Shipping heavy items can be a challenge due to the requirements of protecting and packaging the parcel. Not using the correct packaging for a heavy item is a mistake that is commonly made and can impact how efficiently it is protected during transit.
The first step in packaging a heavy item is to select a box that is stapled or stitched together at the seams. If the box is just glued, folded, or taped, then it is most likely that anything heavy inside will break the seams once it moves around.
- You can double check the strength of a box by looking at the Box Makers Certificate. This shows the gross weight limit and the size limit and is usually located on the bottom flap of the box.
- It is important to use boxes that are brand new and have not been used before – older boxes that have been used before are most likely not at their full strength.
When you add filler material to the inside of the box, you have to take into account the fact that the weight of the item may crush it – in this case, it’s best to select a dense material.
- Good cushioning materials for a heavy item would include engineered foam or corrugated board that is customised to the size of the item.
- Filler material such as crumpled paper or expanded polystyrene packing peanuts will simply get crushed under the weight of the heavy item.
Seal the box with a reinforced heavy duty tape. Normal sticky tape is designed for materials such as paper envelopes or thin cardboard, not heavy duty packaging with heavy items inside.
- Be sure to add 3 long strips along the top and the bottom of the box, making sure that all of the open seams are closed and cannot be opened, even with force.
It is a good idea to consider adding a second box which contains the item and sits inside the outer box. This leaves an empty space for air pillows, which add extra protection and stops as much movement if the item(s) inside the inner box.
- If you leave at least 2 inches between the inner box and the outer box then it will help prevent the inner box taking any damage, even if the outside one is damaged.
To finish of the packaging process of a heavy item, be sure to give the box a good shake after the parcel is sealed. This is to make sure things do not move around inside of the box. If you hear anything rattling around inside of the box, you should add more filler to stop the movement.
- Undo the packaging and find the loose piece/area before repacking and trying again.
Overall heavy items are more likely to be damage when they move along the supply chain and packaging them properly means that they will be able to withstand transit with much less risk of damage.