Packaging Guidelines and Tips
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Parcel Monkey can help you find a reliable courier to ship your parcel, but it's down to you to prepare the package before it's shipped.
Your parcel will travel with thousands of others through warehouses and sometimes airports, so robust packaging is essential to ensure your item arrives safely.
Unsure how to wrap a package for shipping? Don't worry, we've put together some tips and advice to help you out.
How to wrap a package for shipping
- Package all items in suitable boxes and securely seal using strong parcel tape.
- 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.
*If you are recycling a used cardboard box, please ensure ALL old stickers or labels from previous shipments have been removed, particularly any stickers related to hazardous materials. Packages marked with hazmat stickers may be returned or destroyed, regardless of the content.
- Wrap each item in your box individually, as this will offer better protection during transit and reduce the risk of the contents causing damage to other items in the box.
- Consider using polystyrene, bubble wrap or even newspaper for internal packaging to prevent movement in the box.
- The contents should be ‘fully encased’ by cushioning to prevent direct contact with the outer box.
Please be aware that insufficient packaging can result in Parcel Monkey or the courier partner not being liable for loss or damage so take your time and ensure your items are adequately protected. A comprehensive Parcel Monkey packaging guide can be found here.
When you've placed your order we'll email you the prepaid shipping label. All you need to do is print it off and securely attach it to the outside of your package. If you can't access your email you can also print your shipping labels from your Parcel Monkey account.
Read more on printing and attaching shipping labels.
For international shipments, 3 copies of the customs documents should be affixed to the outside of the package alongside the label. Ideally, these should be placed in a plastic wallet or envelope, but if you don't have one a standard envelope marked 'Customs' will be fine.
For more information on customs, including how long a package takes to clear customs and what to do if your package is held in customs, read our customs advice page.
Weighing your package
Once your package has been prepared it's time to weigh it. Don't be tempted to weigh your item before it's packed as the packaging must be included in the final weight and dimensions.
Couriers use the dimensional weight of your parcel to work out the cost of shipping. This calculation is done automatically when you enter the correct dimensions and weight of your parcel into our shipping calculator.
Things to avoid when shipping a package
- Damaged boxes - Weak boxes do not provide the same level of protection 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.
- Open/unsealed boxes - Make sure your package is properly sealed so nothing can fall out during transit.
- Suitcases - We don't advise that suitcases are used for shipping. The handles and wheels can be damaged, overfilled cases can 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 labels are securely fastened along with any customs documents. Insert a shipping label inside the case too.
When you ship a parcel there are a variety of items which are unsafe to travel through a courier network. To make sure you're aware of these items, we have a prohibited and restricted items list, which has been put together following the advice of our courier partners. When shipping overseas, you should also check any restrictions that apply to the destination country.
Learn more about how to send your package.
Carrier specific packaging restrictions
Some of our carriers have their own packaging restrictions in place and these should be adhered to when using any service from that carrier. Failure to comply could result in your package being returned, so please take note of the following carrier restrictions:
When sending items through TrakPak, customers are prohibited from shipping parcels packaged in plastic containers.