How To Properly Package A Parcel
One of the most common questions we get asked at NI Parcels is: “How should I package my parcel?”
It sounds like a fairly obvious question with a straightforward answer – put it in a box, seal the box, put the address on it and Bob’s your uncle.
However, there are a few little extra steps and precautions you can take to ensure that your parcel arrives in the best condition.
We Should Mention…
All of us, when we send a parcel with a courier, we like to imagine that our precious item is very carefully carried from A – B, as if on the wings of doves.
The truth is, your parcel is first sorted by a machine and then placed in van with tens or hundreds of other parcels and driven to its destination.
Of course, if you’re sending your parcel with a premium, reputable courier (like our providers), any damage to your item in transit is extremely unlikely.
However, it can happen on very rare occasions and for that reason, you’ll want to ensure you’ve done everything possible to protect your item and prevent any damage from occurring in the first place.
5 Tips For Packaging Your Parcel Securely
1. Choosing Your Packaging
At NI Parcels, we ALWAYS urge our customers to package their items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes – particularly if the item is greater than 30cm squared, or over 5kg. A double-walled box is sturdier and less likely to collapse, tear or open under pressure. Crisp boxes are not suitable.
You can send your item in a plastic box, but we usually advise against this, as plastic is known to split. And, even if the contents of your parcel aren’t particularly heavy, if something heavy is placed on top of your item in transit, your box could break.
It is also possible to send items in suitcases. Again, we recommend that it’s a sturdy suitcase, and make sure that all wheels, handles and zips are either tucked in or taped up to prevent damage.
2. Wrap It Up
Once you’ve chosen your box, ensure that your parcel contents are held securely inside, by wrapping them in bubble wrap, polystyrene or packing peanuts. If you send a lot of parcels, you can buy these in large quantities on eBay or Amazon.
You can also use material or fabric – anything with spring that will cushion your item if, on the off-chance, it is knocked against a surface. Newspaper will NOT work; when flattened, it will offer no protection.
Insufficient packaging, leaving items to move around inside the box, is the cause of most damage.
3. Mind The Gap
And on the flip side, damage can also occur if you stuff your box to the point of being fit to burst.
A good rule of thumb is to first wrap your item in bubble wrap and then leave about an inch between the wrapped item and the box itself. You need to create a bit of a ‘cushioning gap’ between the item and the surface of the box. If not, the vibrations of the vehicle it’s being carried in might affect your item and cause it to break if it is particularly fragile.
For extra safety, you can line the inside walls of your box with bubble wrap.
4. Tape It Shut
Once your item is packed and secured, seal all the edges of your box closed with proper packaging tape; vinyl or nylon. Ordinary sellotape will not suffice.
If your item is breakable, use a fragile sticker. The use of a sticker like this won’t mean that your parcel is treated more carefully than others, but it may remind the driver, in particular, to be that extra bit cautious when lifting it in and out of the van.
Also, for fragile items, we recommend ‘double boxing’. This means placing your bubble-wrapped item in a box which is then placed inside another slightly larger box with a once inch filled gap between the surfaces of each box. If you do this, MAKE SURE this gap is filled with bubble wrap or polystyrene, otherwise double boxing is completely ineffective.
6. Out With The Old
If you are sending your item in a box which has been used before, make sure you remove all old address labels or barcodes from the box. The last thing you want is for your item to be missorted or delivered to the wrong address and therefore delayed.
7. Attach Your Labels
When you book a parcel delivery with NI Parcels, we will provide you with labels to attach to your parcel.
Make sure that these labels are attached securely and all details are visible. We recommend first placing the labels inside polypockets or plastic wallets and securing them with packaging tape.
8. Return To Sender
And finally, always include a return address on your item just in case.
So, those are our top, expert tips on packaging your parcel like an absolute pro. By following our advice every time, your items *should* arrive in the best possible condition.
If you have any questions about sending parcels with NI Parcels, give us a shout or find out more below: