Waterproofing and packaging your parcel

We know how important your parcel is to both you and your recipient – our aim is always to deliver the items entrusted to us in good time and the same condition as they were sent – and as such, we want to help you with the waterproofing and packaging of your parcel.

To ensure your parcel arrives at its destination in the best condition possible, pack the contents properly and seal the box to avoid any damage.

Of course, weather conditions can make this process difficult. However there are things that you can do to protect your gifts from the elements. From weatherproof labels to strong packing tape, here’s a few of the essentials you’ll need, come rain, sleet or snow.

So whether your parcel is going to Aberdeen or Aberystwyth in the UK, Antwerp or Athens in Europe or Auckland or Adelaide in Oceania, it’s going to be handled at several points throughout its journey – inside and outside - so be sure to follow our top tips below: 

How to package a parcel properly

Individually wrap each item within your parcel
It may be obvious but tissue paper or bubble wrap will work well for this. 

Fill any extra space
Use crumpled newspaper, polystyrene or packing chips to fill any gaps in your parcel to avoid any items moving around and breaking during transit.

Re-using an old box to ship your parcel?
Make sure you remove all old labels and tape from the box - you won’t want your parcel being delivered back to you because of an old label.

Make sure the outer box is strong enough
Once all items are sealed within the outer box, check to see that it can support the weight of all items, especially if using a recycled box. If it doesn’t, you may need to use a stronger box or container.

Protect the contents
Make sure there are no holes or tears in the outside of the parcel packaging. Shrink wrap is great if you're sending larger items and will help keep your items waterproof during transit.

Depending on the size, shape and weight of the items being shipped, an alternative is to use sealable waterproof mailing bags that will keep your gifts dry and secure whatever the weather.

Seal your parcel
Invest in a good, strong tape along any seams, flaps and openings of the outer box to fully seal it closed. We always suggest using strong parcel tape of around 40-50mm wide.

Mark the box if the contents are fragile
Affix stickersor draw arrows on the outside of your parcel with ‘This way up’ and ‘Fragile’ if your parcel needs to stay upright during transit. It doesn’t 100% guarantee delicate handling – especially with automated parcel sorting machines - but every little bit helps to avoid breakages during delivery.

Protect your label
We all want packages to arrive at the right place, which means addressing them so they’re clear and easy to read. Once printed off, place your label inside a waterproof plastic wallet and adhere it to the outer box to make sure it remains water resistant against the elements. We don’t recommend completely sealing the delivery label with clear tape, as it can reflect light and make it difficult for the scanning devices to read the barcode information on the labels.

Using waterproof shipping labels is an ideal addition for parcels that are travelling a great distance or that may get damaged by rain. The address stays legible throughout the journey, something that may not be the case should a pen either rub off or run – something that can happen should a letter or parcel get caught in rain while in transit.

It’s important that you don’t wrap your parcel in black plastic; automated sortation machinery is unable to process it, meaning your parcel will be delayed.

Have somewhere safe (and dry!) for collection and delivery
ipostparcels offers a handy service that allows you to leave your parcel in a designated 'safe place' for our driver to collect. Not only does this help if there isn’t anyone at home to accept the delivery personally, but also could be somewhere the parcel will be protected from the weather.

A mailbox is great for ensuring smaller items stay protected, while clearing some space in a porch or other covered area is recommended, as it means a parcel can be left in a dry and secure location. See more about how to make your safe place safe.

Related content:

How to protect items in transit
Guide to sending large and heavy parcels
Packaging parcels for international delivery
How to send a fragile item without getting it broken

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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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