logo commercial shipping crates
Commercial Shipping Crates

How to Ship Breakables

February 27, 2019
Laura Isaacs
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Knowing how to ship breakables involves some important preparation and knowledge. Choices such as what size box to use and how to wrap your items can play a critical role.

When determining how to ship breakables, consider the following steps:

  • Choose a well-built, appropriately sized box
  • Select the correct packaging material
  • Combine multiple packages into a shipping crate
  • Purchase shipping insurance for your fragile items
  • Decide which filler product to use

Making these decisions based on your specific situation will ensure your shipment’s safety.

Tips for Shipping Breakables

If you’ve ever had fragile items broken during shipping, you know how important proper packaging is. Thankfully, packaging and shipping breakables doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Once you know some simple strategies for shipping breakables, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your items. Follow these simple tips for shipping fragile items and make your next shipment simple.

Choose the right box

Tip 1: Choose the Right Box

Damage to boxes and movement of items within a box are a common cause of broken products. This mistake can often be avoided by just making sure that you have the right box for your breakables.

Two of the main factors of making sure you have the right box for your fragile items is size and quality.

Size- Choosing the wrong size box can leave too much or not enough room for your items. Packing your items too tightly can cause contact between items or the box. Leaving too much room can cause unwanted movement of products within the box. The best practice is to leave 1-2 inches around all sides of the items that will be placed in the box. This includes leaving room on the top and bottom as well. Doing this, leaves enough room for the appropriate amount of packaging material.

Quality- Shipping and moving can quickly become expensive. This can lead to trying to find free or cheap alternatives in some cases. Getting free boxes is one of the most common routes to keeping costs low. In most cases, this is fine. However, be sure to double check the quality of the box when getting them for free. Free boxes have sometimes been used over and over and are nowhere near their original quality.

Tip 2: Wrap it Right

A few layers of bubble wrap can help protect your shipment. Packaging with bubble wrap and other layers of packing materials can be in artform in itself.

Things to keep in mind when wrapping a fragile item for shipping include:

  • Is the item hollow with a hole in the middle? Try filling the void with tissue paper or crumpled newspaper to protect it during shipping.
  • In addition to bubble wrap or foam wrap, consider covering your item with a layer of tissue paper or newspaper. Secure the paper with packing tape.
  • After wrapping the item with paper, consider wrapping a layer or two of bubble wrap around the item. Secure the bubble wrap with packing tape.
  • Some items have pre-sized packing materials. Dishes and glasses for example have foam pouches that fit most standard sizes. These convenient items do come at an increased cost.

When you’re using packing tape, remember that a little tape goes a long way. You don’t want to make unpacking your fragile item difficult for the receiver

Tip 3: Don’t Wrap it Too Tight

Packing breakables can be a slippery slope. Wrapping your items in bubble wrap or cling wrap can protect them during shipping. However, wrapping them too tight can put too much pressure on a fragile item. Too much pressure on fragile items like antiques or glassware can cause them to break during shipping.

Tip 4: Use Cardboard Dividers If Your Items Fit

If you’re packing multiple items in one box, you should consider cardboard box dividers. These securely separate your items from coming into direct contact with one another. You’ll still need to be sure that items are individually wrapped and protected. Depending on the thickness of the divider and weight of your items, you may be able to skip any filler material. Some dividers are included as part of kits for items such as dishes or glasses. However, dividers can be used for any items that fit.

select the appropriate packaging material

Tip 5: Select the Appropriate Packing Material

Even though your items are individually protected, there’s still more work to do. If you chose the right sized box, you should have space to fill on all sides of the items. You have options to choose from when it comes to what material you want to use to fill this space. Packing peanuts, foam board, newspaper, and towels are just a few of the choices.

Below, we briefly describe a few of the popular options and their pros and cons:

  • Packing Peanuts- A great option for filling a lot of empty space. This lightweight foam item is cheap and separates products from one another and the sides of a box. Be careful when using these in a box with heavy items. A heavy item can sometimes displace the packing peanuts and contact the sides of the box or other items.
  • Foam Board- These solid pieces are excellent for protecting the sides of the box from damage. When shipping heavy items, foam boards are a good choice as they provide more protection than some other options. However, you likely won’t want to line all of your boxes with foam board as the material can be expensive.
  • Clothes or Towels- This is one of the most popular options as it takes advantage of items already available to you. Once your items have been individually wrapped, you can pad the box with your clothes or towels. You can also use these to individually wrap breakables or layer them in between your items. If you’re paying to ship by weight, be cautious when using these. Using too many clothes and towels can add a lot of weight to your package which will increase your cost.
  • Bubble Wrap- Just as clothes and towels can have a dual purpose, so can bubble wrap. You can use bubble wrap as padding on the sides of the box or as a barrier between items packed together. If you use it as side padding, we recommend using thicker bubble wrap. The thicker bubbles will better protect the sides against movement compared to a thinner layer.
  • Newspaper- While this is a popular packaging material, extra care should be used. Similar to packing peanuts, newspaper can easily be displaced by movement of heavy items. You’ll likely need quite a bit of newspaper as well since it needs to be balled up to provide protection. Luckily, newspaper can often be obtained with little or no cost. As long as you have a large amount and your items are sufficiently wrapped, newspaper can be a viable option.

Tip 6: Be Sure The Box Is Balanced Well

Before you tape off and close your box, it’s a good idea to check its’ balance. Boxes that are unevenly balanced are prone to falling and damaging your fragile items. Pick up your box and move it from side to side to see if it shifts too much in any direction. Do the same on a flat surface. If the box isn’t balanced appropriately, reorganize the items within or place them in a different box.

Tip 7: Consider Using a Shipping Crate

After you’ve taken care of the packing process, you may want to put your items in a shipping crate. Using a shipping crate can have some important benefits depending on your shipment.

The benefits of using a shipping crate include:

  • Protection- Placing your secured fragile items into a shipping crate makes your items safer. Even with the tips given so far, there’s no guarantee for the safety of your products. Using a strong, secure shipping crate decreases the chance of damage to your valuable items.
  • Potential Cost Savings- If you have multiple shipments, it’s likely that you can save by combining them into one shipment. If you were to ship multiple boxes separately, you would end up paying much more in shipping costs.  Our company, You Crate, is able to provide one low cost that includes your crate and the shipping cost.
  • Handleability- For you or your recipient, you may want to simplify the handling process of your fragile items. Consolidating your shipment into a crate that sits on a pallet makes the handling process much simpler.

Liability and Handleability are actually two factors that determine the freight class of a shipment. The freight class of a shipment ultimately determines its’ shipping rate. To learn more about freight class, read our article What Does Freight Class Mean?

Tip 8: Label Your Fragile Items

Once you’ve finished packing all of your breakables, don’t forget to mark your box or crate as fragile. You might consider labeling each side of your shipment. Doing this should ensure that people handling your breakables see the label no matter how they approach it.

Additionally, labeling your package(s) as fragile gives you more recourse with the shipping company in case your item arrives broken.

Tip 9: Insure Valuable Items

Even following the best tips available, accidents can happen and your items can be damaged. We recommend purchasing shipping insurance either directly through your carrier or a third-party provider. You Crate’s exclusive freight partner R+L Carriers offers competitive insurance rates to protect your valuables against loss.

Shipping breakable items requires a great level of care. You Crate and R+L Carriers can help you get your fragile items to their destination safely and securely.

The types of fragile and breakable items you might want to ship can vary. Breakables commonly shipped with You Crate include:

  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • China
  • Electronics
  • Porcelain
  • Crystal
  • Medical equipment
  • Statues

To learn more about shipping these specific items, take a look at a couple of our other articles. How to Ship Medical Equipment, Crates For Shipping Art, How to Ship Appliances

How Does You Crate Work

How Does You Crate Work?

You Crate’s goal is to get your fragile items to their final destination as quickly and securely as possible. You Crate and its partner R+L Carriers understand the sensitivity and care that goes into shipping breakable freight. By working together, R+L Carriers and You Crate make shipping fragile items hassle free and simple.

You Crate’s process is simple and follows the steps listed below:

1. Choose Your Crate Size

Choosing the right size box or crate to pack your fragile item in is essential. The right sized box or crate holds your item and allows room for the necessary packing material.

You Crate makes finding the right-sized shipping crate for your fragile items simple. You Crate offers two sizes of crates:

  • Cube: Measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 47 in (height) | holds up to 2,000 lbs
  • Tower: Measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 80 in (height) | holds up to 1,250 lbs

If these sizes won’t work for your fragile items, we can custom design a crate for a specially-made fit. It’s important to know that You Crate crates have special tie-down hardware. This allows you to strap your goods down in the crate for extra security and protection.

2. Schedule Your Crate Delivery

Once you’ve decided which size crate will work for your shipment, contact us to schedule your crate delivery. We’ll have the crate to you within 24-48 hours.

3. Assemble and Pack Your Crate

Putting our crate together is a simple process that should take no more than 10 minutes. All you need is a flathead screwdriver or the included tool that comes with the crate. To see how easy it is, watch our video on how to assemble a You Crate shipping crate.

Once your crate is assembled, securely pack your breakable items. Be sure to fill in any gaps with packaging material as mentioned above.

4. Call us to Pick Up and Deliver Your Crate

When your products are packed and your crate is ready to ship, give us a call. We’ll pick up your crate and have it to its’ destination quickly and on time. Save your tracking number so that you can see where your package is at all times.

5. Unpack and Disassemble Your Crate

Taking apart the crate is just as easy as putting it together. In 10 minutes or less, you can have your crate taken apart and ready to be returned to us.

6. Contact us to Pick Up and Return Your Crate

At this point, your shipment is complete and your crate is ready to be used by the next person!

Why Ship Breakables with a Commercial Shipping Crate from You Crate

Why Ship Breakables with a Commercial Shipping Crate from You Crate

There are many reasons why you might want to ship your fragile items with You Crate. Not only are we experienced and knowledgeable about how to ship breakables, but we provide access to many other logistics services.

Advantages of working with You Crate and R+L Carriers include:

  • Immediate access to a team of crating and logistics professionals with more than 60 years of combined industry experience
  • Crates are returned and then reused, which can help lessen the carbon footprint in the shipping industry
  • You Crate commercial shipping crates are made of ¾” plywood, making them strong and secure. Lesser materials won’t protect your shipment and can wear down during transit
  • We use ISPM-15 certified shipping crates. This means our crates can be used for international shipments
  • Guaranteed service is available. This means you’ll know that your breakables and fragile items will be delivered on time and intact
  • Easy-to-use online order tracking through R+L Carriers. This lets you view the location of your crate, allowing for visibility and transparency in the shipping process
  • Extra security and theft protection keep your crate and fragile items secure
  • Crates can be assembled and disassembled with just a flathead screwdriver or the included tool
  • White glove service is available. This service provides extra care and protection for your valuable items. We’ll even pack your products for you

You Crate and R+L Carriers also have a vast network of service centers located across the country. This means a lot of territory is covered and there’s likely a service center near you.

As one of the country’s top crate shipping companies, You Crate is dedicated to handling your shipment without hassle. You Crate and R+L Carriers know how to ship breakables. Pack your crate on your own time and let R+L Carriers make the delivery simple. If you need a crating and transportation solution for your breakable items, let You Crate be your solution. Call today at 877-558-2580 or request a quote online to get your crate moving.

600 Gillam Rd.,
Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates
600 Gillam Rd., Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates