How Small Businesses Can Effectively Ship Fragile Items Abroad

Thanks to the rise of ecommerce websites international trade has grown from strength to strength over the last few years. Now anyone can become an international trader with very few difficulties standing in their way, meaning a significant growth in start-ups and SMEs.  One of the main concerns for anyone sending goods overseas is ensuring it has a safe journey and arrives in time and in perfect condition for the recipient.shipping

Fragile items do need some extra care when being shipped abroad, an obvious point you may think but many people fail to package these breakable items in suitable packaging. By failing to do so the risk of items being broken is extremely high. Therefore it is worth following the tips below just to make sure that every fragile item you send in the future is appropriately packed.

Choosing the Right Packing Materials

There are all sorts of boxes, sleeves, envelopes to choose from. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest but you need to be looking for the strongest one that will keep your items safe. Your parcel will be handled many times, moved from various different vehicles and travel by sea or air with many other boxes. It could be stacked high or placed at the bottom and have boxes placed on top of it – so the container you use needs to be sturdy enough to withstand all of this motion and pressure. Make sure that you avoid using an oversized box; you item must be cushioned inside the box so that it sits safely in the middle and is not be touching the sides of the box.

When using any international parcel delivery service it is essential that you pack up your items appropriately.  If you are not sure of the best way to pack up your specific items be safe and ask your couriers for advice.

Tip: If you are not sure if the box will be strong enough consider double boxing to be on the safe side.

Packing the Item

Once you have the box or container sorted out you’ll need to package up the item so it is secure inside. You want to ensure that the item is unable to move inside to reduce the risk of damage. Wrap your goods with a suitable material such as bubble wrap and secure with tape.  Put it into the box and if there is still too much room add another layer and another until it has a secure fit. Fill in all the empty spaces with parcel peanuts or similar product so there is no free space.

Tip: If you are sending more than one item wrap it separately, and if the other item is a different weight, then use a separate box for this item.

Sealing the Parcel

Use a strong packaging tape to secure the box and add the tape to the seams of the box to be extra safe.  Give the box a gentle shake and double check that you cannot feel or hear anything moving inside. Make it clear that the parcel contains a fragile item by clearly marking the outside with ‘Handle with Care’ and ‘Fragile’.   Complete the necessary documents to attach to the parcel and check that the address is clearly visible on the package.

Tip: Check the insurance of your courier and delivery service to see what cover is available for damaged goods in transit.

About Iain Aitchison

Iain Aitchison is an avid business and finance writer, with a particular interest contemporary eCommerce and the potential afforded to businesses by easy to use international courier services.  He is currently compiling writing for his own blog, to be launched later this year.