International parcel image

How to package parcels for international delivery

It may sound obvious, but additional care and consideration is needed when packing your parcel for international delivery. Not only does the parcel have potentially thousands of miles to travel, it will be handled multiple times over various locations and go through automated sorting systems.

As the sender, it’s your responsibility to make sure all items are well protected and packaged securely to ensure your parcel is delivered to their destination country successfully and without delays. Check our packaging guidelines shown to help prevent damage in transit.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Wrap each item inside the parcel individually

Tip: bubblewrap and tape protect fragile items when wrapped tightly before placing in an outer box or container  

2. Protect the contents with a strong outer container

Tip: use polystyrene or foam peanuts / pellets, crumpled newspaper or shredded cardboard to fill up any extra space in the outer box to reduce movement

3. Seal the outer container with strong tape

Tip: seal along the openings of the box or container and all the way around any seams, using strong tape of 40-50mm wide 


Remember to fasten your labels securely to the outside of the box and if you have invoices, they must be signed, placed in an envelope, then attached to the box / container.

Don’t forget:

  • Always remove any old labels/markings from your box
  • Consider the use of arrow up labels
  • Use a documents enclosed slip for attaching extra documents to parcels
  • We strongly suggest polystyrene protection for heavier items

Every care is taken to ensure your parcels are handled with care; however standard transit knocks do occur on the back of moving vehicles, aircraft and on the conveyer belt system and parcel sorting machines, therefore internal protection and a strong outer box is essential in order to be covered for damage on our services.

Some simple things to avoid when packaging parcels for international delivery:

Remember! If the packaging used for your parcel is not suitable or sufficient, not only are your goods at risk of being damaged or lost in transit, you may not be able to claim compensation. Not only that, but if your goods then damage other parcels in our care due to negligence, we may seek to recoup any losses.

Don’t send unboxed items

All items must be packaged suitably for transit through our network.

Don’t use damaged boxes

Weak or damaged boxes will not give your items the same level of protection as good quality ones. Consider this and the weight of the products when choosing an outer container for posting

Creased boxes and barcodes don’t mix!

Damaged or weak boxes also often have creased surfaces, which increases the likelihood of the barcode on the address label also being creased. This can prevent us from being able to trace or track your parcel.

Open / unsealed boxes

An open or unsealed box presents a risk for items to fall out and / or small items to fall in. Take care to seal all side sand edges with strong tape.


Related information:

How to complete a commercial invoice
How to complete an international invoice
International restricted and prohibited items
Understanding taxes and duties for international delivery

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* £2.49 from price based on a next day XS parcel size with a UK depot drop off and UK depot collection service. Delivery to British Isles, The Highlands, Ireland, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland operate on a 1-3 day delivery service and can incur further costs. £8.74 price based on a parcel weight of up to 25kg (50cm x 50cm x 50cm) on a UK depot drop off and economy delivery service to Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg or Austria. All prices quoted on content pages (outside of the quick quote and booking form) will be based on the depot drop off discounted price for UK deliveries and on a 0.5kg parcel with dimensions of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm for all international air countries. The size and weight of your parcel affects the price you’ll pay so it’s important to weigh and measure your parcel correctly to ensure your parcel arrives on time without any delays. Use our quick quote for all pricing options.
The £1 saving on every additional consignment sent in a UK order is exclusive to home collection orders only - this discount will not be added in addition to the depot drop off discount or depot collection discount. If you do not select the "signature required" delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 5.2.2 of the Terms & Conditions). We define a "Parcel" as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm or up to 120cm x 50cm x 50cm or up to 140cm x 35cm x 35cm. **’Was’ pricing based on the previous fixed collection and signature price for XS and collection price for small. ‘Now from’ pricing based on the new prices for XS and Small with the depot drop off discount applied.

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