In today’s eCommerce climate, consumers expect all items to be delivered to their door. Most retail companies can fulfill this request, but shipping fragile items is another story. If customers open a broken product due to improper packaging, they will likely not shop with your business again.
Shipping fragile items can be daunting, but with these five easy tips, you can be sure your packages arrive safely. From choosing the right packaging materials to labeling your box, we’ll help you safely ship any fragile items you need.
What is a Fragile Item?
A fragile item is an item that either needs special packaging for shipping or is a very breakable item. Some examples include jewelry, furniture, lamps, mirrors, artwork, and musical instruments. Some of these items require multiple layers of packaging and specific carrier instructions to make it to their destination safely.
Before shipping fragile items, make sure to review any special rules and regulations of both the origin and destination. This will help you minimize risk.
Shipping Fragile Items
1. Choose the proper packaging
When shipping a fragile item, it is essential to choose the proper packaging to ensure your item is safe and secure during transit. Depending on the article’s size and shape, you can purchase custom packaging or find an appropriately sized box that has been previously used. When selecting a box, make sure it is sturdy enough to handle fragile items, as well as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and packing tape. The appropriate box will be neither too large nor too small for your item.
Consider using a cushioned envelope to save money on shipping small and fragile items. Cushioned envelopes are less expensive to ship than boxes since they take up less capacity in transit.
If you are shipping expensive and breakable items such as musical instruments or electronics, consider using a box specifically designed for shipping those items. Priority Mail Express through the USPS offers special shipping boxes with no space and extra cushioning to ensure the item is well protected during transit. Create a table listing all the items inside packages with multiple items to ensure that nothing goes missing during transit.
2. Use Packing Peanuts or Bubble Wrap
When packing and shipping fragile items, you must ensure that the product arrives safely at the destination. One of the best ways to handle fragile items is to use packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Packing peanuts are small Styrofoam pieces that can be placed in the box to help protect your item. Alternatively, you can use bubble wrap to surround the thing for cushioning.
When using packing peanuts, be sure to fill the entire box with them, so there is no empty space. If you use bubble wrap, wrap the item securely in several layers and secure it with packing tape. For extra delicate items, use both cushioning techniques.
Other cushioning techniques include foam boards, crumbled paper, or plastic airbags.
3. Use Strong Tape
Strong packing tape is essential for shipping fragile items. It will help ensure that your breakable item stays safe during transit. When applying the tape, be sure to make sure the item is completely sealed and secure. Use packing tape on all sides of the box, not just the top and bottom. Special handling tape, such as Priority Mail Express or fragile tape, is available to label your package further.
Once you have ensured that all items are securely taped into the box and properly sealed, you can send your product off to its destination. With proper handling and packaging, you can have peace of mind that your fragile items arrive safely at their destination.
4. Label the Box
When shipping fragile items, it is important to label the box properly. Label the box with a “Fragile” sticker, stamp, or marker in large letters on the box.
Priority Mail Express is recommended for handling fragile items, as it offers extra special care for packages that require more attention than usual. With Priority Mail Express, your item will be treated with more care and attention during its journey, making it less likely that the item will break in transit.
5. Consider Insurance
When shipping breakable items, it’s important to consider insurance for your package. Insurance provides an additional layer of protection for breakable items, so you can have peace of mind knowing your item will arrive in one piece. Depending on the value of the item depends on how much you should spend on insurance. If you are sending something of very high value, it’s worth paying extra for insurance and special handling.
Every shipping company offers limited freight liability, but don’t be fooled- this is not the same as freight insurance. Limited freight liability will not cover the entire expense of a damaged, high-value item. Furthermore, the carrier is not entirely liable for your freight under harsh weather conditions and natural disasters.
6. Consider and Prepare for Environmental Threats
Weather destroys more packages than you realize. Be mindful and check the weather report for the area you are shipping to. If the forecast calls for severe weather, like heavy rain or snow, it may be best to delay shipment until the weather system passes. You want to do your best to limit your shipment’s exposure to the elements.
If delaying the shipment is not an option, wrap the shipment in plastic. This will protect it from water damage.
Find Certified Carriers with GoShip
If you want to rest easy during transit, work with certified carriers. And truth be told, finding the best options can be challenging since uncertified carriers have mastered the art of persuasion.
But with GoShip, you can cut through the deception and discover the best carriers for your fragile materials — certified carriers with individuals that understand the intricacies of delivering your goods safely.