No matter if you’re a small business owner who sells online or someone who just wants to send something to a friend or family member, being able to properly pack and ship a package is of vital importance.
No matter how good (or bad!) a post system is, the responsibility to ensure the goods inside are well taken care of and would be able to survive the trip and anything that might happen on its way to the destination is still partly yours.
Rides can be bumpy and long and depending on how much other mail is in the back of that van that day a lot can happen, so remember the safety process always starts with you, not with your postman or the postal office.
You’re also responsible for proper labelling of the package as well as stating the address in a correct manner, so when you look at it, there’s much more to be done than just throwing whatever it is in the package and calling it a day.
In this guide, I’d like to walk you through some of the most essential steps of packing and shipping a package to ensure nothing will go amiss and your goodies will reach point B safe and sound.
Here we go!
Pick the Right Box
It all starts with choosing the right box for your goods.
When documents or letters are in question this part is much easier, although there still are some rules regarding envelopes, things get a bit trickier once packages are in question.
The very first thing you’ll need to do before choosing the right box is finding a trustworthy packaging supply store. The packaging supply store you pick must be one that’s well-stocked with quality items that are sturdy and durable.
All the boxes are obviously made of cardboard, but for some things, you’ll need something a bit more reinforced, so having all the options at hand will make everything much easier. So, first thing’s first – find a good packaging supplier. Once you’ve done that it’s time to think of the actual package.
Take a look at how many items you’re planning on shipping and pay attention to their weight. Think both of how heavy they are but also of how much space they are going to take and in what way can they be arranged for the safest shipping experience.
Take a look at what types of boxes your packaging box supplier has and make an educated decision on the right one. Take the measurements of your goods into consideration and get a box that allows for space around them, not one that fits all of them tightly. This will allow for the next step to unfold smoothly.
Remember that most suppliers deliver boxes flat and that you’ll need to assemble them, so make sure you do that right and reinforce any creases or edges you feel need a hand.
Secure and Pack
Once you have your box all figured out it’s time to start filling it. Depending on how fragile your items are there are different packaging supplies that you’ll need.
For more fragile items you’ll need things like air pillows and void fill first. Air pillows are basically a sort of string (for lack of a better word) comprised of little pillow-like compartments filled with air. Excellent for securing goods around the walls of your box as well as in between goods, air pillows will prevent any direct blows and act as an actual cushion.
If you’re not comfortable with using plastic and want to keep things more eco-friendly void fill is your best bet. Basically, they are little beans made of biodegradable and compostable materials, they are dust, odour, and static-free which makes them awesome for any items out there, especially ones that may be prone to causing static or scented items, like candles or perfumes.
Finally, there is the good old bubble wrap that you should use no matter what. Wrapping your things in this evergreen safety product will reinforce the defences the other protective products give and make your package bulletproof.
Once you’ve added your first layer of protection, add your bubble-wrapped goods, and top everything off with some more protective layers, both above and in-between the items. If you’re shipping things that are hollow, like mugs, for example, make sure to add some wrap on the inside as well, to maintain a healthy pressure.
There is a variety of different bubble wrap types out there so you don’t have to stick with the standard sheets if they don’t work for you. As I said, variety is why you’ll need a good packaging materials supplier!
Once everything is secured and packed and the box is taped shut it’s time to slap a label on it and take it to the post office.
Hand-writing the address on the box itself isn’t an option as it may get damaged and erased during transport, so going with an actual, printed-out label that has a protective coating over it is your best bet. You can either get a ready-made label or print one out yourself, then add a layer of protective, see-through tape over it.
If you’re sending goods that are fragile and need to let the people handling them know you can get special labels and instruct through them. Things like “heavy”, “fragile”, and “top load only” can really work to your advantage and take care of your package while it’s on its way.
Anything else that you’d like highlighted should also be stated with a sticker label. Make sure you place all these labels in visible places and that’s that, you’re ready to go!