Things that go bump in transit

Whilst every care is taken with all of the packages we send, it’s always advisable to make sure your fragile items are secured properly to protect them from bumps, vibrations and shocks. This is the best way to ensure they arrive at their destinations in tip-top condition. Follow these handy tips and you'll be all set...

Boxes are key

When posting fragile items it's always advisable to choose a box over anything else. If using a padded envelope then consider packaging the item in a smaller box inside - boxes are generally much more resilient and make a better choice. Picking a sturdy lightweight box is key; the lighter the better, as it should help to keep postage costs down. Choose a box slightly larger than the contents, though, to allow space for additional padding. This will stop the items moving around.


It's a good plan to individually wrap items using tissue paper or bubble wrap, especially if sending a few things at once. If sending ornaments, individually wrap thin areas like arms, beaks and legs mummy-style. Tape the tissue or bubble wrap in place, avoiding getting tape onto the actual item.

Then make sure you pack around the item to prevent movement. Use whatever you have to hand to stuff carefully around your items to stop them moving around in transit. Packing peanuts, inflatable air bags, shredded newspaper and cardboard dividers are all good for protecting items and stopping them from shifting around inside the box. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either - recycle old cereal packets, newspaper or polystyrene packaging and pad out any gaps. Remember - the lighter, the better.

It is important to make sure a piece is well padded. A simple test is to close the box and push down lightly; if it pushes in then more padding is required - equally it is important not to overstuff; a bulging box will be less stable! For very fragile objects, a double (over) box is wise - place the smaller box inside the larger and pad all the way around and under with peanuts or scrunched paper.

Tape, tape, tape!

Be sure to cover any open edges or corners with packing tape. Any loose parts may snag in transit, causing avoidable jolts to your package. Marking the outside of the box clearly with 'fragile' or 'handle with care' is always a good idea, or to make it extra obvious look into investing in some relatively in expensive 'fragile tape' so it definitely won't be missed.

Also, ensure the address label is easy to spot so handlers won't need to turn it around to find the information they need. If the item is bottom-heavy or particularly delicate, adding information like 'this way up' can be useful.

If you’re re-using an old box, be sure to remove any old addresses to prevent confusion. Then, cover the address label with clear tape to protect it from the rain. For more tips on general packaging check out our guide here.

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Please note 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 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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