How to Pack & Ship Fragile Items | Aylesbury Box Company
Cardboard boxes were recently used to move flamingos to a zoo. With this in mind, let’s talk about how to pack and ship fragile items.
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How to Pack & Ship Fragile Items


How to Pack & Ship Fragile Items

We recently read that cardboard boxes were selected as the ideal means of moving flamingos to a South Carolina zoo. With this in mind, let’s talk about how to pack and ship fragile items.

The Decision to Pack and Ship in Cardboard Boxes

When 15 fully grown flamingos needed to be transported from North Carolina Zoo to their new home in Grenville Zoo, safe shipping was a priority. The Chilean flamingos form part of the SAFE species programme. Due to habitat loss and other threats, many animals are vulnerable. However, with a focus on conservation, Grenville Zoo now cares for a colony of 34 of these iconic pink birds.

As cardboard boxes are cushioning, breathable and lightweight, it was decided that these were preferable to cages or other containers. Tall cardboard boxes were manufactured, to fit the long, slender shape of the birds. Teams at both zoos ensured a sleek operation. As a result, the birds were released into their new home as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Shipping Fragile Items

Sending flamingos is a rare occurrence. However, millions of other fragile items are packed and shipped every day. When customers order glass or ceramic items, antiques or delicate parts, they want to receive them in the same condition as when they were wrapped. Retailers and manufacturers also prioritise careful packaging. For them, satisfied customers and low return rates help to boost the company’s reputation and profits.

Our Tips On How To Pack and Ship Fragile Items

Choose Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Firstly, like the zoo, many companies choose corrugated cardboard boxes as the ideal solution. It is a versatile and affordable packaging material, which is straightforward to print. Of equal importance, with cardboard, you aren’t limited to standard sizes. That’s because bespoke boxes can be cut to provide the best fit for any product.

As cardboard packaging specialists, we can recommend the appropriate type of corrugated cardboard; single or double-walled, for your requirements. Our team can also advise on moisture resistant coatings and other finishes that optimise the protection of goods.

Add Inserts for Extra Protection

Bespoke cardboard box design can include integral or separate inserts to hold the items securely in place. Restricting movement greatly reduces the risk of damage, whilst also enhancing presentation. Think about mobile phones, tool sets and jewellery that are packaged for both protection and presentation. They look far more professional than an item surrounded by bubble wrap. Equally, paper-based inserts are more environmentally friendly.

Provide Clear Handling Information

Print the packaging. Your brand colours are one option, but handling instructions are also a useful addition for fragile items. The cake box in the image accompanying this article is a great example. Clear information and icons encourage correct handling to help the contents arrive ready for a great celebration.

Ensure the Box Stays Shut

Consider how best to seal the box. It’s a careful balance of keeping the box closed, yet making it easy to open for the customer. As a result, packaging designs with tabs, self-seal and tear strips are popular choices. Stickers and printed tapes can also be used to hold the package shut.

Test Protection and Presentation

We send a sample box to all customers to enable them to test the levels of protection. Are your products undamaged when the box is dropped, stacked, compressed or thrown? Try sending the product to yourself and check the condition when it arrives. For electronics and other items where protective standards have to be met, we can also arrange independent drop testing.

Pick a Trusted Courier

Finally, consider the courier service carefully and look at the assurances and insurances they provide.

Shipping Boxes

In our experience, off-the-shelf shipping boxes, stuffed with void filler, are rarely the best solution. What’s more, they can often work out more costly than a custom solution.

From machine components to decorative items, our team have designed bespoke boxes that provide the best protection and presentation of fragile items. We ask about the items, and how they will be stored and transported, to inform our advice on the design.

For further information and packaging advice, contact the Aylesbury Box Company team at or 01296 436888.


Watch the flamingos being unboxed:

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