How to Transport Fragile Goods
With the wrong transport or courier service, shipping delicate goods can be a stressful process. It’s important to find a company you can trust to give your goods the care they deserve, but it’s just as important to take all the steps you can to properly prepare your fragile items to be transported.
Because we care about making sure your fragile goods arrive at their destination safely, we have created some tips that will help you securely pack your fragile items and reduce any risk that they may become damaged in transit.
CHOOSE THE BEST MATERIAL FOR WRAPPING
Our courier and freight drivers take every step to protect your goods, but unless they are properly packed there is often little any driver can do to protect them completely.
Each individual fragile item needs to be separately wrapped. Items need to have something protective between them; otherwise if they collide during transport, they may break, crack or chip each other.
If you have an item that has an original box with all the internal cushioning still in place, this is the optimal container to stop your fragile item from breaking. However, many items don’t have a satisfactory box or any box at all. In these cases your will need to wrap it in something that will keep it sufficiently protected.
Bubble wrap is one of the best materials for protecting your items. Choose a bubble size suitable for your items – the smaller the item, the smaller the bubbles – and wrap the bubbles so that they face inwards, towards the product.
Generally, the most difficult thing about using bubble wrap is resisting the temptation to pop all the bubbles before sending it!
There are other wrapping option besides bubble wrap.
Despite tradition, newspaper is not one of them. While it is very easy to source newspaper in abundance, the ink used to print newspapers can stain your valuables. This is especially true of china and other porous items that can become ruined if the stain doesn’t come out.
Instead, tissue paper works extremely well for most items as long as you are generous with the amount you use.
If your item is hollow and has a hole or opening – like a vase – fill the inside with packing peanuts or another suitable filler to give it extra strength.
DOUBLE PROTECTION: USING AN INTERIOR BOX
The best way to package products for shipping is to use two boxes.
One is a tough external shipping box, while a second smaller, interior box adds another layer of protection. This interior box should ideally be the item’s original packaging, however if that’s not available, select a strong and padded box that is designed for fragile items.
The interior box should be large enough so that the packed items don’t touch any of the box’s sides, corners or any other items in the box. However, make sure that it is not too big otherwise you will have to stuff it with lots of filler.
Before packing your fragile items, place a layer of the filler of your choice at the bottom of your box. This filler could be packing peanuts, crumpled paper, corrugated inserts, inflatable packaging or foam-in-place. Place your wrapped items) on top of this and then fill the sides and top with more of the filler.
Ensure that the filler is packed in tightly so that none of your items can move and touch each other or the sides of the box. You need to be confident that once the box is sealed, you can drop it and your items will not move around and break. Lastly, ensure the box is well secured using box tape.
OUTER PACKING BOX
Choose a packing box that is cushioned, strong enough for the weight of your items and designed for fragile goods.
The best size is one that snugly fits around the interior box, but is not too small so that the walls are bent outwards at all by the contents. Use more cushioning as needed to ensure the interior box doesn’t slide around in this outer box.
Check out our packaging blog post to discover the best way to seal packing boxes for transportation. It is always a good idea to label the box on multiple sides as “fragile” and use standard arrow labels to indicate which way up to place it.
If your items are very valuable, you may wish to purchase shipping insurance. Even when they are perfectly packaged and transported with the greatest care, there are just some items that aren’t worth even the tiniest amount of risk.
There are many companies who offer comprehensive freight insurance and will give you added peace of mind that your precious items won’t end up in pieces.