Maybe that crystal decanter seemed like a good idea for Auntie Flora’s birthday at the time. Or maybe you got swept away by the pound signs stacking up when you were selling your antique mantelpiece clock on an auction site and didn’t think about how you’d actually get it to its buyer in Germany. It can be difficult to know how best to package your fragile objects to send them overseas, so we’ve put together some tips to ensure it arrives in one piece.
The first thing is to make sure the item is secure in its box. Don’t leave it rattling around in a massive container where it can bang against the sides and get damaged. Ideally, you want the box to be as tight a fit as possible, but obviously this isn’t always realistic. If you find you have lots of space left around your item and don’t have a smaller container, you’ll need to pad it out a bit.
The best way to do this is with bubble wrap – the smaller the bubbles the better – or some heavy-duty packing foam. This comes in two forms: as a sheet or in individual foam shapes. Use as many of these as you can fit in the box to keep the object still. If necessary, tape your foam sheet or bubble wrap around the object.
If your product still needs to be stabilised, use some spare cardboard cut to fit snugly around the object to wedge it into one of the corners of the box. The less it can move, the less damage can be done. Just be careful not to go overboard and crush your item while you’re wrapping it!
If you want to be super cautious for a really delicate object, you might even want to put that box inside a second box to minimise the risk of the item inside being damaged in transit. You could further protect the inner box with more foam, or with layers of scrunched-up paper. What you want to do is minimise the impact any knocks to the exterior of the package will have on its contents.
Finally, make sure it’s taped thoroughly with strong parcel tape along all its edges. Pay special attention to the flaps at the top of the box, and make sure they’re sealed all the way along. Corners have a tendency to take quite a bashing on the move, so reinforce these with extra tape if you think it’s necessary. Write the recipient’s name and address in a non-smudge pen in clear letters, and maybe tape it under some sticky back plastic to keep it waterproof. Write ‘FRAGILE’ on each side of the package, and tie some string around the box like a bow around a present for a final method of reinforcement, and you’re good to go!
Fleur Pablo has owned a business for 20 years and often deals with clients overseas, and blogs about the issues that can arise and how to tackle them.