Packing Advice for Sending a Parcel

To keep your items safe on their journey, make sure they are properly packaged up. Otherwise, they could get damaged in transit, and you will not be able to claim compensation. So that your parcel arrives at its destination in one piece, read up on our top packaging tips.

Use a box with 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. Avoid re-using cardboard boxes as they weaken considerably after initial use.

Wrap each item individually

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

Seal the parcel well

Seal the parcel well on the top and bottom, and along all the edges, using parcel tape 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 these can get stuck in our machines.

Please don’t strap boxes together

We don’t accept boxes that have been strapped together, so to make sure your parcel arrives at its destination safely and efficiently, put everything in the same box or send separate parcels.

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 exclusions page for details). Examples include electrical items, musical instruments, china, glass, foodstuffs and flowers.

Guitars and brass instruments

Must be placed in a sealable hard case designed for the instrument. The case must be then packaged for protection and placed in a strong cardboard box. Guitars must not be despatched in trapezoid cardboard boxes alone. These are not designed for, and are not suitable as protection through our network. Please note that leather or cloth cases do not provide adequate protection, especially for string instruments such as guitars. Please note that if the instrument hard case is used as the external packaging, then the case itself will be treated as packaging rather than contents. As a result, the case will not be covered for compensation in the event of damage. We recommend any instrument strings be loosened or removed before sending.

We’ve created useful guides about how to send bikes and how to send car parts, as these can be tricky to package too.

The original retail packaging is a good starting point for covering electrical items, but further protection will usually be needed. If suitcases or outer hard cases are used as outer packaging, then that outer packaging will not be covered for damage.

Packing large and awkwardly shaped items

Make sure you are aware of what constitutes a large parcel before you send, as this could affect delivery options and prices. Find out more about our large parcel delivery services.

Make sure labels are firmly attached

Labels glued on to luggage items may fall off. Instead, insert your label into a clear plastic envelope and attach it to a handle or strap on your package using a bag tie.

Use clear, accurate addressing

Make sure the recipient’s name, address and post code are clearly written on the parcel. You should also write your own name, address, post code and phone number on the outside and inside of the parcel, in case there are any issues during transit. The phone number of the recipient is also helpful and is essential for any parcels sent using our international services, where a local phone number for the destination country must be displayed on the outside of the package.

Correctly completed documentation

Check all documentation is accurately completed to avoid any delay in transit. Make sure barcoded labels are securely attached to the parcel and are clearly visible. Bear in mind that customers sending to non-EU destinations will need to declare the parcel contents on the customs pack.

Please check that we can accept your parcel

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

The packaging used must always be suitable for 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, so make sure enough packaging is used where necessary.