Shipping Fragile Items

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Shipping Fragile Items

Shipping Fragile Items

In a perfect world, everything we send in the mail would arrive at its destination in the same condition as when we shipped it. In the real world, nothing can prevent the inevitable bumps or accidental drops as your package gets delivered. So if you’re shipping something breakable, here are a few precautionary tips to help protect your fragile items during transportation.

Picking the Right Box

Your fragile items will be safer if you choose a new box with the correct dimensions, rather than reusing any old box. A new box can withstand more pressure and is more likely to keep its contents safe during an impact. The general rule of thumb for packing fragile goods is to allow two inches of space on all sides. It is tempting to get a large box for extra padding, but too much space between your item and the box will only add to the cost of shipping.

If you want to be extra thorough, the safest way to ship your fragile item is to use the double box method. The outer box is intended to take the impact of all the bumps and drops while in transit so that the inside box, containing the fragile item, stays intact. The smaller box should be surrounded in at least 2 inches of padding inside the larger box.

Types of Packing Materials

There is a wide range of packing supplies, each suited for a different purpose, so it is important to know when to use the right type of packing. For example, small bubble wrap is best used to protect your fragile items because it aids in shock absorption. If you have multiple fragile items, it is important to secure the items separately with small bubble wrap to protect against any movement and shifting that can potentially damage the delicate items.

After your items are wrapped, it is time to fill the extra space in the box otherwise the wrapped items will be thrown around each time the box moves. Materials, such as packing paper or large bubble wrap, are great for filling empty space without the harmful environmental impacts of packing peanuts and Styrofoam. We recommend using large bubble wrap to pack in the extra space because it is more durable than packing paper. Packing paper is another a good option for filling space and has an added benefit of surface protection. For example, when handling items, such as glassware, bubble wrap may leave an impression on the surface. While packing paper is useful for packing lightweight items, it is not recommended for heavy items because the weight of the contents will often compress the padding.

Labeling the Box

We recommend adding “fragile” and “this side up” stickers to the outside of the box so that the recipient and carrier service know how to correctly handle the package. “This side up” stickers are beneficial when an item has disproportional weight because you want the heavy side to stay at the bottom of the box. Keep in mind accidents do happen, so these stickers won’t necessarily prevent your shipment from getting dropped or damaged on its journey but it is still a smart precaution.

Step by Step Example

Step One

It is important to protect any ends that stick out with small bubble wrap first, in this case the ears, legs, and tail. While it is important to securely wrap the item in bubble wrap, if wrapped too tightly, the fragile item could break. When wrapping your fragile item with bubble wrap, make sure the bubbles face the item so that it contours its unique shape.

Step Two

Next, fill in any gaps with paper or large bubble wrap for added support. In this example, the space under the head and between the legs should be filled. If the item you’re shipping has an opening or hollow sections, make sure to fill those empty spaces as well. This step is important for oddly shaped items to ensure the object’s unique shape does not get damaged.

Step Three

Lastly, cover the entire piece in multiple layers of bubble wrap and place inside a secure box. To check if there is enough padding, gently shake the box to make sure the items are not shifting inside. If you feel movement inside the box while shaking, you should continue adding filler until the shifting stops.

1 Response


July 11, 2018

Loved this blog! Really helped me out on shipping my fragile item.

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