How to Pack Fragile Items for Safe Shipping

When you’ve worked hard on perfecting a product, you want to be sure it arrives in pristine condition. But sometimes shipping fragile items feels like a leap of faith. The hard truth is; shipping companies are rarely liable for damage, which means it’s your responsibility to take good care of your items.

It should come as no surprise that we think corrugated cardboard is the best packaging for fragile items. It’s a strong material that is easily customisable and eco-friendly. To help safeguard your products in transit, no matter how fragile they may be, here are our top tips for fragile box packaging. 

Examples of fragile items

Before we dive in with the tips, we thought it was a good idea to define fragile items a bit better. A generally accepted definition is anything which may be easily broken, scratched or deformed during transport.

Some of the most common fragile items that businesses deliver include:

  • Glass bottles for wine, oils, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
  • Mirrors and picture frames
  • Technology like TVs, computers and gaming devices
  • Tiles and similar building materials
  • Musical instruments
  • Ceramics, crystal or other delicate home décor
  • Candles and similar handmade products
  • Chemical products which could be hazardous if broken

Looking at this list, it’s easy to see how varied fragile products can be. Some of these have packaging made just for them – such as wine bottle boxes or folder boxes for mirrors and frames. Others require a custom fit.

If you have a fragile product to send, the best way to get started is chatting with a packaging supplier about your options. To reach our team, simply request a quote.

How do you protect fragile items in shipping?

Even though it’s a courier’s job to handle packages with care, accidents can happen. Packaging is the best defence that fragile items have during delivery; and it can be tailored to ensure your product arrives in one piece.

Design a stronger box

A common piece of advice for fragile items is to double box them. While this does provide more protection, it can also increase costs and mean more waste for your customer once delivered.

With the right design, a single box can be more than strong enough to keep things secure. It has a lot to do with the right fit, flute size and double-wall layering. These tactics help increase strength without wasting resources.

There are also a few tricks of the trade that we know, such as changing the paper type, grammage or flute size to improve the strength profile of a box. Learn more in our guide to choosing strong boxes.

strong cardboard box with double walls

Make sure it’s a perfect fit

The right box size is crucial to safe transport. Too big and it creates movement, too small and it could crush your product. We recommend custom packaging for fragile items to make sure the fit is just right.

Another tip is to leave around two inches of space around your item. This gives ample space to add fillers or partitions which can help stabilise the product inside.

Add box dividers and filler

If you plan to package multiple fragile items together, then you’re going to need dividers. These pieces of stiff cardboard create mini box sections so that each product is travelling in its own space.

diagram of corrugated cardboard inserts for boxes

You can also use filler to pack empty spaces in your box. This helps absorb shock if your package is shaken or bumped during transport. One benefit to using corrugated cardboard filler is that it’s fully recyclable – unlike other materials like packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap.

Clearly label the packaging

The best packaging for fragile items doesn’t just focus on what’s inside the box – it uses the outside to full effect too. Labelling your packaging is a smart way to make sure it is handled carefully.

three popular packaging symbols for fragile packages

The top three packaging symbols for fragile items are ‘This Side Up’, ‘Fragile’ and ‘Handle with Care’. Each of these let the courier know that this package needs extra attention.

Read our blog for 20+ international packaging symbols that make your packaging more courier-friendly.

Follow your courier’s advice

You can often find more information about sending fragile packages on the courier’s website, such as Australia Post or DHL. For example, many of them mention wrapping each product in tissue or newspaper before packing.

We also created a guide to shipping boxes with more information on what kinds of boxes are acceptable for shipping and how to avoid shipping damage.

Perfect packaging for every product

Echo Cartons have been supplying Australians SMEs with premium packaging for over two decades. Our industry experts help you find the right box for your business – from style to design and strength profiles. Ready to start an order? Request a quote and we’ll respond in 1-2 business days.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top