Dec 8, 2020 by Alliance Relocation

Shipping Breakables Takes Important Knowledge and Preparation

Shipping Breakables

When you ship breakables, you will need to make choices such as the size of the box and how to wrap the items to prevent damage. You will need to consider the following steps:

  • Choose a well-built, right-sized box
  • Select the appropriate packaging material
  • Combine multiple packages into a shipping crate
  • Consider buying shipping insurance for your fragile items
  • Decide which filler material to use

Your specific situation will determine the answers to these questions. Making these decisions based on your specific situation will ensure your shipment’s safety.

Tips for Shipping Breakables

1. Select the correct box. Damage to boxes and movement of items within a box are a common cause of broken products. You can avoid this mistake by carefully selecting the right box.

Two of the key factors of ensuring that you have the right box for your fragile items is size and quality.

Size- Using a box that is too small or too large can cause problems. Packing your items too tightly can cause contact between items within the box. Leaving too much room can cause unwanted movement of products within the box. The best practice is to leave 1-2 inches around all sides of the items that will be placed in the box. This includes leaving room on the top and bottom as well. This leaves the correct space for the appropriate amount of packaging material.

Quality- Shipping and moving can quickly become expensive. This can lead to trying to find free or cheap alternatives in some cases. Getting free boxes is one of the most common routes to keeping costs low. In most cases, this is fine. However, be sure to double check the quality of the box when getting them for free. Free boxes have sometimes been used over and over and are nowhere near their original quality.

2. Wrap the item correctly. A few layers of bubble wrap can help protect your shipment. Packaging with bubble wrap and other layers of packing materials takes some skill.

Things to keep in mind when wrapping a fragile item for shipping include:

Is the item hollow with a hole in the middle? Fill the void with tissue paper or crumpled newspaper to protect it during shipping.
Before wrapping with foam wrap or bubble wrap, cover your item with a layer of tissue paper or newspaper. Secure the paper with packing tape.
For optimum protection, wrap one or two layers of bubble wrap around the item. Secure the bubble wrap with packing tape.
Some items have pre-sized packing materials. Dishes and glasses for example have foam pouches that fit most standard sizes. These may be an additional cost, but the cost is minimal compared to replacing your items.

3. Avoid wrapping the item too tightly. Packing breakables takes a little skill. Wrapping your items in bubble wrap or cling wrap can protect them during shipping. However, wrapping them too tight can put too much pressure on a fragile item. Too much pressure on fragile items like antiques or glassware may increase the risk of breakage.

4. Use Cardboard dividers when appropriate. If you’re packing multiple items in one box, you should consider cardboard box dividers. These securely separate your items from coming into direct contact with one another. You’ll still need to be sure that items are individually wrapped and protected.

5. Use the appropriate packing material. Even though your items are individually protected, you will further protect them will filler materials. You have options to choose from when it comes to what material you want to use to fill this space. Packing peanuts, foam board, newspaper, and towels are just a few of the choices.

6. Pack the box in a balanced way. Before you tape off and close your box, make sure the weight is balanced. Boxes that are unevenly balanced are prone to falling and causing damage to the packed items.damaging your fragile items. Pick up your box and move it from side to side to see if it shifts too much in any direction. Do the same on a flat surface. If the box isn’t balanced appropriately, reorganize the items within or place them in a different box.

7. Use a professionally constructed shipping crate. Using a shipping crate can have some important benefits depending on your shipment. In fact, you should consider having the crating company professionals wrap your items for maximum protection. Again, it may cost a little more, but weigh the cost against replacing your items.

The benefits of using a shipping crate include:

Protection- Placing your secured fragile items into a shipping crate makes your items safer. Using a strong, secure shipping crate decreases the chance of damage to your valuable items.

Potential Cost Savings- If you have multiple shipments, you will likely save money by combining them into one shipment. If you shipped multiple boxes separately, you would end up paying much more in shipping costs. Alliance Relocation Services is able to provide one low cost that includes your crate and the shipping cost.

Handleability- For you or your recipient, you may want to simplify the handling process of your fragile items. Consolidating your shipment into a crate that sits on a pallet makes the handling process much simpler.

Liability and Handleability are actually two factors that determine the freight class of a shipment. The freight class of a shipment ultimately determines the shipping rate.

8. Label your fragile items. As you wrap and pack your items, make a list of each item. Then always mark the box or crate as fragile.

Once you’ve finished packing all of your breakables, don’t forget to mark your box or crate as fragile. Consider labeling each side of your shipment. Labeling your package as fragile may give you more recourse with the shipping company if your item arrives damaged

9. Insure valuable breakables. Even with the best packing, accidents can happen. Alliance Relocation Services recommends considering shipping insurance. Weigh the cost of the insurance with the replacement or repair expense in case of damage or irreparable breakage.

The types of fragile and breakable items you might want to ship can vary. Breakables commonly shipped with Alliance Relocation Services can include:

  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • China
  • Electronics
  • Porcelain
  • Crystal
  • Home medical equipment
  • Statues

To learn more about shipping these specific items, take a look at a couple of our other articles on shipping your personal treasures. Then give us a call for a free consultation and quote. Our number is 877-242-0409. We look forward to hearing from you.

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