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Proper packaging upfront can avoid claims nightmares later

Practicing some simple packaging techniques can save you time, money and frustration if something goes wrong

Need help with packaging?

You put a lot of time and effort into your products. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking or taking for granted how you’re packaging them. Here are some best practices for packaging both small parcel and freight shipments:

Small packages

Packaging is an important part of your customer’s experience and an extension of your brand. Ensuring you have properly packed your goods will help limit the amount of damages you experience and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Follow these useful tips when you prepare your goods for transport.

  • Always use new cartons and double-wall boxes that are strong enough to support the weight of the contents. The box certificate should indicate the weight limit for the carton.
  • Use the appropriate size box for your goods. Too much extra space can limit the integrity of the box and an overloaded box can compromise the shape and durability of the container.
  • Use proper cushioning material to protect your goods and pay close attention to the corners and edges. The contents should not move when you shake the container.
  • Ensure you use adequate tape (utilize H-tape method, which can be found on the UPS Packaging Advisor).
  • Place the shipping label on top of the package and not over a seam.
  • Product placement is essential. Always center pack merchandise and ensure that at least 2 inches of cushioning is between the product and the wall of the box. Do not place fragile items next to fragile items.

Freight shipments

When palletizing shipments for LTL or TL transport, consider these tips:

  • Always containerize (box) or crate your merchandise.
  • Whenever possible, brick-stack your boxes, turning each level 90 degrees.
  • Stacked cartons should not exceed the dimensions of the pallet (products should never overhang on the pallet).
  • Make sure each box is individually labeled, in case the carrier breaks bulk.
  • Strap or anchor the boxes to the pallet to minimize friction. Shrink wrap is also an effective method to keep the pallet tight and intact.
  • Specialty or fragile items require additional care. Contact your carrier for recommendations beyond “do not stack” cones and fragile labels.

You can also visit the UPS Packaging Advisor to view customized guidelines for packaging your goods. Or leverage the UPS Package Design and Test Lab to evaluate your current packaging.


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