How to correctly pack your parcel

Having your parcel correctly packaged is very important to ensure it arrives safely at its destination. Many people don’t do this, either because they don’t think it’s important, or they don’t know how. We have created a short list of do’s and dont’s.

We think that if you follow these few simple guidelines, your packages will arrive safely every time.


Tips for correctly packing your parcel

  • Always try to use a brand new shipping box. If you keep reusing old boxes that are damaged, the contents of the box might end up arriving damaged. Also, if you can, use double-walled boxes, as these offer extra protection for your valuable cargo.
  • Use internal packaging to secure your cargo. Every extra layer of padding is a layer of protection – the more, the better. Try to use foam, bubble wrap or even paper if you don’t have anything else laying around. Fragile items shouldn’t touch either each other, or the side of the container.
  • Try to use the correctly-sized box. Don’t use a large box for small items, as they will move inside the box during shipping and they might end up damaged.
  • Weight and measure your parcel after it has been fully packaged. This is done in order to make sure that it isn’t heaver or larger than stated. If it ends up being larger or heavier, you might have to pay extra for shipping.
  • Use high-quality parcel tape on all edges of your parcel. This is done in order to properly seal the package and help reinforce the corners of the parcel. It will prevent the parcel from falling open and make it safer.
  • If you’re reusing an older box, make sure to remove all old labels or addresses.
  • If you’re printing your own courier label, make sure that it is firmly attached to the package and visible. The preferred position would be on top of the parcel.

Printing your own courier label can save you and the couriers a lot of time. Did you know that by using our software – JustShipIT – you can dispatch your orders from all e-commerce platforms at once? You can create pickwaves, print courier labels and invoices directly from one interface.

A few things to keep in mind about labels

  • Place the address label on the top of any shrink wrap, and not underneath it. The same applies to sellotape, cellophane and other similar shiny surfaces. These create a reflection that the scanners cannot always see through to read the barcode.
  • Positioning the barcode address label – Place the label on a flat area, preferably on the top surface of the parcel. This will help ensure the barcode, on the address label can be read the first time. All labels must be placed flat, i.e. without creases, on just one side of the package. It is advised labels are not positioned over the joins of a box or round corners.
  • Ensure that the shipping label address details cannot be smudged or liable to water damage.

If you are selling a product, also remember to include a copy of the invoice inside the package.

Dont’s when packaging your parcel

Now let’s talk about the dont’s when it comes to packaging parcels.

  • Don’t attach multiple parcels together, as each parcel should have its own AWB (Airway bill).
  • Never package your parcels with bags made out of fabric or cloth. These provide little-to-no protection for your cargo.
  • Don’t use household sellotape, as it can easily break. Always use strong tape made for parcels.
  • Do not reuse old boxes or boxes that are made out of thin cardboard. Use brand new double walled boxes, as these provide the maximum protection.
  • Don’t use packaging that cannot handle the weight of your cargo. Most boxes tell you the maximum weight they can carry – try not to exceed this value.
  • Lastly – Keep in mind that labels such as “Fragile” or “Handle with care” are not substitutes for proper packaging. The couriers might be a bit more careful if they see these labels, but that’s never enough for full protection.

There is one more thing to remember. When parcels enter the courier sorting hubs, they join thousands of other parcels as they travel by conveyor belt from one place to the next. The machines won’t see any extra labels such as “fragile” or “this way up” so it’s vital you package your item well enough to handle anything.

There’s nothing worse than having your goods damaged while shipping. While we could always blame the courier company for these situations, most of the times, it can be our own fault for not properly packaging the parcel. However, by following the previously mentioned guidelines, these situations are likely to be avoided.