9 Tips to Ship Anything Fragile for Your Business

9 Tips for Shipping Fragile Items for Your Business

Shipping isn’t normally considered to be one of the most exciting parts of running an eCommerce business. So preparing fragile items for shipping can be especially burdensome. But there are some things you can do to ensure the safe delivery of your fragile products. Here are some tips for shipping fragile items for your business.

Tips for Shipping Fragile Items

Order Packaging in the Right Size

The box or vessel that you use to house your fragile items is one of the most important means you have to protect it during shipping. In most cases, actual boxes instead of envelopes or mailers will be preferable when it comes to shipping products that could be potentially breakable. But you’ll also need to make sure that you purchase boxes that are the right size for your products. Ideally, you’ll want to choose boxes that are large enough to fit some protective wrapping around your product, but not so large that the wrapped product will bounce around the inside of the box as it’s being handled.

Get Enough Wrapping Materials

That’s where the wrapping materials come in. In many cases, you’ll want to have some bubble wrap or a similar protective material to wrap around your products, making sure that you cover each surface and section. If you have uniquely shaped items, large boxes or more than one product that you need to fit into a box, you might also need some packing peanuts to fill the rest of the box, in addition to the protective wrapping around the product itself.

Protect Items from the Elements

When you think about threats to your fragile products, you probably picture your boxes being thrown around, dropped or mishandled in some way. But rough handling isn’t the only way that your fragile items can get damaged in the shipping process. Rain, puddles of standing water and other elements can also threaten their safe delivery. Plastic bags or shrink-wrap can be great in those circumstances to prevent any moisture or other potentially harmful elements from getting to your products and ruining them.

Attach the Wrapping Securely

The protective packing materials you choose to wrap around your products to keep them safe can vary based on the types of items. But the one thing that doesn’t change is the fact that you need those protective materials to actually stay put throughout the entire shipping process if you want your product to arrive in one piece. For that reason, you’ll probably want to use packing tape, bags that zip closed or other secure packing materials to really keep your wrappings in place until your package reaches its destination.

Don’t Wrap Items Too Tightly

While it’s important to wrap materials securely, it’s also critical to avoid wrapping your items too tightly. Doing so can potentially put a lot of pressure on fragile items like glassware or antiques. And that pressure can actually make it more likely for those items to break during the shipping process. Instead, try to wrap your items in a secure but loose fashion. The specifics can change based on the size and style of the product, but just try to avoid putting too much tension on items when you wrap them.

Seal the Box Closed

Once you’re happy with how you’ve wrapped the item inside your box or package, you’ll need to seal the actual box itself. Don’t skimp on tape. Otherwise, if your package comes open during the shipping process, all that hard work you put into wrapping that fragile item will be for naught. Instead, use high quality packing tape and cover all potential openings on all sides of the box.

Add More Wrapping for Distance

It’s a basic law of shipping — the farther your package has to travel, the more it is going to be handled. That means that if you’re shipping internationally or to a location that’s pretty far away, your package will have plenty of opportunity to be dropped or mishandled. So in those instances, you might want to add an extra layer of wrapping or tape just to make extra sure your items are going to remain secure throughout the whole trip.

Label Your Package

Even if you’ve wrapped your items and secured your box really well, the people handling your packages don’t necessarily know that your items are fragile unless you tell them so. You can make it really easy for them by labeling your package as fragile on every side so that no matter how someone grabs the box, they’ll see your label. If you ship a lot of fragile items for your business, you might even consider investing in a stamp to use on all of your packages.

Consider Insurance

No matter how careful you are in wrapping your items, you can’t control every single aspect of their shipping journey once they’ve  left your care. So issues are bound to arise every now and then. If your fragile items are valuable or irreplaceable, you should strongly consider insuring them so that you won’t be put in a bad situation if something unfortunate does happen during shipping.

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Are there any tips you can think of that have been left out. If so, please leave them in the comment section and share the with the community.

Shipping Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. I think that wrapping materials should be computed along with inventory especially if you do shipping regularly.

  2. I can understand how a business could really benefit from making sure that their products can be transported easier and there won’t be any problems. Getting some help from a professional could be really useful and make sure that they have the right trailers to move everything. I liked what you said about how he needs the right protective materials but packing tape can help keep wrappings in place till they arrive.

  3. Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. This topic has interesting and solid content.

  4. This is a great point that the size of the packaging box matters a lot to ship a fragile item. Most people ignore this but having perfect size is the key point to ship safely. I love your article’s simple and precise tips. Keep sharing