General Packaging Guidelines

Whether you’re looking for general guidelines for packing day-to-day shipments or specific guidelines for shipping specialty items, you’ll find it all here in our series of comprehensive packaging guides.

General Packaging Guidelines

At Shipping One, we know proper packaging can help ensure that your shipments arrive safely. So we offer general packaging guidelines — from measuring and weighing your package, to packing methods, sealing and labeling instructions, and guidelines for restricted shipments.

 

Contents

 

Shipment Size and Weight Restrictions

With Shipping One International services, you can ship packages up to 68 kg (150 lbs.); up to 274 cm (108″) in length and 330 cm (130″) in length and girth.

 

With Shipping One Freight Services, you can ship individual skids of 68 kg (150 lbs.) or more. Skids exceeding 997 kg (2,200 lbs.) in weight or exceeding 178 cm (70″) in height, 302 cm (119″) in length or 203 cm (80″) in width require prior approval.

 

Yellow and black safety heavyweight labels will be placed by Shipping One over the diagonal corners of your package if it weighs more than 32 kg (70 lbs.).

 

Measuring Length and Girth

 

The length and girth formula is simple. Here’s what you do:

 

• Measure the length, height, and width of the package.

• Length and girth equals length plus twice the width and twice the height.

 

Calculating Dimensional Weight

Dimensional weight applies when your package is relatively light compared with its volume. If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight, charges based on the dimensional weight will be assessed. To calculate it:

 

  • Multiply length by width by height in centimeters or inches.
  • Divide by 5,000 for centimeters or by 305 for inches.
  • Compare the dimensional weight and actual weight.

General Packaging Guidelines

  • Use Shipping One Express packaging for Express package shipments only; any other use is prohibited.
  • You may use your own packaging if boxes are sturdy and undamaged with all flaps intact.
  • Chipboard boxes, such as gift or shoe boxes, must be packed into a corrugated outer box.
  • Use double-wall boxes for heavier items.
  • Place small packages inside a larger outer box. For express shipments smaller than 18 cm x 10 cm x 5 cm (7″ x 4″ x 2″), use a Shipping One Express packaging option.
  • Double-box fragile items with 8cm (3″) of cushioning in and around the smaller box.
  • Wrap items individually with cushioning material and center them in cartons away from other items and away from the sides, corners, top, and bottom of the box.
  • Position bottles that contain liquids up right. Use an inner seal and perforated breakaway cap. The inner packaging must be able to contain leaks.
  • Place items that might be damaged by normal handling, such as soiling, marking, or application of adhesive labels, in a protective outer box.
  • For odd- or irregular-shaped items, at a minimum you should wrap and tape all sharp edges or protrusions.
  • Enclose an extra label, business card, or letterhead with the shipper’s address and phone number and the recipient’s address and phone number inside the package before sealing it.
  • Remove all old address labels from reused boxes before shipping, and make sure there are no holes, tears, or corner dents in the outer box.

General Packing Methods

Follow these general guidelines for the two most popular packing methods, plus recommendations for odd- or irregular-shaped shipments.

Single-Box Packing Method

• Ship nonfragile products like soft goods inside a sturdy outer box.

• Use fillers like crumpled newspaper, loosefill peanuts, or air-cellular cushioning material such as Bubble Wrap ® to fill void spaces and prevent movement of goods inside the box during shipping.

• Place goods that might be affected by dirt, water, or wet conditions inside a plastic bag.

• Consolidate small parts or spillable granular products in a strong sealed container, such as a burlap or siftproof plastic bag, then package in a sturdy outer box.

• Use the H taping method for sealing your package.

 

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Box-in-Box Packing Method

• Wrap product(s) individually with at least 5-cm (2″) thickness of air-cellular cushioning or foam material to fit snugly inside a corrugated box.

• Restrict product movement inside the box using filler like crumpled newspaper, loosefill peanuts, or other cushioning material.

• Close and tape the inner box using the H taping method. This will help prevent accidental opening.

• Use a second box that is at least 15 cm (6″) longer, wider, and deeper than the inner box.

• Choose the wrap or fill method to cushion the inner box inside the larger sturdy outer box.

• Ship fragile products individually, wrapping them in a minimum 8-cm (3″) thickness of air-cellular cushioning material.

• Wrap the inner box with 8-cm (3″) thickness of aircellular cushioning material or use at least 8 cm (3″) of loosefill peanuts or other cushioning material to fill the spaces between the inner box and outer box on the top, bottom, and all sides.

• Fill any void spaces with more cushioning material.

• Use the H taping method for sealing your package.

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Sealing Your Package

• Use pressure-sensitive plastic tape, water-activated paper tape (minimum 27-kg [60-lb.] grade) or wateractivated reinforced tape that is at least 5 cm (2″) wide.

• Apply tape evenly across flaps and seams to both the top and bottom of the outer box. Use the H taping method.

• Do not use cellophane tape, duct tape, masking tape, string, or rope to seal packages.

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• Package labels and packing slips should be applied facing the same direction on the same side of the package.

• Avoid wrapping labels around the corner or directly on the edge or seam of the package.

• Place shipping labels on the package’s largest surface. While we cannot ensure compliance with markings such as “Up” arrows or “This End Up,” properly placing the shipping label increases your chance for the preferred orientation.

• Use tie-on tags on transit cases (including tradeshow display cases), golf bags, skis, and luggage.

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Addressing and Labeling Your Package

• Place delivery information inside and outside the package. Include an address for your recipient and yourself.

• Do not list a P.O. box address for U.S. recipients. Shipping One Express can ship to a P.O. box in certain international locations, including Puerto Rico, but you must provide a valid telephone, fax, or telex number.

• Remove or cross out any old address labels on the outer box.

Packaging Specialty Shipments

Some shipments require detailed instructions for proper packaging to ensure intact delivery to your destination. We suggest that you download those stand-alone PDF files in their entirety. Guidelines for packaging specialty items contain specific packing, sealing, labeling, and testing instructions. You’ll find specific guidelines for those products in the table of contents. Recommendations for items that don’t require such specific guidelines follow.

 

General Guidelines for Unique Items

• Artwork. Apply masking tape in a criss-cross pattern on the glass surface to prevent glass from splintering.

• Photos and Posterboard. Tape flat items onto a rigid material like plywood, plastic, or layers of fiberboard padding; as an alternative, place printed material between pieces of corrugated pad and tape both pads together at all seams.

• Undeveloped Film. Prominently mark packages containing undeveloped film. Special labels are available.

• Stringed Musical Instruments. Loosen the tension on the strings to remove the stress on the neck of the instrument.

• Printed Matter. Bundle printed material together to prevent shifting. Cushion sufficiently before packing into a double-walled corrugated outer box.

• Rolled Goods. Tightly wrap rolled goods using several layers of heavy-duty plastic film or kraft paper and wrap with plastic packing tape. Then wrap the address label completely around the object or use a pouch. Shipping One cannot assume liability for damage due to inadequate protection.

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Banker Box, Storage Box, Archive Box, Document Box, Copy Paper Box

These boxes are designed for palletized transport and storage, not individual transport. However, such boxes can be shipped successfully with proper reinforcement and within certain parameters. Shipping One will accept such shipments, but the following criteria are strongly recommended:

 

• The total weight of the shipment should not exceed 30 lbs.

• Use only new, undamaged boxes for shipping. Used boxes are more likely to result in loss of or damage to the contents.

• Secure the box with 2″- to 3″-wide plastic pressuresensitive shipping tape around the length, width, and perimeter of the box in two places. Upon completion the tape should resemble a “tic-tac-toe” pattern on all sides of the box.

• If the box is not completely full of product, fill all void areas with packing material, e.g., Bubble Wrap, crumpled kraft paper (not newspaper), or loosefill peanuts.

• For identification purposes, apply a shipping label to both the lid and the side of the base for two-piece box shipments.

 

If the above recommendations are not satisfied and the shipment cannot be brought to compliance, place the material in a new corrugated box or use a box-in-a-box of the proper size and strength for the weight of product being shipped.

 

Dangerous Goods Shipments via Shipping One Express

Dangerous goods must be tendered to Shipping One Express according to both current International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations for air transport and the Shipping One Express Terms and Conditions.