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European Chilled Distribution

Express Courier Packing Guidelines

Parcel Packaging Guidance


We know you want your consignment to arrive in pristine condition. It’s important that you package it correctly to help ensure this happens.

The best way to protect your parcel in transit is to follow these easy guidelines:


The Shipping Carton

The Shipping Carton is the box in which you place the goods you are sending.

Size - make sure this is appropriate to the content: overloaded boxes may burst; under-filled boxes are likely to collapse

Strength - choose boxes strong enough hold the weight of your consignment, made of corrugated cardboard and with good quality outer liners. Use heavy-duty, double-layered cardboard for valuable items. Check the weight specification of the package, and do not exceed this limit.

Quality - always use high quality materials. If reusing old boxes, ensure they are in a good enough condition to withstand the transit and be sure to remove all old labels.

Never use boxes that have hazardous labels or symbols on them: parcels with these symbols will be stopped by the courier and may incur fines.


Parcel Stuffing - Inside the Carton

All contents must be packaged in some way, and packaging made of fabric is prohibited.

Cushioning - use materials such as bubble wrap, kraft paper, and loose fill polystyrene to protect your items from moving or breaking.

Positioning - Place fragile goods in the centre of a package; ensuring they do not touch the sides. Use cardboard dividers when sending flat, fragile material such as vinyl records or documents.

ou should fill all remaining space in the box with additional cushioning material to minimise the impact of transit on your items. Packages should be able to withstand a drop from waist height onto a solid floor.


Sealing and Labelling

Seal your items with a quality adhesive parcel tape, not sellotape or other materials such as rope or ribbon.

Customs may need to inspect the contents of your package: seal it securely, but do not overseal it!

Ensure your shipping label (also termed air waybill) is securely attached to the flat, topside of your parcel. The barcode and shipping address should be clearly visible and not obscured in any way.


Distinctive Items

Sharp items such as scissors should be fully protected with securely fixed heavy cardboard at edges and points.

Small items should be packed into flyers and large pack envelopes

Powders and fine grains should be placed in strong plastic bags, securely sealed and packed in a rigid fibreboard box.

Liquids should be stored in leak-free containers, packed with a lightweight and strong internal material such as Styrofoam and sealed with a plastic bag.

Semi-liquids or greasy or strong-smelling substances should be sealed with adhesive tape and wrapped in grease resistant paper.

Rolled plans, maps and blueprints should be stored in triangular rather than cylindrical tubes. They are stronger!

Data, discs and audio tapes should be fully cushioned for extra protection


Sending wooden packaging, pallets or crates?

Many countries require wooden packaging materials such as pallets or crates to be heat-treated prior to shipping. This is due to the ISPM 15 regulation which exists to protect local eco systems from foreign insects and disease. Failure to comply could incur delays, fines and even declined entry into the country.

Please see the ISPM 15 regulation section of our website for more information, and to check if the regulation is applicable to your destination country.