Packaging Guidelines and Tips
Parcel Monkey is happy to help you find a reliable courier for all your cross-border shipping needs, however, it is down to the sender to prepare the package before it is shipped.
This is a vital part of the process of shipping either domestically or internationally, as couriers use vast networks and your package will be in transit with thousands of others going through airports, depots, and warehouses.
If you follow our packaging advice closely, it will provide you with a guide to follow to make sure there will be no issues. Once you have packaged your items, choose a reliable courier service to ship with.
Remember it is the sender's responsibility to reduce the chance of damage in transit, courier networks are huge carrying masses of parcels so be sure to pack your items as best you can to reduce the risk of any issues. SSS
Some quick packaging tips to help ensure that your items arrive in perfect condition:
- Packing all items in suitable boxes and securely sealing them using strong parcel tape will enable the couriers to process items more efficiently and without delay.
- Heavy duty or corrugated cardboard boxes should be used for shipping, ideally new ones. For additional protection double box the item by placing one box inside the other
- Use strong tape around edges of boxes and packets to prevent damage.
- Triangular boxes are excellent for tube-shaped objects. Any side can be used as a stable base and the other two sides provide suitable surfaces to locate the barcoded address label.
- It is advisable to send any items with ‘display packaging’ in an outer box.
- Wrap each item in your box individually as this will offer better protection of the items whilst in transit, this will reduce the risk of the contents causing damage to other items in the box.
- Consider using polystyrene, bubble wrap, and foam wrapping for internal packaging to prevent movement in the box.
- The contents should be ‘fully encased’ by cushioning to prevent movement within the outer packaging and direct contact with an external surface.
Don't think that just because your package is being shipped Next Day that you don't need any extra packaging. An extra few minutes wrapping and securing your item can save an hour or more sorting out a claim with the protection cover policy that often comes with a delivery order. A comprehensive Parcel Monkey packaging guideline list can be found here.
Shipping labels are highly important to attach correctly as they contain all the vital delivery information. Make sure you take the following steps to label your package correctly as per the advice from global delivery experts DHL below.
- To prevent confusion we recommend all old labels are removed - this can cause the courier's confusion. Dangerous goods labels left on boxes can mean goods are held or sent back. Old address labels or customs documents may mislead drivers or people handling the parcel.
- Your products will have a reduced risk of damage if you use suitable packaging. Fragile labels are no substitute for the correct packaging.
- Shiny surfaces- Please place the address label on the top of any shrink wrap, and not underneath it. The same applies to Sellotape, cellophane and other similar shiny surfaces as these create a reflection that the scanners cannot always see through to read the barcode.
- Positioning the barcode address label - Place the label on a flat area, preferably on the top surface of the parcel. This will help ensure the barcode, on the address label can be read the first time. All of the labels must be placed flat, i.e. without creases, on just one side of the package. It is advised labels are not positioned over the joins of a box or round corners.
- Ensure that the shipping label address details cannot be smudged or liable to water damage
For some of our services like DHL eCommerce, the label will only have the delivery address in the USA which is our sorting facility. When your package arrives here, the international label will be added and your package shipped overseas.
For international shipments, a minimum of 3 invoices should be affixed to the outside of the package alongside the label. They should be placed in a plastic wallet or envelope. If you do not have one of these you can attach an envelope marked as 'Customs' and attach this securely to the outside of the box. We have further Customs Advice available to ensure you can ship packages internationally with no problems.
Weighing your package
Once your package has been prepared it is then time to weigh it. Do not weigh the contents before you package it as by the time you have packed it the box will be bigger and could be heavier too. The couriers use dimensional weight to work out the cost of shipping, so this is built into our shipping calculator but it does rely on the sender providing the correct package details.
Things to avoid when shipping a package
- Damaged boxes - weak boxes do not provide the same level of protection for your products as good quality boxes.
- Creased boxes/barcodes. The surfaces of damaged or weak boxes are often creased. This increases the likelihood of the barcode on the address label being creased too, which may prevent tracking through our network.
- Unboxed items - All items must be suitably packaged for transit through a delivery network that can sometimes span the globe!
- Open/unsealed boxes - Products sent with an open or unsealed side present a risk for items to fall out or for small items to fall in.
- Suitcases - often used to ship personal belongings like clothing - whilst they can be used we do not advise that they are. The handles and wheels can be damaged, overfilled cases can be split and frequently the shipping labels or customs documentation can be detached causing items to be lost. If you do use a suitcase ensure all handles are taped down, there are no wheels on the case and that labels are securely fastened to the box along with any Customs Documents. Insert a shipping label inside the case too. Please, note insufficient packaging can result in Parcel Monkey or the courier partner not being liable for loss or damage.
We have an extensive prohibited & restricted items list which is built upon from the advice of our courier partners who actually courier the goods. When shipping overseas, you should also check the destinations lists too.
Some items to avoid posting include;
• Lithium batteries by air
• Alcoholic beverages
• Perishable items
• Animals, animal parts, livestock, and insects
• Cashiers or travellers cheques
• Cigarettes (tobacco and tobacco products)
• Credit or debit cards
• Drugs (prescription and medicines)
• Important documents (passports, tenders,
share and option certificates)
• Jewellery or valuable items of wear
• Money orders
• Negotiable instruments in bearer form
• Plants (including living plants, parts of plants,
fruits, vegetables and seeds)
• Precious stones or metals
• Unprotected furniture
• Weapons, explosives and munitions
If you want to learn more about how to then send your package we have some useful shipping advice.