Shipping Tips & Solutions

Packaging & Shipping Fragile Items

Learn how to pack and choose the best couriers for fragile items. Get more tips on shipping fragile items abroad for eCommerce at Easyship.
Packaging & Shipping Fragile Items

By Jules


May 7, 2019

Shipping products can be tough, but shipping fragile items can be even tougher! You need to be extra careful, since if anything gets broken or damaged, you may have to bear the loss – and have a very unhappy customer!

Fragile items include anything that can be easily broken, from glassware to antiques and more. These delicate items can be made of any material, including crystal and ceramic, and need extra attention before shipping.

So, if your eCommerce business plans on shipping fragile items, be prepared to pack and ship them properly! Doing this can make shipping breakable items both domestically and overseas much easier and less stressful. Here’s a quick look at the best packing materials to use, how to protect fragile items for shipping, how to best ship fragile items and some tips for overseas shipping!

What is the Best Packing Material for Fragile Items?

When it comes to shipping fragile items, choosing the best packing material is very important. Here’s a quick look at some of the top materials to use:

  • Packing tape is very useful for securing boxes.
  • A properly-sized box. Importantly, the box should have the right dimensions for the fragile item, being a snug fit but leaving enough room for packaging materials to help safely transport the product.
  • Bubble wrap to protect the item. Be sure to use multiple layers if you think the item is very delicate and requires extra protection.
  • Airbags for filling the empty space left in the box. These are ideal for items with sharp edges.
  • Packing peanuts can also be used for filling in any voids. The best way is to fill the box with some packing peanuts on the bottom of it, place the item in and fill the rest of the box in with the remaining packing peanuts.
  • Foam enclosures can also be useful. If you plan on using them, be sure they’re molded to the specifications of the product you’re shipping.
  • Foam-in-bag, a sprayed foam used for protecting items, is also great as it forms a protective mold around the item. These foams come in different densities, so be sure to do your research and choose which is best for your product.
  • Crumpled craft paper is another simple but effective material for filling in gaps in your shipping box. For best results, place about two inches of crumpled paper between the fragile item and the wall of the box.
  • Corrugated inserts can be used to strengthen the package and increase its durability.

How Do You Protect Fragile Items?

To protect fragile items for shipping, be sure to follow these steps carefully:

  • Order a durable box with the correct dimensions for the product being shipped.
  • Carefully wrap your item in bubble wrap.
  • Fill the bottom of the box with packing peanuts.
  • Place your item carefully in the center of the box.
  • Fill the void around the item with foam, airbags or foam-in-box according to the fragility of the item you are shipping. The more valuable the item is, the more careful you need to be.
  • Strengthen the box walls with craft paper and corrugated inserts.
  • Close the box and tape it securely, ideally taping it multiple times to ensure it stays safe during transport.
  • Importantly, never write “fragile” on your box. Doing so may actually result in worse treatment of it!

How Do You Ship Fragile Items?

To start shipping fragile items, be sure to do the following:

  • Very carefully pack the object in a shipping box with an adequate amount of packing materials.
  • Research couriers and choose the best one based on factors like cost, delivery time and best value.
  • Obtain shipping insurance to minimize risks during transport.
  • Schedule a pickup for your package or drop it off at the courier location.  

Before selecting the best shipper for your fragile items, you need to know where you want to ship it, who offers the best value shipping solutions at the cheapest rates, the tracking system available and if picking up the parcel is feasible on their end. All of this will help you in evaluating which one is the best courier for fragile item shipping.

It’s also especially important to get insurance coverage when shipping delicate items. Usually, you’ll have two options: one is for full coverage for damaged and lost items while the other is just for lost items.

Selecting one depends on how valuable your item is and the distance it’s being shipped. If you want to ship a fragile product locally, insurance coverage may not be required. However, if you’re shipping fragile items overseas, then full coverage is the smartest choice. Full coverage may be expensive, but it’s worth the investment!

One of the best shippers for fragile items locally and internationally is UPS. Shipping fragile items with UPS offers a generally reliable and safe shipping solution. Plus, your package is already insured up to $100 by UPS by default with the option for additional coverage, making it a great choice overall.

How Do You Ship Fragile Items Internationally?

When shipping fragile items overseas, be sure to keep in mind the following useful tips:

  • Always determine the value of the item accurately before shipping it.
  • Be sure to consider customs duties and import taxes when shipping delicate items overseas.
  • Always take into account the cost of legal paperwork and other charges.
  • As every country has its own set of prohibited and restricted items, be sure to do proper research ahead of time to make sure your items can enter the country.
  • Choose adequate insurance coverage before shipping your package.
  • If possible, try to find a courier with pickup and delivery services to make life a lot easier.
  • Schedule your shipment online to save a lot of time and effort on your end.
  • Some fragile items need special handling, so be sure the courier you choose can accommodate them.
  • Always be sure to know the destination delivery requirements of the package.

Shipping Fragile Items: Take the Extra Steps

Shipping fragile items locally or internationally requires special care. Always protect your items with proper packaging materials and take extra care when packing them up.

You should also take the time to get to know about any special needs or rules and regulations of both the origin and destination of the shipment. Getting insurance coverage, especially for overseas shipments, is a great way to minimize the risks, too.

Easyship offers great solutions for shipping fragile items both domestically and overseas. We offer in-depth guidelines for packaging while our rates calculator is a very useful tool for finding the best courier for shipping fragile items in a cost-effective way.

Create a free account today to see how easy it is to ship with Easyship!