If you are a first-timer or you are sending something fragile or expensive for the first time, using a courier to deliver your goods can make even the most confident shipper a bit nervous.
Whether you're shipping within your home country, or using an international courier service, your parcel will be handled multiple times, may pass through multiple sortation depots and because it will be transported with other packages it will have parcels placed on top of it. And if you are shipping internationally, your parcel may even be subject to environmental pressures such as extreme hot or cold.
Even though ParcelHero® only use highly reputed partner carriers with the best reputations for handling care, if your items are insufficiently well packaged, problems could still occur. So safely packaging your parcel is extremely important, whatever you are sending but particularly so if you are sending electronic items, perishable goods, or anything fragile. ParcelHero® includes £50 standard cover with every shipment but if your parcel is not packaged properly, this can invalidate any claim you make in the unlikely event of damage in transit.
No courier can package your goods for you but this helpful ParcelHero® guide on how to package your parcel tells you all you need to know to package your items for safe, damage-free transit.
Choosing a suitable box is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your items are protected during transit and delivered safely. When choosing a box, there are three things to consider: box size, box strength and whether a re-cycled old box is sufficiently robust.
The heavier the item or items you are sending, the stronger the box requirement. Packaging retailers offer dedicated boxes specifically designed for particular items (eg: a bike or golf clubs) or general use boxes of various strengths.
You can buy single, double or triple walled corrugated boxes. For more detailed information, please check our information on box strength guidelines.
Suggested box strength requirements:
It's very tempting to re-use an old box. This is often a perfectly valid option for certain goods, if the box is packaged and packed correctly, but with other parcels potentially being placed on top of yours in transit, the box needs to be strong enough to withstand that. A re-used box will have been weakened by previous use so has a greater potential to collapse, or worse, break open.
If you decide to re-use a box, please note the following:
Please don't just use the first box you find. Using an appropriately sized box is an important factor in protecting your items, but also can save you money on your delivery. Things to consider:
a. If the box is too small for its contents, then it puts excessive strain on the box. This creates a greater risk of the box splitting in transit. Choose a box that allows you to place the recommended 7 cm/2.5 inches of bubble wrap or internal cushioning around the items within the box. Your items should be a snug fit, not forced and should not touch the box walls.
b. If the box is too big for the contents, you will require additional internal cushioning to ensure your items do not move around inside, as this can cause damage. An unnecessarily large box will also cost more to send as all parcel couriers charge on the basis of size and weight. The larger the parcel, the higher the delivery cost.
Here's how to use these in your parcel:
It sounds obvious but, the more fragile the items you are sending, the more care's required when packaging them up for shipping. How you insulate and pack your items depends on what you are sending and how fragile they are.
If you're shipping electronic items or products containing glass, it is essential the product is fully suspended inside the box and is not touching the box walls.
This will protect your items from any impact in transit and radically reduce any possibility of damage.
ParcelHero® recommends using bubble wrap or packaging chips for your interior insulation but please note, simply wrapping your items in bubble wrap does not constitute full suspension within the box and your items could still be subject to impact pressures.
When suspending a fragile product, polystyrene corner blocks or end caps are recommended.
As an extra precaution for very fragile items, you can also 'double box' your product. When you double box an item, you should ensure that the outer box is at least 15 cm longer and wider than the box containing your product. Here's how to 'double box' a parcel:
This is a really good way or adding a really robust additional layer of protection.
We strongly recommend individually wrapping each item in bubble wrap to protect it during transit:
If it is a hollow item, for example a cup or vase, we recommend filling the interior with bubble wrap.
If it is a sensitive, fragile piece of equipment such as a camera lens, we suggest you add an under layer of wrapping paper before encasing in bubble wrap. This will help avoid dust infiltrating the equipment.
For electronic items, you should consider using an anti-static bag. This protects against static electricity which can damage or contaminate electronic items. Once placed in the anti-static bag, encase in bubble wrap and cushion with polystyrene packing chips for maximum protection. Anti-static bags are available in a wide variety of sizes.
The most commonly used forms of internal parcel packaging materials, bubble wrap and foam or polystyrene chips or 'peanuts' are both readily available. They both protect and cushion your items from vibration, impact and shock. The cushioning materials should be used as follows:
Taping your box up securely is just as important as using the correct box. Adequate robust taping significantly reduces the chances of a box collapsing or being damaged during transit. Follow these steps when taping up your package.
1. Shipping Labels
2. Customs Invoices
3. Shipment Receipt
Heavy Weight Labels
Fragile, Handle with Care
This Way Up
Parcels sent on a courier network are subject to environmental pressures along with vibration, impact and shock, so it's essential your parcel is sufficiently packaged to ensure its safe transit. If the items you're shipping are not properly packaged it may invalidate your claim. If an item is damaged during transit, during the claims process the packaging will be assessed as per the following criteria:
Please note: there are certain products for which a courier will not offer enhanced cover, or compensation, for, in the event of damage. This includes fragile electronic equipment and items containing glass. Please see our compensation exclusions list for full details.
If you're unsure the packaging you are using is sufficient and complies fully with our packaging criteria, for additional reassurance, you can send us images and a description of the packaging you are using. We can then confirm in writing that we consider the packaging sufficient, and that your goods will be covered in the event of any damage.