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Top Tips for Packing and Shipping Heavy Items

February 3, 2021 Published by

man struggling with large box

Packing and shipping heavy items can be a challenge. Your packaging will have to be a lot stronger than for the average shipment as heavy items are usually moved by forklifts and switch trucks several times during shipping. Without the proper packaging, your heavy items could be destroyed as they switch vehicles or are moved by heavy warehouse equipment.

Here are our top tips for packing and shipping heavy items to ensure your package stays safe.

Tip #1: Use Durable Packaging

When shipping heavy items, you want to make sure you use durable packaging. Use only boxes that are strongly constructed, preferably with seams that are stapled or stitched, not just glued. You also want to ship heavy items in new boxes that are at their full strength and have not been worn down by humidity or previous use.

Tip #2: Cushion Your Items and Add Another Box

Once you’ve chosen the right box, you want to place your heavy items in the center of the box so it does not tilt when carried. Surround your item with a thick layer of cushioning to protect it, making sure to fill in all empty space inside the box. Ensure your item is not able to move inside the package as this can put it at risk for damage.

Double check you are using the right dunnage (packaging components) for your heavy shipment. Wood and steel are especially useful for preventing your heavy packages from shifting.

Finally, you want to put your packed box into a larger box and pad any empty space with air pillows. Depending on your product, you may want to leave two inches of clearance at a minimum between your inner and outer boxes. Fragile items like heavy vases need more clearance, and you’ll need enough cushioning to protect your item if the box is punctured or dropped.

Tip #3: Seal Your Box With Water-Activated Tape

Water-activated tape bonds to corrugated shipping boxes, protecting them from opening during transport. Using any tape that is not made for packing likely won’t protect your box from opening during shipping.

Tip #4: Don’t Make Your Box Too Heavy

Boxes that are too heavy are more likely to break during shipping and are at a higher risk of being dropped by workers who lift them. Try breaking heavier shipments out into several boxes and wrap any individual components separately.

Tip #5: Shake Your Package

After sealing your package, shake it. Ensure nothing can move around inside your box. Parts that can move will smash into fragile objects inside and might crush packing material. If you hear things moving or rattling inside your box, you should open and repackage your item. A lot of carriers won’t even accept your box if they hear rattling inside.

Tip #6: Ship On The Correct Pallet

It is best to secure some heavy items to a pallet. This pallet should be made of plastic or wood and be strong enough to withstand the stress of being lifted or hauled. These kinds of shipments should not exceed your pallet’s weight restrictions.

Plan Ahead

Heavy items are at higher risk for damage, so it’s important to plan ahead to ensure their safety. Use the right packaging to help prevent any damage and ensure they arrive to your customers in a healthy state.