How to Safely Pack Something for Transit

brown paper roll

Packing an item to ship requires careful preparation to ensure it arrives at its destination intact. A useful tool to consider in this process is a brown paper roll. Follow these tips to safely pack your item for transit.

Choose the Right Box

Select a sturdy box in good condition without dents, tears or corner damage. The box should be large enough to allow cushioning around the item. Avoid oversized boxes, which are more prone to damage. Write the destination address clearly on the box with permanent marker.

Protect with Packing Material

Cushion the item inside the box with packing material like bubble wrap, foam peanuts or crumpled paper. Make sure delicate parts are protected. Wrap each item individually then place in the center of the box. Allow 2-3 inches of packing material on all sides. Avoid using newsprint or tissue paper as they can tear easily.

Fill Empty Spaces

Check for gaps inside the box and fill any empty spaces with added packing material. Gaps can allow the item to shift and get damaged. Lightly ball up sheets of packing paper to fill uneven spaces. For round items, crumple up packing paper and place it in the natural holes around the object.

Seal Securely

Use strong packing tape rated for shipping to seal the box. Completely tape down all flaps and seams. Reinforce the corners with extra tape. Do not use duct tape or masking tape as they can weaken during transit. Make sure no edges are lifting up or gaps are showing.

Label Correctly

Clearly label the box as “Fragile” if the contents are breakable. Indicate which side should be up with arrows pointing up. Write the destination address and your return address. Affix shipping labels securely. Cover any old labels or markings not related to current shipment.

Weigh and Measure

Weigh your packed box on a scale and measure its dimensions. Use this to determine the accurate rate for shipping. Cost is typically based on weight and box size. Expect to pay more for larger and heavier packages.

Select a Shipping Method

Choose a shipping carrier like USPS, UPS or FedEx. Compare rates for ground, air or express shipping to pick the best option based on your timeline, budget and item vulnerability. Overnight and expedited services typically cost more but are faster.

Consider Insurance

Look into adding shipping insurance in case of loss or damage. This adds extra cost but provides reimbursement if your package encounters issues during transit. Uninsured packages are covered only by the carrier’s standard liability.

Ship from Home or Drop Off

For USPS, schedule a package pickup from your home or drop off at any post office location. UPS and FedEx allow home pickup for a fee or free drop off at authorized sites like retail stores. Take your box to the service counter for processing.

Track Your Package

Record the tracking number and use it to monitor the shipment’s progress online. This lets you confirm when it arrives at the destination. If delays arise, you can quickly notify the recipient.

Inspect Upon Delivery

When your package reaches its destination, advise the recipient to inspect it immediately and note any evident damage before accepting it. Contact the carrier right away and file a claim if the item or box looks compromised.


Preparing an item to withstand shipping requires strategic packing methods and materials. With protective cushioning, minimal empty space, sturdy boxes and proper sealing, you can feel confident your possession will make the journey intact. Weigh risks versus costs to pick the best service and shipping speed for the item’s safe transit.

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