Packing Fragile Items for Shipping vs. Moving

Packing items for UPS, FedEx, DHL and freight carriers is different from packing for moving companies. Moving companies typically pick up household items at one location and drive them to the destination without any unloading or reloading along the way. The recommended packing for moving fragile items is well documented by various moving companies like United Van Lines and Two Men And A Truck. This method incorporates sturdy corrugated boxes, packing tape, and lots of packing paper. Items are individually wrapped in the paper and cushioned in the box with additional wadded up paper. 

Domestic standards for packing fragile items for shipping are set by the carriers – UPS and FedEx. The shipped boxes are loaded and unloaded multiple times and ride on conveyor belts at the carrier facilities. The packaging standards include a minimum of two inches of cushioning – bubble wrap and packing peanuts or Styrofoam, not paper – around all of the fragile item’s dimensions. For example, a fragile glass bowl measuring 8”x 8”x8” would require, at a minimum, a 12”x12”x12” box. If the item is valued under $200 and is easily replaced, that box with appropriate cushioning is sufficient. If the item carries a higher value or is one of a kind and not replaceable and/or sentimental, it would be double-boxed in a 12”x12”x12” inner box and a 16”x16”x16” outer box, each with two inches of appropriate cushioning.

In the event of a damage claim with a shipping carrier, the outer box is examined for visible damage. If there is no damage to the outside of the box, the carrier representatives will examine the inner package to ensure standards have been met. Any questions? Visit the professionals at your local packing and shipping store.