How to Pack a Fragile Item for Courier

Remember the time when your antique gramophone broke in a bad transit. Or that lovely red porcelain lamp that never reached your mom in a single piece. According to a study by Gati logistics Services, inadequate packing is the no. 1 reason for all damage done during the transit of fragile items.

With millions of units moving through courier services around the world, it is not practical to depend upon courier services for a damage free delivery of your products. One must therefore take adequate care during the packaging of fragile items. This will easily ensure a damage free delivery.

Let’s go through this quick guide and learn to do it right.

Preparation

When packing valuable and fragile items such asporcelain etc. patience is the foremost requirement. You cannot rush and you have to prepare in advance. This preparation includes the right tools and paraphernalia.

These include:

  • Boxes in a variety of sizes.
  • Paper for packaging.
  • Bubble Wrap, Styrofoam Pellets, Packaging Peanuts.
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive Tape
  • A large flat base such as a table.

The Box

When choosing the box, let us start by choosing the right size and thickness for the box. The size of the item should be the deciding factor for the size of the box. This means that the box should be a little larger than the item so as to contain the item as well as its cushioning material. The weight of the item should ideally reflect in the thickness of the box material.

A box which has been used many times will serve less in terms of protection. Therefore it is advised that a new box is used in case when a fragile item is being packaged. In case the box is being reused, it should be firm and in good condition.

Most of the time, an item will either be placed upright or it will be laid down inside the box. This condition is dictated by the shape of the object and hence should be followed to keep the object from receiving undue pressure. The better the object is tied together, the safer it will be against breakage.

Placements for some standard objects

Let us have a look at some standard objects and their packaging methods.

  • Plates–Plates are best packed vertically in boxes that follow the size of the plates. Lining the boxes with crumpled packing paper is a good idea on the bottom and top. Wrap each plate in bubble wrap and secure with tape. Place paper in between the standing plates. Do not overpack the box.
  • Glasses–Glasses are best packed separately with packing paper in between them. Packing paper should also be used to fill up the spaces inside the glasses.The spaces that remain around the glasses should also be filled. However, make sure that the packing around the glasses does not end up putting too much pressure on the glasses themselves once the box is sealed. The larger and heavier glasses should stay beneath the lighter ones.
  • Lamps–The shades of the lamp should be detached and packed individually. The flat side should be down and lots of paper should be used. The main lamp body will do well if packed separately with bubble wrap.
  • Pictures Frames–If a picture frame is taller than 6 inches, it is advisable that it is positioned standing inside a box. Paper or folded bubble wrap should be used in between each piece. Ensure that the space between the top of the frames and the box flap is packed with paper or bubble wrap. As per a study done by Gati logistics, movement between the frames is a major reason behind the shattering of glass during transit.

The packing process is not complete until the box is wrapped entirely with tape. It is advisable to use tape that is thick and wide. This ensures lateral stability of the entire package in a situation when the boxes are stacked during transit.

Packaging fragile items is quite easy. All you need is patience and the right approach. The right approach consists of a few basic fundamentals such as ensuring compactness inside the box, least spaces between items and external stability of the package.

Apurva Thakur

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