How to Pack Fragile Items vs. non-Fragile Merchandise in 14 Steps

Shipping items securely starts with proper packaging. Some handy materials to have around would be a couple of large shipping boxes, polystyrene packaging peanuts, packing tape (best in a tape gun or tape dispenser), bubble wrap and some fragile or this-side-up stickers if relevant.

Packing a non-fragile item:

  • Find a box of proper qualities with enough strength, weight, puncture resistance etc. characteristics.
  • Put the box together – shipping boxes normally come flat. Build the box and secure bottom and sides with packing tape.
  • Place 3/16’ bubble wrap around item and secure with tape so that it does not slide out of its plastic home while in motion
  • Create a foundation in the box on bottom with about an inch of packaging polystyrene peanuts
  • Place item in
  • Cover with an additional layer of packing peanuts
  • Seal box with packing tape

Packing a fragile item:

This process is similar to when you ordered your laptop online and it came double boxed. In other words, the laptop itself was in the manufacturer’s corrugated cardboard box. The online retailer then placed it in another larger shipping box and delivered to your door.

All steps from above remain plus the following which are in addition:

  • The smaller cardboard box should go in a larger shipping container and allow for 3 inches of insulation material on either side between the external and the internal boxes. Get a box relevant to your sizes.
  • Place packaging peanuts on the bottom of the larger box – enough to match the 3-inch rule above.
  • Position smaller box in
  • Use void or loose fill to compensate room on the side it relevant. Larger bubble wrap is usually fit for purpose here.
  • Cover the contents of the large shipping box with more polystyrene packaging peanuts. Push gently on the peanuts until they naturally lock the smaller box in.
  • Seal the external box with packing tape and label properly
  • Place fragile stickers

This second method of box in a box is sometimes criticized for over packaging. While this is indeed true, it is also true that the smaller boxes in this shipping duo can be easily reused and cardboard boxes are typically recycled and remanufactured. This shipping style is known to deliver safe and sound to customers and should be preferred to any single box packaging solution.