Packing Guidelines

When packing a box, consider these principles. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us; we’ll be glad to help.

  • Use a rigid carton with flaps intact
  • Wrap items separately
  • Use adequate cushioning material
  • Use strong tape designed for shipping
  • Do not use string or paper over-wrap
  • Use a single address label that has a clear, complete delivery and return address

Step-by-step procedures

1.   Use a corrugated box. For best results, use a new box large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents. Remove any labels or other shipment markings from the box. Never exceed the maximum gross weight for the box, which is usually printed on the bottom flap.

2.   Provide internal protection. To properly cushion the contents of your package, wrap each item separately. Fragile articles need to be protected from each other and separated from the corners and sides of the box to prevent damage. Various materials can be used for cushioning and protection, including:

  • Air-encapsulated plastic (bubble pack)
  • Expanded polystyrene “peanuts” (may not be suitable for heavy products that can shift while in transport)
  • Foam-in-place (a foam sprayed into boxes to form a protective mold around contents)
  • Corrugated dividers
  • Paper (crumpled craft paper or newspaper)

Use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents won’t move easily when the box is shaken. Note: Fragile objects require special packaging for safe shipment.

3.   Close it securely. Proper closure is just as important as adequate cushioning. For best results, use one of these types of tape:

  • Pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced tape
  • Water-activated paper tape. Use 60-pound grade tape at least three inches wide
  • Apply three strips to both the top and bottom of the box
  • Water-activated reinforced tape. Similar to plain paper tape, except that reinforcing fibers have been added for strength
  • This tape requires only two center seam strips, in contrast to the six strips necessary for paper tape

Do not use masking tape, cellophane tape, string, or paper over-wrap.

4.   Use proper labeling. For fast and efficient delivery, keep these points in mind when labeling your package:

  • Always include the receiver’s postal code with the complete street address. For international shipments, include a contact name and telephone number
  • When addressing to a Rural Route destination, provide the recipient’s telephone number on the label
  • Include the apartment or unit number, if applicable
  • Place the shipping label on the top of the box. To avoid confusion, place only one address label on the box. If using a packing slip, place it on the same surface of the box as the address label
  • Do not place the label over a seam or closure or on top of sealing tape
  • Remove or cross out old address labels or markings on a used box
  • Always include your complete return address, including full street address and postal code. For international shipments, include contact name and phone number
  • For added protection, place a duplicate label or other form of identification inside the package