How to prepare packages for shipments

Your items are valuable and you want them to reach their destination safely and undamaged. It doesn’t matter if you’re shipping something to a friend, or you’re a business working with customers. Delays in shipping and damaged goods are always a nightmare. Therefore, you should prioritize learning how to properly prepare packages for shipment shipments. It’s a small, but crucial step in speeding up the transport of your items. There are many factors in the transportation process that you can’t have an impact on. For that reason, why not go the extra mile and ensure you did everything in your power to prevent mistakes and delays. Our moving experts here at Kokusai Express Japan have compiled an easy how-to guide that will guide you through the process.

Choosing the right box to pack your shipment

Shipping items over a long distance requires sturdy materials to keep them from getting damaged. Don’t grab whatever old box you have lying around. Make sure the box is made out of thick, top-quality cardboard. It should be rigid and composed of more than one layer of material. Additionally, you should always choose a box that fits your item. If it’s too big, your items are going to bounce around during transport. This can lead to breaks or general damage.

two people wrapping fragile items for transport
Knowing how to properly prepare packages for shipments that are fragile is imperative if you want your items to arrive at their destination in one piece.

How to prepare packages for shipments with fragile items

Fragile items are going to require different treatment from normal ones. You should always purchase special, double-layered boxes. Additionally, if you’re really worried about breakable items, try double boxing them. The first box should be barely bigger than your product. The second box, however, should be big enough to accommodate a few inches of cushioning. Using filler like bubble wrap or even newspaper will prevent the item from moving. Lastly, you should always pack fragile items separately and carefully wrap any sharp edges.

Tips for non-fragile goods

Even if you’re shipping items that can’t break, you should still take precautions. Rigid, new boxes are a must. Many moving companies nowadays sell packing supplies, alongside offering packing services. Furthermore, always check shipping restrictions. If you’re moving from Japan this is really important. Every country has its own restrictions on what you can and can’t bring in. Check regulations carefully so you don’t end up with a nasty surprise. Additionally, if you have to use old boxes, remove any leftover labels to prevent confusion.

Freight forwarding services

Hauling cargo is a trickier and oftentimes stressful process. Unlike transporting a single item, it is much more time-consuming. Furthermore, packaging and sealing pallets is much more difficult than single boxes. Alongside that, you’ll need to choose whether you want to ship your possessions by air or sea. International freight forwarding is difficult in many ways, which is why we recommend hiring a professional moving company to help you through this process. When in doubt, always turn to industry experts for help.

knowing how to prepare packages for shipments is extremely important when hauling cargo
One option you can research for freight forwarding is forwarding cargo by sea.

Tips for how to best pack, seal, and label a pallet

First, you should pack all of the individual boxes carefully. All of the previous rules we listed apply. Secondly, you’ll need to choose the right pallet for the job. Your pallet should be big enough that no boxes hang over the edge. Next, load all of your boxes onto the pallet, making sure you put the heaviest ones on the bottom. This is going to help to keep the pallet stable during transport.

Use quality materials to pack shipments

If you want your goods to survive the long trip to their destination, invest in good quality packing supplies. This means getting new boxes, preferably double-layered. Hard cardboard is good for almost anything. It’s a material that can handle international travel the best. You will also need measuring tape, especially if you’re hauling cargo. There are ways to trim shipping and delivery costs but you shouldn’t skimp out on materials. Shrinkwrap is a must-have for pallets and bigger items. A strong adhesive tape is absolutely essential no matter what you’re shipping. Lastly, you’ll need cushioning material. Old newspapers can be good in a pinch, but bubble wrap and packing peanuts are industry standards and more commonly used.

Tips for sealing your belongings

After you’ve picked the right supplies and packed everything up, it’s time to seal it. If you’re transporting single items, this is easy enough. All you’ll need is heavy-duty tape and measuring tape. The best technique is to seal the box in the shape of the letter h. This is achieved by first sealing the middle opening. Secondly, tape up the side seams. Lastly, repeat the process on the top side of the box. If you feel like you need to, go over the tape a few times. Better safe than sorry. However, if you’re transporting large amounts of cargo on pallets, the procedure is a little different. After stacking boxes, you’ll need to shrink wrap the entire pallet. Start at the bottom and make sure there are at least three layers covering all of the boxes.

a stack of boxes on top of a wooden pallet
An improperly sealed pallet can lead to a disaster, make sure you follow all of the steps.

Correct shipping label procedures

Shipping labels are extremely important in this entire process. Even if you’ve done all the previous steps right, it means nothing without a correct address. A properly placed label is going to ensure your package actually arrives at the desired destination

Here’s how you can correctly label your goods for shipping:

  • to successfully prepare packages for shipments, labeling should always be the last step
  • the label should be in a visible place
  • don’t stick the label onto corners, edges, or under tape or shrink wrap
  • remove any other markings from the box

Now that you’ve gone through all the steps, you know how to properly prepare packages for shipments. While the process isn’t easy, it’s something you should definitely know. Hopefully, our tips have taught you what to watch out for. Especially if you’re opening a business, or frequently send items overseas. If something goes wrong during shipping, at least you will know it’s not your fault.


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