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4 easy tips to pack fragile items for international shipping

Packing is crucial when it comes to international shipping. And if you’re shipping fragile items, proper packaging is even beyond crucial. It determines whether your item arrives in one piece, or shattered into many.

Each breakable requires utmost care when packing. Especially when we’re talking about international shipping where your item has a long way to go till it reaches the destination point. Imagine that you’re sending a package to Poland all the way from Chicago. That’s quite a distance, right? To protect a fragile item on its long journey, be ready to spare some time and have patience. And of course, get the right tools.

International shipping of fragile items is no rocket science, but can be scary at first. Each fragile thing requires a different packing method. But these 4 tips will help you to safely pack almost everything. 

Here’s a list of the best materials for packing fragile items:

  • Sturdy cardboard or wooden box
  • Wide packing tape
  • Foam wrap
  • Kraft paper
  • Cardboard
  • Air bags for packing
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts

how to pack fragile items for shipping

Now, let’s dig deeper into the most effective tips to safely pack fragile belongings for international shipping.

1. Pick a box wisely

If you need to send fragile goods, forget bags or envelopes. It is advisable to use a cardboard box for successful package delivery. 

And here’s what the box should be like:

  • New and durable. Reuse a box only if it’s in perfect condition – undamaged and not flimsy. 
  • Optimally sized. The goal here is to reduce free space, so the box should be only a bit larger than the goods inside.
  • Neat and clean. There should be no misleading labeling and notes on the surface. 
  • Small box is better for heavy items. Keep that in mind if your breakables are also hefty. 

Also note that most delicate, heavy, or difficult-to-move items may require stronger packaging materials, such as wooden boxes, for maximum safety during transportation.

fragile packing

2. Prepare the bottom of a box

As weird as it sounds, preparing the bottom of a box is another crucial thing to do when shipping fragile goods internationally. And it’s especially important if the breakables are quite heavy. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Tape the bottom of a box with extra layers of tape. Just to make sure it’s strong enough to hold the weight of goods inside.
  • Put packing materials on the bottom. The cushioning layer at the bottom protects items from being crushed when placing a box on the ground.
  • Put the heaviest items on the bottom. This way you’ll prevent them from smashing light breakables which should be placed on the heavy ones.

3. When packing fragile items, count on internal packaging

It’s this magic bullet, without which successful international shipping of fragile belongings would be impossible. Foam wrap, kraft paper, airbags, bubble wrap, cardboard, and packing peanuts will benefit you here. 

And here’s how to use them: 

  • Fill hollow items with packing materials. It’s best to use kraft paper or packing peanuts to protect items from the inside. 
  • Wrap each item individually. Ideally, each piece of an item should be wrapped separately.  
  • Use internal packaging to divide items. Cardboard or foam wrap placed in between breakables will protect them from colliding with each other.
  • Fill in all remaining empty spaces. Once the breakables are taken care of, minimize empty spaces left in the box as much as possible.  
  • Reuse internal packaging. Unlike with a cardboard box, reusing filling materials is the right move. It might help to save money on shipping fragile items.

Get more tips on how to save money when shipping overseas.

fragile packing

4. Label the box accordingly

When shipping internationally, each package that contains breakable goods must be labeled properly. Bold stickers with correct writings will let carriers know that such boxes should be handled with extra care. 

Notes like Fragile or Handle With Care are commonly used and recognized internationally, so be sure your package is labeled as such. It’s also important to mark a box with a This Way Up label for correct handling and transportation. You can also use packaging tape with red writing on it. When sticking postage and other labels, make sure they are well visible. 

international shipping of fragile items

PRO tip for international shipping of fragile items

When you’re done packing, pick a reliable courier company. Even those perfectly packed goods can be easily damaged if the courier you picked for fragile items won’t take proper care of them. Avoid clumsy carriers and choose true professionals in international shipping. This way you’ll be sure that your fragile goods will reach the recipient not shattered into pieces. 

Probably, one of the safest and cheapest ways to ship fragile items is AEC Parcel Service. We work hard to meet your expectations on international package shipping and deliver fragile belongings intact and in a timely manner.

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