What is the name of the box in the shoes

Packing tips for packages

Parcels are exposed to heavy loads during transport, for example from conveyor belts, slides and stacking in collective containers.

Because the parcel sorting is highly automated, no stickers such as "Warning, glass" or "Do not throw" are taken into account. As a rule, the parcel services even exclude the effect of such information in their terms and conditions. As a sender, you must therefore pack the contents of a parcel so well that it is protected against external impacts and pressure.

If a parcel is damaged en route, parcel services are only liable if the packaging was good enough. If the packaging is too weak, parcel services will refuse to pay compensation. If necessary, read our separate guide on the subject of parcel damaged, but parcel service does not pay any compensation.

Table of Contents

  1. Choose a strong shipping box
  2. My package is not rectangular
  3. Which upholstery material is suitable?
  4. Send multiple products in one package
  5. Seal the package and send it off
  6. What things are prohibited in parcels?

1) Choose a strong shipping box

In the case of cardboard boxes, a distinction is made between so-called sales boxes and shipping boxes.

Example: New shoes are delivered in colored retail boxes with the respective brand logo. Sales boxes are mostly made of thin cardboard and are therefore not suitable for sending parcels. They would be crushed under pressure.

If you order shoes from an online shop such as Zalando, the shop will pack the shoe box in an additional outer box. This outer box is a sturdy shipping box. It protects the unstable shoebox from damage in transit.

The diagram shows how to tell the difference; namely the nature of the cardboard cross section.

► Unstable sales packaging has a 1 to 2 millimeter thick cardboard layer.
► Stable shipping boxes are 4 to 5 millimeters thick and have a visible wave structure.

Due to the corrugated structure, the type of cardboard is called corrugated board. There are also boxes with two or three corrugated layers. The more corrugations a box has on top of one another, the more stable it is and the heavier products can be shipped in the box.

Conclusion: Do not send any products in sales packaging. A shoebox may feel stable enough at home. But imagine if you were to put a 6-pack of water bottles on top of the box. Sales packaging collapses under such stress - but shipping packaging does not.

It is also important to choose the shipping box large enough. There should be space around the shipped goods to fill the box with cushioning material. Details on this in the next sections.

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2) My package is not rectangular

Parcel services charge bulky goods surcharges if a parcel is not cuboid or rectangular. This is because such packages cannot be processed on the automatic sorting systems (technical term: "not suitable for conveyor belts" or "not suitable for sorting"). Bulky parcels have to be sorted by hand, which can also lead to longer delivery times.

Parcel services pass the higher costs of manual sorting on to customers in the form of bulky goods surcharges. You can avoid these costs by using a suitably sized packaging box so that the goods do not protrude and there are no bulges on the box.

By the way, you can also send envelopes and bubble envelopes as parcels or packages, provided that the minimum dimensions are adhered to and the contents are not flexible. The minimum size for DHL parcels or small parcels is 15 x 11 x 1 cm. A cardboard box does not necessarily have to be used for parcels and parcels.

Conversely, it is permissible to use cardboard packaging when sending large and maxi letters or consignments of goods. It is only important that the box does not exceed the maximum dimensions of the respective shipping method.

A special case is the dispatch in roll form, e.g. of posters and maps. Similar to bulky goods, rolls are subject to a surcharge. At DHL you have to buy a so-called roll label in addition to the package label.

If you send a roll with Hermes, there is no extra charge. This applies to rolls up to 100cm in length and a maximum diameter of 20cm. In order to avoid the roll surcharge for other parcel services, you can simply pack rolled goods in a rectangular, elongated shipping tube. Corresponding offers can be found e.g. here on Amazon (advertisement).

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3) Which upholstery material is suitable?

Depending on the nature of the item to be sent, a suitable interior padding must be selected. For example, a pair of shoes need less padding than a digital camera.

Rule of thumb: the heavier the goods, the stronger and more voluminous the upholstery material should be.

Imagine sending a brick wrapped in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap will not have a protective function because the mass of the brick simply crushes the air bubbles. In this case, styrofoam would be a better choice.

For light-weight plastic objects, small collectible figures, gifts or DVDs, however, bubble wrap is ideal. Corrugated cardboard rolls or airbags (large-volume plastic air cushions) can also be used. With sensitive content such as glass or electronic devices (smartphones), you should use five to six layers of bubble wrap.

Be careful with tissue paper and crumpled up newspaper. Tissue paper can be squeezed extremely tightly. So you need a lot of it for the upholstery to work. It is similar with newsprint: if you only crumple it up roughly, large air spaces are created in the wad of paper. These cavities can be squeezed together in no time during transport. This creates empty spaces in the shipping box, which means that the goods can be thrown back and forth and damaged by impacts.

► If you use packaging chips or corn flakes, put them in the package at the end. Do not use the chips as the only cushioning material but use them in combination with bubble wrap. After filling in the chips, shake the package so that the chips fill all cavities. Then fill up additional packaging chips if necessary.

By the way, we have created a separate guide for shipping bottles: This is how shipping with bottle boxes works.

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4) Send multiple products in one package

If several goods are sent at the same time in one box, they must be separated from each other with sufficient distance. Otherwise the goods could collide with each other during transport and damage each other. This doesn't even require external pressure. The centrifugal forces generated during transport are sufficient, for example on parcel chutes or in the curves of conveyor belts.

For example, thick cardboard strips or styrofoam elements are suitable as separating elements. It is important that neither the goods nor the dividers slip in the event of vibrations.

Also, make sure there is at least 5cm between the outer wall of the shipping box and the goods inside. This space must be filled with cushioning material to absorb shocks.

Fragile contents such as glass, ceramics or electronics require particularly careful packaging and should not be sent together with heavy products. Figuratively speaking: Do not pack glasses together with a pack of 500 printer paper in a box. The printer paper would develop such strong centrifugal forces during transport that it literally rolled over the lightweight glasses. The solution in this case would be to pack the glasses in a small additional box or in a glasses case to protect them.

Rule of thumb: The choice of filling material should be based on the most sensitive product if there are several different products.

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5) Seal the package and send it off

After packing the goods is a Shake test recommendable. Close the cardboard flaps, lift the package and shake it in all directions and upside down. If you feel the goods move strongly inside, the upholstery is inadequate.

The padding is also inadequate if you overdo it with the filler material and the shipping box is bulging. At the same time, it is not advisable to use too little cushioning material because voids in the cardboard box give way under pressure and the packaging can then tear open.

► Tip: You can cut into boxes that are too high on the sides, fold them inwards and thereby reduce the box volume.

Last but not least, glue the package with strong adhesive tape. Use several layers of adhesive tape if the cargo is heavy. Under no circumstances should you use twine or parcel string because they will get caught in the conveyor system.

Make sure that there are no old package labels or barcodes on the package. Otherwise errors can occur with the automatic parcel sorting.

A correct and clearly written recipient address should be a matter of course. It is best to buy the parcel postage on the website of your parcel service (price comparison calculator here). Then the delivery address is encoded in the barcode of the parcel label, and sorting and reading errors due to poor handwriting are excluded.

Extra tips:

  • Put a note with the sender and recipient addresses in the package. If the outer package label is damaged, the parcel service can still assign the package.
  • Stick the package label on the largest flat side of the package.
  • Make sure you stick the address label firmly and flat. It shouldn't ripple or peel off.
  • Take photos of the contents and packaging before sending. This makes it easier to provide evidence in the event of damage.

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6) What things are prohibited in parcels?

Inquire with your parcel service if you are unsure whether dangerous goods may be excluded from transport. These can include lighters, fireworks, weapons, but also jewelry, precious metals, cash, drugs, works of art and animals (whether dead or alive).

In parcel centers, evacuations occur again and again if, for example, liquids drip out of parcels and / or indefinable smells spread in the sorting hall. Many parcel centers are therefore equipped with hazardous substance sensors that signal even the smallest amounts of leaking toxins. If a fire brigade is then deployed, the parcel service will probably bill the sender for the costs.

For the safety of the parcel service staff and the recipient, please do not send any dangerous goods as normal parcels. Parcel services enable the transport of dangerous goods, but only with proper declaration and professional packaging. As a rule, dangerous goods packaging must be certified.

When shipping abroad, rechargeable batteries and batteries are a big problem. Due to security regulations in air freight, it is difficult or even impossible for normal customers to send, for example, cell phones with a built-in battery abroad. Such packages are noticed during X-ray controls, are sorted out and sent back to the sender. Details can be found in our guide to battery and rechargeable battery shipping.

The dispatch of dry ice is also subject to dangerous goods regulations. If you are interested, please read our guide to dry ice shipping.

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Securely pack your questions about parcels