When you ship internationally, your parcel goes through a lot. It changes hands multiple times in transit, and may be stacked beneath many other boxes. To make sure it survives the journey intact, proper packaging is vital.
Pick the right box
- It’s best to use a brand new, double corrugated cardboard box
- Make sure the box is the right size – not so large the contents rattles, not so small that the box bulges
- If your package is over 40kg, use a pallet or wooden crate instead
- If you are using a pallet, include the pallet dimensions when booking to get accurate quotes. Some couriers do not offer pallet shipping, so if you book with them, they will remove the pallet and you will be unable to claim in the event of damage.
- Make sure there are no old labels or markings on the box
- You can find boxes on Amazon or other online retailers. Just make sure they're the right type.
Pack your goods properly
- Wrap all items individually in bubble wrap or other packing materials
- Leave at least 2 inches on all sides of your goods, to be filled with packing material
- Suspend the items in your packing material
- Pack tightly, so that the goods do not move when parcel is shaken
- Place a duplicate address label inside the package, in case something goes wrong
Sealing your box
- Use strong packaging tape
- Wrap your box in a union flag pattern
- Wrap three times around the box in all directions
- Pay special attention to corners and seals – they’re the weakest part of your box
- Attach your labels
- Don’t cover the barcodes – these are how we track your parcel
What not to do
To make sure that there aren’t any issues, here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:
- Using a box that is too big
- A box that is too large becomes easy to crush, especially if there is a heavy box on top of it.
- Using a box that is too small
- A small box may burst when pressure is placed on it.
- Using a used box
- Boxes that have been previously used are often weak, and are easily damaged.
Certain goods are easily damaged despite the best possible packaging. White goods like ovens and washing machines are particularly susceptible to damage, and we suggest that for these items and goods like glass, you find a specialty courier.
When do I use an envelope?
You should use an envelope to ship documents. There is a maximum weight for envelopes, but unless you are sending a lengthy manuscript, this should not be an issue.
Shipping documents in an envelope helps ensure that they clear customs more quickly.