Packing for Shipment
© Brooke Clarke 2007 - 2022
How Carriers Work
Some Good Packers
Mile High Clock Supply
National Semiconductor Samples
Foam in Place Packaging
Fast Pack boxes
Tubular Bubble Wrap
What goes Wrong (examples of poor or worse
eBay Gel Cell Batteries
Really Bad Packaging by
Poor Packing by different eBay
Enco , Enco
Simmons Amp meter
Government Liquidation Shipping
Rack size RCS-5B Receiver
USPS Truck vs. Book
Inappropriate Use of Air
Lack of Water
Microscope & Stand
Costco DJI Mini 2
I have had a number of eBay items
arrive after being destroyed during the shipping process.
The reason is the the shipper did not properly package the
item. Recently I bid on and won a Self Winding
Co. "Western Union" clock that had the cover
glass. As far as I know you can no longer buy these large
concave clock glass circles. But as soon as I moved the box
from my front porch I know the glass was broken into bits.
Hence this page about how to do it correctly.
There are college degrees for packaging engineering. In some
engineering classes a project is to package a fresh egg so that it
can be dropped from the roof of a building and survive. To
engineer the packaging you need to know what stresses will be
applied to the item and what stresses it can survive. The
most common stresses are shock and vibration, but for some
products temperature (food) or barometric pressure (G-M tubes with
thin metal walls) are critical.
After making this web page and
thinking about it there's a philosophy to good packing.
The purpose of the cushioning is
to absorb rough handling including dropping some number of
feet. I'm calling this padding on this web page. A
piece of steel does not need any cushioning but some effort is
needed to keep in inside the box. A wine glass needs a lot
of cushioning. Multiple layers of bubble wrap where each
layer is tapped and at right angles to the prior layer works
well for this.
After the Cushioning the rest of
the box needs to be filled with something that will immobilize
the item being shipped. Ideally this would have no weight
and be crush proof. A box may be hit by a hand truck or
some other hard object that will puncture the outer wall or
crush a corner so a minimum of 2 inches for light (1 pound)
objects and four inches for heavier objects (50 pound) is
The loading on this material needs to be lower than it's crush
strength. Crush strength is the load that causes a
permanent change in size, not what's needed to flatten.
Once the void fill material gets even a little smaller then the
load has wiggle room which will increase the force for the next
movement. Once this process of crushing the void fill
starts it's just a matter of time until the load is banging
around or puncturing the box.
Chicken or Egg
For most of the items I receive or
ship it's best to bubble wrap them first and use the void fill
for the rest of the box. But for some items, that
have projections, like a typewriter or adding machine that has a
lever sticking out, it may be better to use styrofoam sheets
that are in contact with large areas of the item and stick out
beyond the projection, then apply the bubble wrap for
padding. That's to say use the void fill first then
How Carriers Work
UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc. do not
dedicate a person to put your package on their lap and hand carry
the package, although this is what some people must think.
The reality is they all consolidate as many packages as possible
into a big truck. This means packages stacked on packages
until there are packages touching the eight foot high
ceiling. I've seen some trucks with a sign on the back
saying 100" high or 102" high which is a little more than 8 feet.
To unload the truck a conveyor belt is slid into the truck and the
packages are pulled down and allowed to drop onto he belt which
takes them to the dock. There are variations on this theme
but it's part of standard practice to drop the box some distance
that varies from a couple of feet to seven feet. This
process gets repeated at each consolidation center.
Typically there are two centers between the sender and the
receiver. In the case of domestic Fedex air shipment there's
the Memphis, TN center. So a fragile item shipped Fedex air
will have less trauma than other commercial methods.
Some Good Packers
I'm sure that anyone who has been in
a business where they are shipping something soon learns how to
properly pack. So it's interesting to see what they do.
I've received many heavy delicate
items from Fair Radio and all arrived in tip top shape.
They have a unique packing method that involves using newsprint
and cardboard as the filler materials. A strong box that's
a few inches larger than the item has it's bottom and lower
corners reinforced with 2 or three additional layers of
cardboard. The item is centered in the box. Then
newspaper is packed extremely tightly around the item. I
can't figure out how they pack the newsprint so tightly and yet
don't hurt the item being shipper. It's as if you needed a
broom stick to compress the newspaper but did not hurt the
item. The top the corners and top surface are again
reinforced with extra cardboard. I don't remember if they
use a banding machine or fiber tape for heavy items, but it's
one of those.
|2020 June 16
received a couple of antennas from Fair Radio.
At- 780 & AS-313.
This is not newspaper like they used decades ago.
Maybe there's not that many papers anymore?
Also note this is double wall cardboard.
Mike uses 3 or 4 layers of bubble
wrap. Applied one layer at a time. Each layer is at
90 degrees from the prior layer. Minimum bubble thickness
4" everywhere. Box corners reinforced with additional
cardboard. Either 2 bands or 2 wraps of fiber tape in each
of 3 planes so that no matter which face you look at you will
see 2 horizontal bands and 2 vertical bands.
The packing shown below from Mike is very similar to the packing
used by pvt Jarhead for the AM-2060.
double wall box
wood & double wall cardboard blocking
All 6 faces have a minimum of two
layers of double wall cardboard.
box with O-1814/GRC-206
bubble wrap surrounded with packing, Double wall cardboard
Used only cardboard in a very
cleaver way. The idea is to heavily reinforce all 8
corners with multiple layers of cardboard. Trapped the
AM-2060 and padded it at the same time. This is very
similar to how Agilent (HP) ships some test equipment with a
notched cylinder in each corner of the box holding the
National Semiconductor Samples
13 Dec 2007
received two each LM38692Eval
samples from NSC. They came in a UPS Express box that's
about 13 x 11 x 2.
The samples are in bubble envelopes that are about 13 1/2 x 10
1/2 x 1/2 marked Jiffylite
cushioned mailer #4, Sealed Air Corp. Notice that the
envelopes are slightly longer than the box, so one end of the
envelope takes a slight bend. Once the stuffing material
is placed in the box to fill the gap between the 1" of envelopes
and the 2" box the contents can not move. So by choosing
the envelope size to be a good match to the box the envelope no
longer needs stuffing on two sides. Someone knows what
they are doing at NSC.
Also the small slip of paper with the red band at the top says
"Please check inside packaging material for product." That
would cover the case where the person filling the box wrapped an
envelope with the packing material.
Elegant, simple - a good example of fine packaging.
Foam in Place Packaging (Google)
Agilent had one of these machines
in the Mountain View facility. A plastic bag in the bottom
of the box is partially filled with a two part foam that's
expanding, and the instrument is set on top of it and settles in
like on a pillow and the foam hardens. Another bag is
placed on top and also filled with the foam and the top cover
flaps are closed and held down. The foam expands down
toward the bottom and they meet. It takes some skill to do
this but the results are great. These are expensive
There are shipping services that offer foam in place. Many
companies use this method.
This Sealed Air
of sealed bags that contain the "A" and "B" chemicals in
separate compartments. The bag needs to be heated then
pressed on a flat surface to get the A & B chemicals to mix.
The original was Instapak Quick and Instapak Quick Tough and
these required a heater. Instapak Quick RT is the Room
Temperature version that does not need the heater.
has technical details about
ULine carries Instapak
Fast Pack NSN 8115- (Google)
These are high strength double or
triple wall reusable cardboard boxes that have foam padding
glued to some surfaces. You just put your item in the box
press the lid down and tape it closed. The item being
shipped is padded on all sides by the box. There are
National Stock Numbers for all the common sizes and the starting
digits are NSN 8115-.
The No Packing item below
shows three large
Fast Pack boxes used for rack
|Fast Pack box XC5
10x8x2½ CU 0.2 8115-00-787-2146
It consists of an outer sleeve and the insert
The smaller box inside is:
10 x 6¼ x 2 and contains Bowman radio set
from Mike Murphy.
In order to open this package you need to hold
the far end of the sleeve (between the sleeve and
filler, while pushing the filler at the near end with
Goodwin Robbins - Fast Pack
shows style G-XE9 which is the one used for the
The main item has been wrapped with one
layer of bubble and air pillows used between that and the
cardboard box. Shredded paper is used as filler so the
contents can not move around. Appears to be newsprint
that's been run through a shredder. This is much stiffer
than wadded up newsprint and so for things that are not too
dense a good choice.
I received a Mk 20 Mod 4 aircraft Gun sight from eBay seller huntingtonhangar87
with excellent double box packaging.
|Fedex shipping is a good idea for fragile
items since it minimizes transit time thus minimizing the
amount of vibration.
Tubular Bubble Wrap (Air Tubes)
I got an A4 size (300x400mm, 11.8"x15.7") light table from China
(eBay title: LED Tracing Light Box Board Tattoo A4 A3 Drawing Copy
Pad Table Stencil Display). It came with what I'm calling
tubular bubble wrap that's very stiff.
The tubes are about 8" (203mm) long and 0.7" (18mm) thick.
Found on internet with title "air tube rolls".
|Fig 1 I've removed on side of the wrap and
left the other side as received.
What goes Wrong
The USPS wrapped the box in tape saying received in damaged
condition. Also a hand written sticker about the damage.
This is the most common
mistake. If when the box is all sealed up you shake it
hard in any direction the contents must not change position or
move. If the contents can move just a little then they will
weaken the box and eventually escape the box. The longer
the distance the more time the item has to escape the box.
If the item has been properly wrapped and is well padded then
the box needs to tightly fit the wrapped item. Putting a
well padded item it to a box that's too big defeats the
padding. The space can be made up using cardboard, or by
cutting down the height of the box and using the now long flaps
as extra cardboard.
Improper use of Styrofoam, either peanuts or sheets is a common
problem. Styrofoam, like is used for coffee cups, is very
light and takes up space and is a great way to fill up a box
that contains something that's also light, such as small
parts. But when it's used with heavy items it easily gets
CAP2060 Air Compressor from eBay
shown in eBay ad with Handle at top
delivered with smashed handle
New shroud ready to install + feet to install
|Bostitch CAP2060 Air Compressor Working
The Grizzly H3226 5
piece Coupling set has 1 female 1/4" NPT coupling
on the air blower and 4 male couplers, 2 used on the
hose. Still need 4 more females
for the other air tools (H5530).
The box arrived looking fine. The UPS delivery man carried
it using the two handle holes near the top of the box. One
of them is shown in the photo at left near the top center of the
The box top is four layers of cardboard each the full size of
the top held in place by a half dozen large metal staples.
The top outside looked fine.
But inside the carry handle of the compressor is gone and the
bits are sitting in the bottom of the box.
In the photo you can see the indentation in the lid where the
box was turned upside down. Riding in a truck upside down
is going to cause this problem. Note there is no packing
to support the air compressor when the box is upside down.
There are no markings on the box, like a wine glass or printed
"This Side Up", so it's fair for the delivery company to turn it
12 Jan 2009 - The box the compressor was shipped in is probably
the same box the factory used to ship the compressor to the
seller, BUT it was shipped on a pallet with a bunch of other
compressors and so there was no way for it to get turned upside
down. A local business had the same problem with a
different product, i.e. the factory ships on pallets and the
dealer removes the box from the pallet and ships the individual
item with this type of result.
eBay Gel Cell Batteries
An ebay seller sent me two gell cell batteries in a USPS flat
rate priority box. He put them in the box and filled the
rest of the space with peanuts. When the box arrived there
was not one whole peanut. There were a couple of holes in
the side of the box a few inches wide. One battery was
broken. There were a few peanuts flattened into paper thin
The right battery has it's corner smashed. It takes quite some
force to do that, but heavy batteries in a box without any padding
dropped 5 feet would easily cause the damage.
Notice on top of the left battery the two "peanuts" now are flat.
Really Bad Packaging by mickiecat1
A description of this fiasco is on my web page for the Self Winding Clock Co. "Western
Union" 37SS Sweep Second clocks. Look at the poor
packing below for the same model clock and then have a look at
Really Bad Packaging.
Poor Packing by different eBay seller
The box with a 37SS
Clock arrived crushed by a couple of inches. A box this size
probably gets put on the bottom of a stack that's 8 feet high so
needs to be able to carry that weight, either based on the strength
of the box itself or based on packing it so it can not be crushed,
or both. I suspect there's plenty of bubble wrap around the
clock but not enough to really fill the box. The rule of thumb
for radios is to have at least 4" of bubble wrap on all sides that's
taped tightly on each layer where the layers are at right angles to
each other. Then the box should have stuffing at the corners
and sides so that the item can not move around. Then the box
can be cut down so the top just covers the item with more packing in
the corners. When the box is all tapped up and shaken there
must not be any movement of the contents. If there's any
movement open the box and pack it tighter.
Notice the lower left corner is also crushed. No reinforcing
This is poor bubble wrapping. There's only one layer and it's
loose, not tight to the clock. Thickness of bubble wrap varies
from 0 to maybe 1 inch, should be 4". The rest of the box was
filled with plastic peanuts. That would be OK if the item had
4" of bubble wrap and if the box was "tight" so that nothing can
move inside. If there's any movement the peanuts will crush
with each shake, so it's a matter of time until they are completely
gone. With heavy items the peanuts can be completely gone
after a few hundred miles of shipping.
Super Circuits received 3 Aug 2007:
As received the box was
Which may or
may not be OK.
the items were on the
bottom of the box!
So there was no padding. How well
the items survived is determined
by what padding the factory
This is poor packaging.
PC164 TV camera, Lens, power supply
100 feet of coax.
|The PC164 box has no
padding other than
what is provided by the paperwork and wires.
13 Aug 2007 - Heard from Super Circuits that my camera had a loose
internal connector, exactly the type of problem bad packing would
cause. It's on the way back. We'll see if they pack it
correctly. Also received an email from them thanking me for
letting them know about the poor packing. Again, we'll see
if that was hype or if they have improved.
16 Aug 2007 - received the P-164C (KPC-350BH
it to them) and in a box with the high quality peanuts. The
strange thing is on the phone the tech told me a cable was loose
inside, but on the green tag it says unable to duplicate the
Also received a Super Circuits P-38
(Mintron 63V5) in a different box. This time the camera box
had peanuts on all sides. Also the Mintron factory box has
an egg create rough molded paper type cradle for the camera that
provides some cushioning.
Enco received 14 Aug 2007
As soon as I picked up the box it was obvious that was way too
much slop. This is strange since most of what they sell is
heavy metal machines and accessories. You'd think they would
have learned how to properly package.
|Enco box just after
opening. All the items ordered are in a plastic bag
which is wrapped with tape. But a strip of 5 air
pillows were used to fill the rest of the space.
This was the wrong packaging material. One of the
pillows has burst.
|This bag of measuring items weighs just
under 3 pounds and is 6" x 3.5" x 1.5". So the
smallest end has an area of about 5 sq inches. The
loading on that end is 8.6 oz/ sq in.
|Inside the box there's a
hole in the seam and a large dent a few inches to the
right of the hole. The cardboard has a crease
between them. To the left of the hole the cardboard
If this box went much further the inner heavy bag would
have escaped the box and not arrived at all.
Nowhere on the storopack web page was any specification
about what loading the pillows can take. air pillows are an
alternative to plastic peanuts and neither is suitable for dense
items, like the metal parts in this shipment.
15 Aug 2007 - their email said something like thanks.
Enco #2 rcvd 21Nov 2007
The UPS delivery man did the knock softly then run away. He
was in the truck starting to back out when I opened the front
door. As soon as I picked up the box it was clear that the
contents were very loose. Inside I started a web page for
using a Drill Press
holes on the centerline of round parts and when I got the the part
about the Enco items I went to open the box. Then noticed a
yellow plastic tape that said "DO NOT OPEN DO
NOT OPEN". The strange thing is that it was under a staple
and so probably was put on at Enco. Maybe because this set
is a sale item composed of a number of Enco items and may have
been prepackaged. The shipping label looked like it was
stock, i.e. contents have not been repackaged (which sometimes is
done by the carrier if the box is beyond hope). My thought
was that maybe the box should be opened from the other side to
make getting the contents out easier and after turning it over saw
the hole in the bottom. After calling Enco they said go
ahead and open the box. Inside there was a single piece of
bubble warp loose in the box. It is far short of the volume
needed to fill out the voids in the box. The packing list
says this is the "5C" collet set. There are 4 individual
bottom of box
nowhere near enough filling,
blue box has hole in corner and dent in top.
Multiple Items in the Same Box
This is a special problem. If
a single item is well padded and then tightly boxed it will be
OK. But suppose two items are in the same box. By two
items I mean that they are not connected together in a very stiff
rigid fixed way.
Although you might be able to ship a
sledge hammer and a wine glass in the same box it would be better
to seperate them and use two boxes. I think most people
would do this. The problem comes when it's not so
obvious. For example pendulum clocks have a heavy bob at the
end of the pendulum that's equivalent to a sledge hammer.
The rest of the clock is about as fragile as a wine glass.
The photo at left shows many small packages consolidated into
larger bags which in turn were wrapped in the small bubble wrap
seen under the bags. A few of the bubble wrapped bags fit
into a USPS priority mail box and the small remaining space was
filled with plastic peanuts. Electronic Gold Mine GOOD PACKAGING
has a good
solution to keep customers from tossing product out with the
parts are small and
light (pun intended).
Morse Bugs or Vibroplex keys
The same goes for Morse code keys called "bugs" or Vibroplex
keys. The lever weights act like hammers.
For Packing a Morse Bug or Vibroplex for shipment see: Packing a
Bug for Shipping
Self Winding Clock Co. "Western Union" packing
The pendulum is like a sledge hammer.
In the case of the Western Union clocks the maker built into the
design a way to anchor the pendulum bob so shipping would be no
problem. There are two holes in the bob and matching holes
in the clock frame. A 1/4-20 bolt, lock washer and thumb nut
will hold the bob and it can not escape. The suspension at
the top of the pendulum is designed to allow the whole length of
the pendulum to sit flat against the frame for shipping without
doing anything special other than installing the nut and
bolt. They even provide a place to store the nut and bolt
while the clock in mounted to a wall next to each battery holder.
The handset acts as a hammer and destroys the phone or vice versa.
Here's a case where someone just tossed
a bunch of old phones in a box
and sent them loose.
About half of them were damaged.
- explains how to pack phones so they survive
In most TMs there is a section dealing with preparation for
shipping that covers securing the equipment, removing batteries,
settings that need to be homed, meters put in the self dampening
range, etc. The next section usually has a figure showing
how to pack the item for storage or shipping. So if you have
a TM for the item by all means read the packing section.
Four inches of bubble wrap. Applied one layer (an inch) at a
time tightly taped so it can not move. Layers 90 degrees to
each other. The 4 inches applies to every part of the item
so handles and rack ears need 4 inches past their widest point,
not just the main chassis. The box needs to be reinforced
with cardboard in all the corners. Fiber tape or a banding
machine holds the box to the padded item.
Items not Covered Above
The number of items not covered far exceeds the few I've
mentioned. If you're shipping an item you need to do your
homework and learn how to properly package it. Google
is your friend.
Find someone who has the item and see what groups or links they
might have. Above all use common sense. Think!
This is why a business does not do many things that are very
different. My grandmother would say "stick to your
knitting". Meaning do what you know. It's OK to do new
things, but then it's your responsibility to learn how.
I purchased three Cesium Standards
from Government Liquidation and hired one of their recommended
shipping companies to handle shipping the pallet. I picked
this particular lot because it included 3 Fast Packs for the 3
items. The photo at the left shows the three Fast
Packs and one of the Cesium Standards has been taken out so it can
be seen. So one of those Fast Packs is empty. The guy
from the shipping company just used a metal banding machine to tie
everything together as you see it in the photo then wrapped with
the clear wrap. When the truck arrived I was sick to see the
Cesium standard with metal banding down to the pallet. Not
only no padding but a good mechanical connection to all the shocks
and vibration. Needless to say that unit has never worked,
but should since is brand new.
Rack size RCS-5B Receiver
If you feel the need for FRAGILE tape, you've probably done
a poor job packaging!
The sticker on the box says the box weighs more than 70 pounds,
yet whoever packed it used Styrofoam peanuts! As received
there was a void at the opened end ranging from 5" to 9"
deep! I paid for professional double box packaging and this
is what they sent! Once unpacked the receiver is DEAD!
Packed by the:
1678 Montgomery Highway, Suite D
Hoover, AL. 35216
For more about this receiver see the RCS-5
This was supposed to be insured, but I've never received anything.
USPS Truck vs. Book
I ordered 3 items, the receiver, the test transmitter (both in
PRC-77 type housings) and the ARFBUOY
that is based on a sonobuoy.
The ARFBUOY arrived and when the postman handed it to me I almost
fell forward into his truck. It weighs 18 pounds and looks
a 4-3/4" x 22" steel cylinder. It had a single wrap of
cardboard. This is like shipping a sledge hammer.
Imagine what whould happen to other packages that shared a truck
The other two items simply dissapeared. My guess is that
they were not bound toghther and seperated and in the process
destroyed the box they were in.
A microscope objective is a delicate optical device and in some
respects is like a metal hammer.
The shipper just dropped it into a bubble mailer, but the hammer
just popped all the bubbles so there was just a layer of paper
between it and any metal surface.
Don't know exactly what's wrong, but suspect the glass inside is
|Metal has been deformed from 12:100 to
Inappropriate Use of Air Pillows
A Wild T16 theodolite was shipped in well sized box, but it's a
heavy item and can easily break the air pillows. I'm sure
when shipped the theodolite was centered in the box, but when
opened it was laying on the bottom. You can see crease
lines where the box was crushed (you can see similar crush lines
on the "Lack of Water" photos just below
Inside the box there is: Styrofoam blocks, crumpled packing
paper, air pillows, small pieces of bubble wrap used as filler
(not wrapped around theodolite and tapped). The theodolies
was just lying on the bottom, not wrapped or in any way
contained. The things in the box were just stuffing
allowing the theodolite to migrate to the bottom, but the
crushed air pillows made that happen faster.
|Note "Fragile" sign (aka bad packaging)
and crush lines in cardboard.
|Note: Crushed air pillows an crush lines in
Lack of Water
The fiber paper tape that needs to be licked by a wheel in a water
bath does not work when the water gets low. Both ends of the
box were open and the contents spilled out as soon as I put the
box down. The U.S.P.S. mailman must have given this box a
lot of special care to prevent loosing the contents.
Microscope & Stand
Received in two boxes: (1) the microscope with
individual parts bubble wrapped along with a steel bar heavier
than a sledge hammer loose in the box. Sort of like
shipping wine glasses and an hammer in the same box. (2) the
base plate (70 pounds) and another steel bar.
The horizontal support bar came out of the package onto the UPS
driver's foot. It was not anchored inside the box, an
example of poor
packaging. The loose bar broke one of the knobs on
the focusing mount even though the focusing mount was wrapped in
The result of the bad packaging is that the Focusing
Mount has a knob broken off and the ISO
Port beam splitter slide is very hard to move.
|Box as received with the bar sticking out
|Inside Box wrapped components were free
to move and
be beaten by iron bar (a hammer)
|parts laid out on floor
Loose knob in center just above the binocular head.
Broken shaft on focusing mount to the right of loose
Don't know if there is additional damage yet.
There is another box still due, so the total extend of the bad
packaging is yet to be determined.
The shipper does not know how to package
heavy items. The base arrived with a broken
The base weighs 70 pounds.
|Instead of putting all the hardware in a
bag tied to a handle a bolt was wrapped with clear
packing tape around the vertical bar. It's going
to take some time to get the tape and sticky residue off
the bar so that the height can be adjusted.
Costco DJI Mini 2
An air pillow was used to fill up the end space between the DJI
box and the Costco box. The pillow popped leaving the DJI
box with no support. Nothing was done to make up the
difference in height. They did label the box as having a
battery inside. Also see: DJI Mini 2
|Poor Costco Packaging
Small High Value Items
Small high value items often can be
properly packaged in a box only a few inches on a side. But
a small box is more likely to be lost than a box that's say 1 foot
on a side. Also Registered mail requires a signature
path and can be traced from the shipper to the last person at the
post office who handled it. So if it's lost there's a better
change of finding the package. I recently received an adapter from C/CS mount
to 1 ¼"
telescope. It's small enough that you can hide it in
your hand. The seller shipped it in a priority mail box that
was nearly 1 foot on a side for just this reason. (I think
he had earlier suffered "lost" shipments).
Heavy Fragile Items
Double boxing adds a layer of padding. For example the ICOM
R9500 is double boxed from the factory.
Multiple items in the same package in addition to being
individually padded MUST be tied together. I received a set
of microwave parts where each was well padded but the small bag of
connectors got tossed into the garbage because it blended in too
It's a good idea to not toss packaging immediately into the
garbage, but instead store it for more than a week.
Christmas presents was the first place where I learned that
lesson. Some of the boxes made for new things like cell
phones have compartments that have something inside that may not
get opened after the phone and manual are removed from the box,
but will be missed when needed, like the charger or USB
cable. When moving packaging to the garbage it's a good idea
to inspect it to be sure you're only tossing packaging and not
content. Good packaging avoids this problem by not hiding
Postage & Stamps
I have a seperate web page about options for USPS postage
These are used like Plastic Peanuts but have advantages for the
shipper in that they take up much less space and for the recipient
in that they are much easier to seperate for the shipped
items. The problem is when they are misused, like in the
Enco case above
where a pillow burst.
These are one way to fill voids in a box after the contents have
been padded. But they have a number of disadvantages.
It makes a mess for the receipent. They have very low
strength so are not suitable for use in the same box as heavy
items. They generate static. Items can get lost in a
box (See Multiple Items above).
A little Googling and I found DOW web pages where they specify 15
Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) for the wall insulation sheets.
These or similar sheets are available at home improvement
stores. This is a void filling method, not suitable for
|Control Styrofoam Peanuts
A couple of misting squirts from a bottle of window
them from sticking to my hands and the box.
Electrostatic Discharge can cause the failure of electronic
items. Many people put their static sensitive product into
an anti static bag thinking that will protect the product.
But, that's not the case. "Antistatic bag" just means the
bag will not generate any static. These plastic bags look
sort of like sunglasses. To protect a product from static a
Faraday Cage (Wiki
is needed. There are bags that do this and they look like
paper painted sliver on the outside and black on the inside.
Or just wrap in aluminum foil so item is completly covered.
The Wiki article is wrong about antistatic. The meaning is
"Preventing or inhibiting the buildup of static
electricity". This is very different from shielding
from static discharge. See: Static
Shipping or Transit Cases
Many military devices come in a shipping case. These are
typically made of metal, have a closeable air vent and use a
number of quick acting latches. They are water proof and
have compartments for each item. I believe you can just tape
a label on these without any further packaging and a commercial
carrier will accept them. They are also used for commercial
products. For example when going to trade shows or customer
demonstrations the equipment is packaged into shipping
cases. Some of these have wheels like carry on baggage
complete with long handles so make it easier to move them without
Insurance is not going to pay for
damage caused by improper packaging. It will pay for lost
items, but the odds of a lost item are extremely low.
Some of the eBay message boards make a point of recommending that
either the seller or the buyer get insurance with the belief that
everything is covered. If you get a custom policy from
Lloyds of London and pay their fee then that might be the
case. But the insurance offered by the carriers only covers
their neglect. Dropping a box 6 feet is not negligent, it's
standard operating practice.
What is Good Packing?
- Gets the item to it's destination without any damage.
- Minimizes the expense of the shipper both in terms of time
Characteristics of Good Packing.
- No movement of item when package shaken, dropped or bounces
- Box completely filled so can not crush.
- For heavy items fiber tape or banding to hold box together.
- If more than one item in box they are individually padded
then held firmly toghther so they can not beat up each other.
- Item is padded on all sides so box can be dropped.
- If the box is too small for a heavy object there will not be
enough padding. Heavier items need more padding so need
space for more padding. The style G model XE9 Fast Pack
has a lot of built in foam padding.
Good Packaging Methods for Common Carrier Items
- Foam in Place
- Fast Pack
- News print compressed so tight you can not stick your finger
- Four inches of bubble wrap on all sides. Wrapped one
layer at a time and taped tight. 90 degrees between
Back to Brooke's Products
Military Information, Home
Page created 20 July 2007.