Help and advice

Packaging guidelines

Are your contents packaged correctly?

It’s really important that you package your items well, to keep them safe on their journey. Remember, if your goods are not packaged properly and get damaged you will not be able to claim compensation. These reminders might help you.

Please check that we can accept your parcel

Prohibitions or restrictions might apply to your goods. We also cannot accept parcels that are in breach of sanctions. Please see our prohibitions and restrictions and sanctions pages for full details. For export parcels it is your responsibility to ensure that goods you are sending are not prohibited by governmental or customs legislation in the country of delivery. Please see our country directory pages for more information.

Protect fragile items on their journey

Please pay special attention to packing fragile, large or perishable items. These are easily damaged, and many are not covered by compensation. See our compensation exclusion pages for details. Examples include electrical items, musical instruments, bicycles, car parts, china, glass, foodstuffs and flowers.

Wrap each item individually

Place your items in a rigid cardboard box with sufficient protective internal packaging such as polystyrene chips, polythene foam, bubble wrap or crumpled paper to prevent movement in transit. Multiple items within a parcel should not be touching.

Use strong outer packaging

A corrugated cardboard box with a quality outer wrapping is best. Make sure the outer packaging is strong enough for the weight of the parcel. Items packed in kraft paper cannot be sent via our globalexpress service. Please avoid reusing cardboard boxes because they weaken considerably after initial use.

Seal the parcel well

Seal the parcel well, top and bottom, with plastic or reinforced carton tape, rather than ordinary household tape. Never use string, plastic strapping, shrink wrap or bubble wrap on the outside of your parcel as they can get stuck in our machines.

Please don’t strap boxes together

Put everything in the same box or send separate parcels (all UK services, globalexpress and globalpriority offer competitive consignment pricing when several parcels are going to the same address).

Make sure labels are firmly affixed

Labels glued on to luggage items often become detached. Make sure you attach the label by using a clear plastic envelope and attach this envelope to a handle or strap on the item using a bag tie.

Use clear, accurate addressing

Make sure the recipient’s name, address and postcode are clearly written on the parcel. In addition, write your own name, address, postcode and phone number on the outside and inside of the parcel, in case there are any queries during transit. The phone number of the recipient is also helpful and it’s essential for parcels sent using our international services, where a local phone number for the destination country must be displayed on the outside of the parcel. For globalexpress the telephone numbers of the sender and the recipient must be written on the customs pack.

Correctly completed documentation

Check all documentation is accurately completed to avoid any delay in transit. Make sure the service barcoded labels are securely attached to the parcel and are clearly visible. Customers sending to non-EU destinations will need to declare the parcel contents on the customs pack. For globalexpress this is a requirement for all destinations.

The packaging used must always be in proportion to the weight and size of the item being posted. Our advice for internal and external packaging may not be applicable to all large and/or fragile items for which additional/sufficient packaging should always be used. Please see our packaging guidelines (PDF, 817KB) for more information.

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