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Packaging Advice

Guidelines For Good Quality Packaging

mdsParcel is committed to delivering your parcels with speed and care. However, during the transit process parcels may be handled several times. It is therefore important that all items are adequately packed. Below are some tips that will help you make sure your package arrives at its destination on time and in the best possible condition. Please note that we accept CARDBOARD boxes only. Any other form of packaging will acquire additional surcharge.

Do

  • Use a rigid box with flaps intact
  • Choose the right size of the box according to its content. Under-filled boxes are likely to collapse, overloaded ones may burst
  • Always use high quality materials for your packaging. Consider strength, cushioning, and durability
  • Choose boxes made of corrugated cardboard, with good quality outer liners
  • Wrap all items separately
  • Put goods in the centre of a package ensuring they do not touch the sides. Your item should be well cushioned on all sides
  • Make use of cushioning materials, to prevent the contents from moving
  • Use strapping, when suitable, as a good way to seal and secure your box
  • If strapping is not available, use strong tape designed for shipping
  • When re-using a box, remove all old labels including any old hazardous material indicators
  • Ensure liquids are stored in leak-free containers, packed with a lightweight, strong, internal material (for example, Styrofoam) and sealed with a plastic bag. Always remember that bad packaging may cause damage to other items
  • Place powders in strong plastic bags, securely sealed and then packed in a rigid box
  • Use 'arrow-up' labels for non-solid materials
  • Repack your items properly. Many goods are sold in the original manufacturers packaging which may not be suitable for carriage
  • Protect your data discs, audio and videotapes with soft cushioning material around each item
  • Complete the address label clearly and completely, using capital letters when handwriting labels to improve readability
  • Place a duplicate address label inside the parcel

Do not

  • Use bags made of fabric or cloth
  • Consider 'Fragile' and 'Handle with care' labels as a substitute for careful packaging. They are only appropriate for information purposes

Packing Tools

There are many packaging solutions for the protection of your goods. As your parcel is transported, it may be exposed to adverse environments caused by weather conditions and transport vibrations, so correct packing is vital.

Outer Packaging

Corrugated cartons are the most common and the most suitable way to pack your consignments. The more times a box is used, the more it loses its original protective qualities. A previously used box may not adequately protect your consignment. If you must reuse a box, make sure it is rigid and in excellent condition with no punctures, tears, rips or corner damage and that all the flaps are intact. Remove any labels and all other old markings from the box.
The original manufacturer’s packaging is usually designed for shipments on pallets instead of single piece consignments. Additionally, they are designed to ship the product once, not a multiple number of times. Reusing the original manufacturer’s packaging to send the item through a parcel delivery network can increase the risk of damage. Only if the manufacturer’s box has been specially designed to withstand impact and is in a new condition should it be used by itself. 
An option that includes the use of original manufacturer’s packaging is double boxing. All electronic equipment should be double boxed. Always make sure that the original packaging is in a good condition and that the internal foam is not cracked or broken. Use a new corrugated carton that is at least 15cm longer, wider and higher than the original manufacturer’s box. Fill the bottom of the new carton with at least 7cm of cushioning such as loose fill expanded polystyrene ‘peanuts’ or other suitable material. Do not use crumpled or shredded paper. The original manufacturer’s box should be placed on top of the cushioning material and in the centre of the new carton, allowing for at least 7cm of cushioning around the remaining five sides of the package. Fill the remaining empty space in the package with more cushioning material.
It is recommended that protective bags be used to send books, diskettes, videos etc. Padded bags, using recycled paper fibres for protection and a heavy-duty kraft outer is a common choice. A lightweight bag lined with bubble film on the inside to absorb impact is recommended where a stronger bag is desired.
For the safety and security of your consignment, correct sealing of your box is just as important as proper cushioning. A good seal will strengthen the box. To close a box securely, do not use masking tape, cellophane tape, duct tape, string or paper over-wrap. A strong polypropylene or PVC ‘box sealing’ tape, 5 cm or more in width, should be used.

Inner Packaging

It’s important that you cushion the contents of your parcel properly. Please be sure that you wrap each item separately. Fragile articles need both suitable separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box. It is recommended that you leave a space of at least 5cm between the outer container and the product inside. This space should be filled with internal protection of some type. The following are the most common purpose-made products to be found on the market:

Made of pockets of air distributed on a plastic film. Designed to protect and cushion lightweight items from shock, vibration and abrasion.
For wrapping delicate items where a soft non-abrasive and lightweight cushioning material is required. Inflatable Packaging (Air Bags) - Used primarily as void-fill materials for lightweight items. Not recommended for items with sharp corners or edges. 
Used as a void filling material of cases and containers, for lightweight items. Overfill the box with peanuts, gently close the flaps, and seal securely.
Materials may include expanded polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene or copolymers. Enclosures should be pre-engineered for specific products.
Foam-in-Place, foam sprayed into the box or mixed in packets, is formed by a chemical mixture that expands and forms a protective mould around contents.
May be added to the package to increase strength and improve packaging performance. Crumpled Kraft Wrapping Paper or Newspaper - Used primarily as a void-fill material for light to medium weight, non-fragile items and items that are suitable for such packing materials. Must be tightly crumpled. Place at least 10 cm of paper between the item and outer box.
A single faced corrugated paper coated with cohesive. Ideal for packing of books, CDs, videos etc.
Make sure you use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents do not move when you shake the container.
Note: Fragile objects such as electronics, glass and ceramics require special packaging with added cushioning and/or a double box for safe carriage.
Please note that liquids are not to be sent in any transit involving sea / water crossings. Many liquid containers are not designed to endure the transit process, which includes sorting impact, over-the-road vibration and other kinds of package handling situations. The original manufacturer’s package is usually designed for carriage on pallets, not single-piece consignments. All liquid containers must be securely sealed in order to avoid leaks. Wrap the containers in an impermeable material and add sufficient absorbent material to absorb the liquid in case of breakage. Bottles should be separated using cushioning materials such as foam or corrugated cardboard to prevent them touching each other and sealed in a plastic bag to avoid damaging surrounding parcels.
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