How To Package A Parcel Securely
When sending a parcel, it’s the courier’s job to get your delivery to its destination safely, on time and with no damage.
However, before your parcel lands in the couriers hands, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the item is packaged securely enough to make the journey…
We all like to imagine that when we send a parcel with a courier, the item is carried very carefully by hand from point A to point B.
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the case; as your parcel will be sorted by a machine before being placed in a van alongside tens or hundreds of other deliveries.
If you use a reputable courier (see our couriers), then the risk of any damage or issues will be absolutely minimal. That said, it’s not impossible. Rough terrain may cause items to be dislodged in transit, or items may move, knock against each other or even fall. It’s rare but it can happen.
So, to ensure that your parcel can withstand any potential rough and tumble, it needs to be packaged carefully and to help you make sure that you’ve taken all the necessary steps and precautions, we thought we’d put together our top packaging tips.
8 Mistakes To Avoid When Packaging A Parcel
1. Using Crisp Boxes
When it comes to sending parcel, we always recommend that our customers send their items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes – especially if the item is heavier than 5kg.
Crisp boxes are not recommended as they can not hold weights of more than a few kg and the walls of the cardboard are not strong enough to protect against knocks.
We also advise against plastic boxes. Although plastic seems like a sturdy material, it is prone to break, shatter and split. Even if your own parcel contents aren’t heavy, something large may be placed on top of your item in transit and break the plastic.
2. Exposing Handles And Wheels
It is possible to send items in strong suitcases. However, we recommend taping down any handles or wheels so that they don’t become damaged.
3. Using Newspaper As Protection
Once you’ve chosen a box or case to send your item in, make sure its contents are secure by using bubble wrap, polystyrene and/or packing peanuts. Items are most often damaged when they are not securely wrapped.
Springy materials like bubble wrap and polystyrene are great and will helpfully defend the contents of your parcel if it happens to be knocked or handled roughly. If you send a large volume of parcels, you can buy these packing items in bulk on the likes of Amazon or eBay.
People often believe that newspaper is a good substitute for bubble wrap or polystyrene but this simply isn’t true as newspaper has no spring and just flattens when placed under pressure.
4. Not Leaving A Gap
On the flip side, over packing your item can also cause damage. To avoid this, we recommend wrapping your item in bubble wrap and then leaving about an inch of space between the item and the walls of the box.
This creates a ‘cushioning gap’ which will protect your item against the vibrations of the van or vehicle which, if packed too tightly, can penetrate through your packaging and shatter fragile items.
Tip: For extra protection, line the walls of your cardboard box with a layer of bubble wrap.
5. Not Marking Fragile Items
Putting a ‘fragile’ sticker on your box won’t mean that your parcel is treated more carefully that others. However, it may remind the driver to be extra cautious when lifting your parcel in and out of the van.
6. Using Sellotape To Seal
Tape down all the sides of your box with good quality packaging tape – general sellotape will not work as well as nylon or vinyl tape.
7. Not Taking Extra Precautions
If your item is particularly fragile or if you have any concerns about how it will fare in transit, a great method of adding extra protection is to double-box your item. This involves placing your item inside a box, which is then placed inside another box with a filled-gap between the two boxes. In order for this to be effective, the gap MUST be filled with something like bubble wrap to create a strong enough barrier.
8. Not Removing Old Labels
If your box has been used before for a delivery, ensure that all previous labels, barcodes or address details are removed. If not, your item could be missorted, sent to the wrong address or delayed.
When attaching your new labels, be sure that all information is visible. We recommend putting your labels inside poly pockets or plastic wallets and taping these to the box.
And finally, if possible, try to include a return address on your parcel just in case your item has to be sent back for any reason.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about packaging, get in touch!
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