How to ship a fragile item through the mail or a package delivery service

Written by tina amo
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How to ship a fragile item through the mail or a package delivery service
Label packaging containing fragile items for special handling. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Fragile items can break easily during the shipping process. You can prevent this by packing the item with strong, protective materials that will minimise movement in the container and by placing appropriate notifications on the container. The United States Postal Service and various package delivery companies also offer services designed to protect fragile packages. These services are not necessary when you pack the item carefully but you may request them for reassurance.

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Things you need

  • Brown packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Masking tape
  • Address label
  • Newspapers or styrofoam peanuts
  • Packing tape, at least 2 inches wide
  • Marker

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  1. 1

    Wrap the fragile item in brown packing paper so that it is completely covered. Wrap a sheet of bubble wrap around the item. Use strips of masking tape to secure the ends. Place an address label that displays your address and the recipient's address on the bubble wrap, in case the box is damaged during shipping. If you do not have an address label, write the addresses on a piece of paper and tape the paper to the bubble wrap.

  2. 2

    Line the box with several layers of cushioning material, such as the brown packing paper, old newspapers, bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts. Ensure that there is enough space left in the box for the item and additional layers of cushioning on top. Use a box that is strong enough to support the weight of the fragile item and the cushioning material.

  3. 3

    Place the wrapped item on top of the cushioning material. Fill the sides of the box with enough of the cushioning material to keep the item immobile. Cover the top of the item with layers of the packing material also.

  4. 4

    Cover the box. Seal the opening and seams with strips of brown or clear packing tape. Use tape that is at least 2 inches wide.

  5. 5

    Write "FRAGILE," in bold letters, on the top and sides of the box. Use a marker. Write "GLASS" also if the item is made of glass.

  6. 6

    Place another address label on top of the box that displays the recipient's address and your address. You may write this information on the box with a marker if you do not have an address label. Write with clear and bold letters. If you use an address label, place a strip of tape over it to protect it from moisture.

  7. 7

    Visit the company's website to determine the shipping cost, based on the weight of the package and the shipping service you need. You can select a service designed for fragile packages. For instance, the USPS offers a "Special Handling" service for unusual packages and those that require careful handling. You may pay the shipping cost and schedule a pickup online or deliver the package to the local post office or package delivery service.

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