Parcel Tips: Day 4

We are now on the penultimate day of our parcel packaging guide, and today the focus is on packing materials. Whenever you send a parcel internationally, whether it’s fragile or not, you should get into the habit of filling the rest of the box with quality packing materials to stop the item from sliding around and getting damaged or broken.

The key is to choose lightweight materials to avoid bumping up the weight, and therefore the price, of sending a parcel abroad. Bubble wrap is a favourite, especially if you’re using it to wrap fragile items individually, or less fragile items could be packed with scrunched up newspaper to act as a buffer against the sides of the box.

Small plastic airbags are ideal for very fragile items which need to be kept well away from the sides of the box, or even small empty boxes can be used to reinforce the structure. Polystyrene beads or shapes can be used to fit into unusual spaces, and could be placed inside fragile items such as vases.

It might seem a little odd, but plain popcorn can also work really well! It is light and filled with air, meaning it acts as great protection for your items. Just make sure you mention that it won’t be edible after that long journey!

Parcel Tips: Day 3

We’ve now reached the middle of our week about parcel packaging, and today we’re going to be looking at the addressing and labelling process to ensure the postal service in each country knows where the parcel is going when you post internationally. It’s all very well having a beautifully packaged parcel, but it’s no good if it never makes it to its destination.

Unless you have beautifully clear handwriting, you might want to steer clear of writing the address by hand. If one letter or number is read wrong, it could end up in the wrong place. Instead, it is better to print the address in a large font and clear typeface (such as Arial). You may even want to do this in English and in the local language to make it easier for the local postal service.

If you are sending something fragile or need the box to remain a certain way up whenever possible, write this clearly on each side of the box in English and the language of the destination country so that the instructions are carried throughout the journey.

If you are going to write the address, use a waterproof, smudge-proof pen (such as a biro) rather than  something like a felt tip which can run when it gets wet, making it impossible to read. In any case, using sticky back plastic or something similar can help keep the address intact even if it travels in wet conditions to protect your parcel on its international journey.