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How To Safely Ship Fragile Items Internationally

Are you looking to sell your goods overseas, but are unsure how to best protect items in transit? Learn how to safely ship fragile items internationally.

shipping items
IgorVetushko on Deposit Photos

Running your own business is an exciting prospect. However, few things turn off potential entrepreneurs more than the headache of shipping. Especially when it comes to international shipping, which often is a nerve-wracking waiting game. Knowing how to ship fragile items internationally safely is not so mysterious, however. By taking your time and carefully assessing each item’s needs being shipped, you can protect even the most delicate item.

Choose Packing Material Carefully

Packing tape is not the only thing you’ll need to get your goods in a box and en route. To ensure safety, you’ll need to choose the correct packing material. What you’ll use ultimately comes down to the shape and fragility of your item. Consider using a foam insert that can be shaped to your item for extremely delicate and rare pieces. Customers will appreciate this, as the shipping box can then double as a reusable storage vessel.

For most other items, a mixture of bubble wrap and newspaper is usually fine. Just be sure to generously wad and support the item if you plan on mostly using paper. Many other options exist, such as air pockets, different bubble wrap sizes, and packing peanuts. You’ll also want to spend some time thoughtfully selecting a box. Your items need to fit without being too snug, especially once the box is full of packing fill.

Brace Delicate Areas

The best method to ship fragile items internationally ultimately comes down to the details. Items that only have to be handled once or twice before they arrive will likely be safe even with minimal packaging. However, shipping internationally means at least a week in transit—if not longer. Many hands and machines will move your items from checkpoint to checkpoint on the way out of the country and into a new one.

Extra time spent being jostled in the post means there’s a much bigger chance the small features on your items will get jarred. If these components strike the exterior of the box, damage can occur. Take as much time as possible to carefully wrap these stress points in tissue; finish by wrapping them in packing paper.

Utilize Postal Services

Once your items are packaged, it’s time to ship. However, once at the post office, you add a few more details to your safety precautions. Namely, most postal services offer fragile marking and insurance. The former is an official-looking red stamp of the words “Fragile” on the various sides of the box. It costs nothing to ask for stamp marks, so be sure to take advantage of this service.

The latter is a more direct solution when all else fails. For a few dollars more, your shipping service will guarantee safe delivery or your money back. For such a small fee, this is well worth it on most items. No matter what happens, if damage or loss occurred reasonably during shipping, you will be refunded for the cost.

For more on how to ship fragile items internationally, check this out.

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