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.

The information below is a shortened version of our packaging guidelines which are available to download as PDF.

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.

Strong outer packaging

Always box your items. Use a rigid cardboard box, making sure it is strong enough for the weight of the contents. Musical instruments should be sent in a hard case. Never use soft cases or jiffy bags to send tablets, laptops or similar fragile electrical goods. Items packed in kraft paper cannot be sent via our globalexpress service.

Protective internal packaging

Ensure there is no space in your parcel for contents to move e.g. use polystyrene chips to fill any voids. Packaging material must be sufficiently strong, e.g.bubble wrap or paper will not protect heavy items. Electrical items and computers must be protected by thick rigid packaging e.g. polystyrene surrounds. Fragile items should be individually packaged and boxed then placed in a larger box.

Sealing the parcel

Always 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. Never strap boxes / parcels together. Put everything in the same box or send as separate parcels (we offer competitive consignment pricing when several parcels are going to the same address).

Labelling of goods (luggage)

Labels glued on to luggage items can become detached. Put the label in a clear plastic envelope and attach this to a handle or strap on the item using a bag tie.

“Fragile” and “this way up” labelling

Labelling an item as fragile is not a substitute for adequate packaging. Fragile items e.g. glass, ceramic, stone, plaster etc. must always be suitably packaged to avoid damage from being stacked with other items. We do not guarantee the orientation of items sent on our services.

Clear, accurate addressing

Make sure the recipient’s name, Address, postcode and phone number are clearly written on the outside of the parcel and if possible included inside. Also, 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. Please include a local phone number for international destinations, e.g. not a UK mobile number. For international services 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’s contents on the customs pack. For globalexpress this is a requirement for all destinations.

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