Tips for Mailing Fragile Items Internationally

A cardboard box used to ship goods or items with stickers all over it marked Fragile telling the handler or delivery service to handle the package with care

International shipping can be a mission, and even more so when fragile items are involved. Whether you’re shipping internationally for business reasons or as a personal act of kindness, you’ll want your delicate item to arrive fully in-tact.

No matter the distance it has to travel, there are several areas of handling your fragile package must withstand. If you’re looking at mailing fragile items internationally here are a few simple tips and packaging ideas to ensure it arrives in its original condition…

Safety Tips on Mailing Fragile Items Internationally

If you’ve spent a significant amount on an item which requires international shipping, paying that little bit extra to ensure it arrives safely could make all the difference.

While sending fragile items overseas always involves a certain amount of risk, there are precautions you can take:

1. Choose the Appropriate Box for Shipping

When it comes to handle with care items, the box you choose for your shipping makes a world of difference.

You will need to take into consideration that you’re paying for weight when shipping internationally. So choose a box that’s both lightweight yet sturdy.

A strong box with triple layer corrugated walls is sure to keep your fragile item safe during the many handling processes of international shipping.

Heavier boxes are not always the better option, besides, you’ll end up paying unnecessarily for extra weight.

2. Carefully Examine Fragile Areas

Before placing your delicate item in its box for shipping you may want to examine it for particularly fragile areas which may need extra padding.

If you’re mailing an item such as a delicate statue, lamp, ornament or antique there will no doubt be areas which are more likely to break than others.

Any part of a fragile item that is thin, dainty, very pointy or sharp is at risk of either becoming bent or snapping during international shipping.

Make an effort to wrap these parts with protective coverings such as strips of bubble wrap which are taped, then wrapped again. You want to ensure these particularly fragile areas are as flush with the rest of the piece as possible.

3. Beef Up the Padding

Once the very delicate or dainty areas of your item have been secured, it’s time to ramp up the packaging inside your shipping box.

Try and choose a box that is little over-sized for your item so that you can fill the empty space around it with sufficient padding.

Filling up this space helps to keep your fragile item in place, without being exposed to too much movement during its long international trip.

You can use any form of packaging filler for this task including packaging chips, old newspaper, bubble wrap, foam, and others.

Just make sure your packaging filler does not weigh down your box too heavily otherwise you may have to pay for additional weight!

4. Consider Different Packing Materials

Some of the most commonly-used packaging materials include:

  • Bubble Wrap

As one of the most affordable packaging materials, bubble wrap is best used to protect lightweight items. Use it multiple layers for the best forms of protection.

  • Air Bags

These are ideal for filling empty spaces around your fragile product within the shipping box. Ideal for lightweight items without sharp edges or corners.

Keep in mind extreme fluctuations in temperature could affect their efficacy during shipping.

  • Polystyrene Chips

These are also best-used to fill empty spaces in shipping boxes, ideal for smaller, lightweight items. However, don’t use these for flat or very narrow items which are likely to slide about in the box.

Polystyrene chips are not ideal for shipping electronics as the static electricity created by this material could affect the function of your item.

  • Engineered Foam

This is a foam enclosure specially designed to fit around your fragile item to ensure all corner and edges are protected.

This engineered foam is normally manufactured from expanded polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene or copolymers.

  • Foam-in-Place

Similar to engineered foam, this product can be either sprayed into your box or mixed in a packet which expands to form a protective mold.

This foam is available in different types of densities so it’s important to choose the best density for the weight and size of your item.

  • Corrugated Inserts

These corrugated inserts are usually made from cardboard and can fit into your shipping box to provide additional support or protection for fragile items.

5. Clearly Mark Your Parcel as Fragile

This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s actually an easy step to overlook! Make sure you clearly mark your parcel as fragile before relying on others to transport it.

You can either write the words ”fragile” in big, bold marker or purchase a stamp which you can use to mark all over the exterior of the box.

Draw direction arrows so that the shipping company knows which way items must face during handling and in-transit.

6. Get Shipping Insurance

This step is not always necessary but if you are particularly worried about the handling of your item, then shipping insurance could put your mind at ease.

Mailing fragile products internationally may cost you a fair bit, but having insurance to cover any potential damage could help you in the long run.

This is especially important if you’re shipping a delicate item to a customer.

Shipping insurance will cover product damage and you won’t have to fork out on reimbursing your customer.

7. Double Check all Essential Information

Before your parcel is handed over to the shipping company, do a check of all essential information you’ve placed on the item.

Make sure to double check that addresses and names are spelled 100% correctly, small errors can end up in lost packages and unnecessary expense.

Don’t forget to add a return address to your parcel as well. This way, if your package doesn’t reach its final destination, it can at least be sent back to you.

Looking For Professional Shipping Services?

At Gilbert USA, we are specialists with over 70 years’ in the logistics industry – experts in mailing fragile items internationally.

We provide logistical solutions to companies of all sizes across the United States and the globe. With the latest technology and innovations in delivery, you can be rest-assured your package will arrive fully in-tact and on time.

If you’re looking for true professionals to handle your shipping, contact us today for a quote!