Shipping Fragile Items

fragile items
When shipping fragile items you need to be careful that you are packaging them correctly to ensure they aren’t damaged in transit. This part of the fulfilment process needs to be very carefully considered so we’ve put together some of our expert knowledge and everything you need to know about shipping fragile items. However, we must stress that it is important to consult an expert if you’re unsure - better than your items breaking during your first shipment! 

The first thing to note about shipping fragile items is that the things you need to consider fall into two categories. One is how you are packaging the item to ensure that it is as safe as it can possibly be from any damages and the other is all about your fulfilment process. Can you trust the process you have installed? Do you have a reliable shipping/delivery company making sure that your items are safe?

The Fulfilment Process

Let’s tackle the second point first. Ensuring you hire the right kind of people for your fulfilment process is a big part in making sure that your items get safely from A to B. some of our top tips are:

  1. Only using shipping companies that you trust and have good reviews and don’t just go for the best deal - it will cost you more to replace the broken items (plus it looks bad to your customers)
  2. Consider using a 3PL for your fulfilment process. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t more expensive and can save you a lot of ‘trial and error’ woes. 
  3. Consider your shipping method and make sure you discuss this with any couriers. Some methods may work better than others and it’s important to explore the different options. 

The packaging bit 

Now, we mentioned that there’s two categories to think about and we can imagine you’re probably reading this blog for the second: the packaging!

We’ve some important elements that you need to consider in order to keep your items safe, starting with (arguably) the most important, void fills.

How to Pack a Fragile Parcel

To ensure that any fragile parcel delivery goes well, packing them properly is vital. Here’s a step-by-step guide to packing fragile items securely:

  1. Selecting the Appropriate Box: Opt for a sturdy box that comfortably accommodates the item, allowing space for ample cushioning. The box should be robust enough to withstand the rigours of transit without collapsing.

  1. Utilising Quality Cushioning Materials: Begin by wrapping the item in bubble wrap, ensuring complete coverage. For enhanced protection, especially around corners and edges, foam inserts or padded dividers are ideal.

  1. Incorporating Void Fills: To prevent any movement within the box, use void fills such as packing peanuts, crumpled paper, or air pillows. These fills should occupy any empty spaces, creating a buffer that absorbs shocks and jolts.

  1. Securing the Item in Place: Position the wrapped item centrally in the box, distant from the sides. The void fills should keep it stationary, minimising the risk of damage from external impacts.

  1. Sealing the Box: Secure the box with strong packing tape, reinforcing all seams and edges. This step is crucial to maintain the integrity of the parcel during handling and shipping.

  1. Labelling Your Parcel: Clearly mark the box with 'Fragile' and 'Handle with Care' labels. Additionally, use 'This Way Up' stickers to indicate the correct orientation, guiding handlers to treat your parcel with extra caution.

Choosing the Right Courier Service: Select a shipping service that specialises in handling fragile goods. Ensure that the item is insured for its total value to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances.

Why Void Fills Are So Important

Void fills are great because they keep your items in the right place and protect them. You can use them to fill empty space so that your items don’t move around as much. Or, you can use them to wrap and protect your items from scratches and dents. For those of you who don’t know what we mean by void fills, think packing peanuts and bubble wrap. We have written an extensive article on the different types of void fill and everything you need to know about the uses of void fill if you would like some more information!

Your packaging design can make a big difference

Ensuring that your design is right for your item can make a big difference. Big square boxes for small round items, for example, might not be your best option. You need to think carefully about how your packaging is designed to protect your item, before you even get to thinking about void fills. Sometimes inserts and other elements can be crucial to ensuring the safety of your items. 

Labelling Fragile Parcels

This one might seem like an obvious thing but it is still important to reiterate that you should think about marking a fragile item as fragile in some way or another. It gives your shipping and delivery team and employees a reminder not to chuck this parcel in the back of the van, and it also shows your customers that you care!

Consult an expert

And lastly, as we previously said, make sure to be consulting an expert if you’re not sure! People like us here at Complete Packaging have been making sure your items get from A to B safely for years - we know the right combination and solution for your products so don’t hesitate and get in touch for some guidance.

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