Before you ship

Packing your parcels with proper materials and care help ensure your shipments arrive safely and intact.

Step by Step

At Couriers and Freight we do everything we can to ensure your packages are always delivered on time and in great condition. Parcels can travel many thousands of miles through our sophisticated global network to reach their destinations. Packing your shipments with appropriate materials in a right way will help ensure they arrive safely and stay intact. Do you pack your shipments with express transportation in mind?

International standards for express packaging are more stringent than other types of transportation as shipments are handled by a network of conveyors, aircraft and people. At all times, it remains the responsibility of the sender to ensure adequate packaging is used. As a reference for our customers, this guide provides some general instructions and examples of good packing practices. Different shipment contents requires different level of protection, therefore this should not be perceived as a final solution suitable for all customers.

Before you start

Preparing your shipment properly is the best way to ensure your shipment arrives on time. This means using the right sized box as well as the correct packaging materials and labels. The following is a general guide for packing most freight and shipments for more detailed guides please click on one of the items below.

Quick Tips

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2. Choose suitable materials

Good quality packaging is critical to protecting your shipment during transportation, the following provides some general guidelines for you to use when preparing your shipment. Since this guide is designed for general use across a wide variety of products, we recommend that you also refer to packaging standards within your industry.

Parcel

Material

  • Consider the strength and durability of the packaging box
  • An appropriate box should be able to securely hold the weight of the
    content being shipped

Strength

  • Look out for the manufacturer stamp which tells you information about the construction
  • An appropriate box should be able to securely hold the weight of the
    content being shipped

Size

  • Consider the strength and durability of the packaging box
  • An appropriate box should be able to securely hold the weight of the
    content being shipped

Flyer Bag

Strength

  • Consider the strength and durability of the packaging box
  • An appropriate box should be able to securely hold the weight of the
    content being shipped

3. Pack your items

Incorrectly packed box

Leave no empty space

  • It is important to completely fill empty space within the box to avoid contents moving during transit which can cause damage to both contents and box.
  • Place void filler on the base of the box then around the item you are shipping. Ensure there are no gaps or movement.
Overhead view of box with correct packing distance from sides

6cm Distance

  • Always place items being shipped in the center of the box with at least 6cm of
    separation from any external walls or corners.
  • Take this into consideration when determining the size of box relative to the size of
    the contents.
Box showing dividers

Wrap Items Individually and Use Dividers

  • When shipping multiple items in a single package, always wrap each item individually and separate with corrugated inserts or other divider materials as appropriate.
  • Dividers are helpful to avoid damage caused by individual items making contact during transit, especially when items are stacked.
  • Small or loose items should be placed in an inner container or plastic bag to avoid the items separating during transportation.

Packing Methods

The most suitable packing method to use will depend upon the assessment you have carried out in section 1. The
main packing methods we recommend are outlined below but If you need any assistance, please contact us.

Basic Packing Method

Suitable for most non-fragile articles (e.g. printed matters, machinery parts, metal parts etc.)

  • We recommend preparing a double wall box, but if using single wall, ensure your box has suitable strength for the weight of its contents.
  • Items that may be affected by moisture and staining should be placed into a strong plastic bag or container for extra protection.
  • Ensure your items are placed centrally in the box with at least 6cm of separation from any of the external walls and corners.
  • If shipping multiple items within a single box, ensure each one is wrapped individually and well separated from one another.
  • Fill any void space to prevent items moving within the box during transport.

Box-in-box Method

Suitable for most non-fragile articles (e.g. printed matters, machinery parts, metal parts etc.)

  • Both an outer and inner box will need to be prepared.
  • We recommend using the original manufacturer's packaging as the inner box where possible. Alternatively, the inner box should be packed using the basic packing method outlined above.
  • The outer box should be at least 14cm larger in all
    dimensions than the inner box to provide sufficient
    overpack protection. We recommend a double wall box but if using single wall, ensure your box has suitable strength for the weight of its contents.
  • Place approximately 6cm of void fill in the base of the outer box before centrally placing the inner box inside.
  • Restrict any movement of the inner box by filling void
    space on all sides before sealing the outer box ready for
    transportation.

4. Seal and ship

A good seal helps to protect your package during transit. Both the adhesive tapes you choose and how you seal the
shipment makes a difference in protecting your shipment contents from being exposed or damaged during transit.

A tape gun

Use Pressure Sensitive Tapes

We recommend using the following pressure sensitive tapes for their strength and durability:

  • Polypropylene tape (brown plastic tape)
  • Vinyl adhesive tape (electrical tape)
  • Fiber-reinforced paper tape (duct tape)

Avoid Using

Kraft Paper Tape
Cellophane Tape
Masking Tape
String / Rope
A box showing H taping method

H-taping

Ensure all seams are sealed using the H-taping method:

  • Apply 1 strip of tape along the centre seam
  • Apply 2 strips of tape across both edge seams
  • Apply more strips of tapes for heavier shipments
  • Repeat the H-taping so that both the box's top and bottom seams are sealed
A box showing correct use of strapping

Strapping

The carrier does not endorse the use of strapping or banding for items less than 30kg in weight as it can damage both our network machinery and the package itself. Suitable packaging should always be capable of carrying the weight of the items without the need for strapping. When shipping pieces weighing more than 30kg, strapping is an ideal way to strengthen your shipment when applied correctly.

Special Handling Label

Although the carrier cannot guarantee maintaining the stable orientation of shipments during transport, our teams actively look
for visible special handling instructions. Proper use of handling instruction labels can help ensure the appropriate transport,
handling and storage of your shipment during transit. Here are examples of commonly used labels:

Fragile item icon

Fragile

This symbol us used to convey that the product / commodity inside the box is fragile, which can be damaged. It needs to be handled with care.

Handle with care icon

Handle with care

This is another symbol used on packaging, to convey that the package needs to be handled with care.

Keep dry icon

Keep dry

The package must be protected from excessive humidity and be stored under cover.

This way up

The package must be protected from excessive humidity and be stored under cover

Applying a Shipment Label

Displaying the shipment labels clearly is important in ensuring that your shipment moves swiftly through your chosen carrier network. Below are a few key points to note:

  • Fix the shipment label securely on the top surface of the shipment box. This will help us keep your shipment in an upright position as much as possible during transit!
  • Ensure the label is wholly visible on one surface and that the label does not cover any seams.
  • Do not let other labels, tapes or paperwork cover the shipment label.
  • We never recommend using an old box but if you do, ensure all outdated shipment labels are removed prior to use.
  • Placing a spare label inside the package will help us identify your shipment if the original label becomes detached or damaged.
  • If you need to apply other labels on your shipment, please avoid placing them on the same surface as the shipment label.
  • Use a plastic self-adhesive clear window pouch to hold any loose documents that are required to be placed outside of the box.
A sample shipping label

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