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Sending Breakables: 5 Tips for Shipping Fragile Items

May 29, 2018 Courier

shipping fragile items
shipping fragile items

There’s nothing worse than opening a package and finding a busted item. It’s almost the same as stepping on a lego while listening to a Britney Spears country cover band.

Broken packages lead to upset customers. Those customers, in turn, leave negative reviews and tell their friends about the problem. By the time you fix the problem, it’s too late.

Individual shippers face similar problems. What if you’re shipping a Christmas or birthday present and the surprise of the receiver turns into horror when they receive a broken gift?

There are over 25 million packages shipped every day, and mistakes are bound to happen. How do you limit the chances that your item arrives broken?

Shipping fragile items shouldn’t stress you out. Here are five shipping tips that you need to know before sending out your next package.

Make Sure You Have The Proper Supplies

Packing fragile items for shipping is easy when you have the proper equipment. Like anything else in life, the small details matter.

Here are the items you’ll need to pack fragile items:

  • Boxes
  • Packing paper
  • Small and large bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Stretch film

Having these items on hand saves time and money. If you send out items on a regular basis, you’ll find these items online for cheaper than at local shipping stores.

Prepare For Environmental Threats

When shipping fragile items, most people think that a careless delivery person is the greatest threat. In reality, the weather destroys more packages than anything else.

If shipping to a local address, check the weather report. If the forecast calls for heavy rain or snow for a day, wait until it passes to ship products. Limiting the exposure of packages to inclement weather protects the contents.

In all cases, especially national and international shipping, wrap the product in plastic. This step protects items from water damage.

Label Your Package

Shippers need to know that the items inside your package are breakable. Use a black permanent marker to write the word “fragile” on each side, including the top and bottom. You want to write it clearly, making it large so the handler sees it no matter how they carry it.

If you ship a lot of items for your business, investing in a stamp might be worth your time.

Do You Need Insurance?

Think about the price of the package. Is insurance worth it?

No matter how well you pack your items, things happen. You can’t control every aspect of an item’s journey. What if the van carrying the package is in an accident? What if a major flood destroys a holding warehouse?

If an item is irreplaceable or expensive, consider getting insurance. You’ll protect your investment and give yourself peace of mind.

Pack Fragile Items Correctly

First, you’ll need the box. Make sure the boxes aren’t damaged, torn, or falling apart. You want the item your shipping to fit snug into the box so it doesn’t move around everytime a delivery person picks it up.

Next, you’ll need both small and large bubble wrap and tape.

Resist the urge to pop the bubbles. They are there for a reason. Put the small bubble wrap around the item, making sure the item is tightly wrapped. Use tape to seal the first layer of bubble wrap around the item.

Next, use the large bubble wrap to create a second layer. Use tape to secure the bubble wrap around the middle and seal off the ends. The wrap it all in a stretch film to create an extra layer of protection.

Wrap the film in a criss-crossed pattern three to four times. You don’t have to use tape, as the film is self-adhesive.

Place the item in your box with packing peanuts or an old newspaper to provide some cushion. The box will move over the course of delivery, so you don’t want your item to bang against the sides.

Use two layers of packing tape on the bottom of the box to seal it. You don’t want the bottom to fall out while it’s carried by a delivery specialist. Place more peanuts or newspaper on the top of the box.

Be careful when packing your box. If the packing is too tight, you run the risk of a glass item exploding.

Tape two layers across the top as well. The farther away you ship a product, the more tape you need to use.

Wrap Individual Objects Separately

If you ship a set of glasses, plates, or other items, keep them separated from each other.

You can use cut up pieces of cardboard to create compartments inside of boxes. Wrap each item and place packing peanuts or newspapers in each section.

Sometimes, you’ll need to use two separate boxes. While the additional costs can add up, it costs more as a business to have to replace broken items.

Another possibility is the two box method. Place a smaller box that’s pre-packaged using the steps above inside of a larger box that’s also packed.

Find The Best Company For Shipping Fragile Items

The most important step when sending fragile items out is choosing the right company. Some things to look for when choosing a company include:

Online Reviews

Check out a company’s website and social media accounts. Look for other customers that ship fragile items and make sure they aren’t broken on arrival. Accidents happen, but they should be the exception, not the norm.


Make sure you aren’t dealing with a fly-by-night moving company. Check for a solid online presence, BBB rating, and see how long they’ve been in business. Experience also means that the delivery company knows how to handle your packages.

We’re Here For Your Shipping Needs

Do you have fragile items to ship to customers or family members? Our family of companies has over 1000 years of experience shipping across the United States. This, combined with our more than 300,000 square feet of warehouse space provides the flexibility to handle all our customers’ needs.

Create an account and sign up for our shipping services today. You’ll never have to worry about shipping fragile items again.