How to Pack for International Shipping: A Few Tips and Tricks

How to Pack for International Shipping: A Few Tips and Tricks When you’re shipping internationally, you want your package to get to its destination safe and sound. Sadly, there’s always a risk that an international package might get damaged during transit. To minimize this risk, you should know how to pack for international shipping. By the way, proper packaging might also help you save money, which is something you want because shipping overseas can be quite expensive.

Tip #1. Choose the Right Box

Choosing the right box is important for two reasons. First, it protects the items you’re shipping, so the box should be durable enough to survive a long transit that includes handling in several fulfillment centers. Second, the size and weight of the box affect the shipping cost because most carriers charge for packages based on their gross or dimensional weight, and the latter depends on the size of a package.

To protect the contents of your package and at the same time reduce its weight, you need to use a box that is made of a lightweight but sturdy material. Corrugated cardboard ticks both boxes. It is both stronger and more lightweight than regular cardboard. In addition, corrugated cardboard is reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable, which makes it one of the most eco-friendly packaging materials.

Ideally, you should use a new box, but reusing an old one is also okay, as long as it’s in a good condition and doesn’t have any old markings, stickers, shipping labels, or bar codes. However, you should keep in mind that if you choose flat rate shipping, you are supposed to use a carrier-supplied flat rate box.

What size should the box be? Ideally, it should be a couple of inches larger on all sides, including the top and the bottom, than the items inside the box to make space for packing material. If your box is smaller than that, you won’t be able to protect the items inside with cushioning. If your box is too big, the contents must jostle around despite the cushioning. In addition, the bigger the box, the greater its dimensional weight, which increases the shipping cost.

Tip #2. Remember That Packaging Materials Matter

As we’ve already mentioned above, it is important to protect the items inside the box against the elements, being jostled around, and external impact. There are a lot of packing materials you can use, ranging from crumpled paper to bubble wrap to packing peanuts; choose the one you think is right in your particular situation.

For example, bubble wrap or packing sheets are great for protecting fragile items. Prepackaged items usually don’t need to be wrapped in packing sheets or bubble wrap, but about two inches of cushioning between them and the walls of the delivery box won’t hurt. When shipping several items, make sure you separate them from one another with cushioning or plastic/cardboard partitions so that they don’t bump into each other while in transit.

To make sure that the items won’t move around in the box during transportation, close the box and give it a gentle shake before sealing the package. If you hear any movement, add some more cushioning to keep the contents of the box in place. When you’re sure that the items fit snugly inside the box and won’t shift, seal the box with packing tape, making sure that each seam is covered and reinforced. If you’re shipping fragile items, don’t forget to write an appropriate warning on the box.

Tip #3. Label Your Package Properly

If you want your international shipment delivered to its destination, you need to make sure that it is labeled properly. Sure, you can have your shipping label created by a post office employee, but what if they make a mistake? If you’re the kind of person who likes to take matters in their own hands, you should consider printing prepaid shipping labels online.

prepaid shipping label serves as a proof of postage, an address label, and a customs declaration. When you print it yourself, you can be sure that the addresses of the sender and recipient are correct and that the customs declaration form (a list of items inside the package, which includes their declared value) is properly filled out. In addition, printing your shipping labels online helps save money. For example, PostageMaker offers discounted shipping rates that are up to 25% lower than carriers’ rates.

We recommend to print two copies of your shipping label. Attach one copy to the box using glue or packing take as you’re supposed to, and place the other inside the box before sealing it in case something happens to the “main” shipping label.