
- PTFE tape
Choose Strong Packaging
It is recommended to use a strong double-walled cardboard box for successful parcel shipping and delivery. Select the right shape, size, and strength for your parcel. It is a good idea to select a box that is larger than the item you are putting in. If the box is too small, it will force it causing the box to tear or break open. The box should be new and in very good condition. A smaller box is better for heavier items. If you are sending an item that isn’t fragile you could also use a Polyurethane bag with some packing tissue. High-quality corrugated cardboard boxes are a good outer safety packing option.
For large volumes of items being distributed, special anti static one tonne bags may be needed.
Wrap the items in the box individually
If you are shipping several items, it is recommended to wrap them individually so that they don’t move around or bump into each other inside the box which could result in damage. Use protective materials such as bubble wrap, polythene foam, or other insulation materials. Do not overfill the box, as it will be moved between different vehicles and sorting departments. Double wrap all the fragile and delicate items. All hollow items such as vases, glasses, jars, etc. should be stuffed with fragile packing tape to prevent any damage.
Seal the bottom of the box thoroughly
Preparing the bottom of the box is crucial to prevent heavy items from falling through the bottom of the box. This is most important for packages being shipped internationally. Tape the bottom of the box with strong plastic tape to ensure it can hold the weight of the items in the box. Tape all around the seals of the box and the opening areas.
Place the items in the box
Slowly place all the wrapped items in the box. Place the heavier items on the bottom of the box in order to prevent them from smashing light and other breakables. Some items may need to be laid down in the box while others should be placed upright in the box.
Cushion and fill any empty spaces inside the box
It is important that you pack the inside of the box to protect your items from moving around causing damage. You can create a cushioning wrap around the box by using materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, crumpled paper, or airbags. Use at least 2 inches/ 5-6 cm of cushioning. Minimize the empty space as much as possible. Several items within a box shouldn’t be touching each other. Also, make sure the courier company is using lifting equipment that is less evasive.
Seal the top and around the edges of the parcel
Once you have everything packed in and secure in the box, you should begin to close the box with strong packing tape. Seal the box complete around every side, the edges, and the top of the box. It is crucial to use a strong tape of 40-50mm in width. Do not use strings or straps around the box as they could cause damage to the package.
Label the box
If there are breakable items inside the box, they should be labeled with a fragile sticker. This sticker is used to let everyone know that the parcel must be treated with more care when handled. There is also “this way up” stickers that should be placed on the box.
Shipping internationally, you must label the box correctly with the appropriate country labels. When shipping internationally there are labels provided to attach to your parcel. They should be stuck onto the box, attached properly and all details must be visible. There will also be a document that may need to be put inside the box also depending on the shipping service. The appropriate address must be labeled on the box mentioning the recipient’s name, address, contact no, and postal code.
What to Avoid when packaging parcels for international delivery
If the packaging, you are using is not satisfactory you are risking your items in the parcel getting lost in-transit or even damaged. Here are some tips on what to avoid when packing your parcel:
Do not use a damaged box
Damaged or weak boxes will not give your items inside the same protection and security as a good quality cardboard box. Consider the weight when choosing what to put your items in even more so if they are fragile.
Do not use black bag as outer packaging
Some parcel delivery companies will not be able to read and process any parcel with black wrapping around it. Using it could see your parcel being returned to you.
Do not send unboxed items
Never send any item without packaging it up inside a suitable box or packing envelope. It must be packed up for transit delivery.
Examples of top international shipping experts are companies such as VaraPac, well known for their innovative FishPac transport bins. No matter what type of parcel you are sending, always use the appropriate packaging materials. Use the proper packing methods, cushion the items, and seal the box. Always protect your items with the right packaging materials even more so for fragile and delicate items as they do need more care. Always choose a reliable shipping service with experience and exceptional customer service.