Shipping fragile items requires careful planning and handling to ensure they reach their destination safely. Fragile items can include heavy or hard-to-balance items such as vases, glassware that can break easily, or delicate items such as jewelry. Finding sustainable packaging that can handle fragile items is a priority for brands seeking improved customer satisfaction.

Why businesses need to focus on how items are packaged

Damaged items affect your business profits in several ways:

Returns: 81% of returns are due to damaged shipments. If a customer receives a broken item, the company has to pay for its re-shipment.

Bad Reviews: Customer reviews are critical for every eCommerce business. Bad reviews due to broken products can harm your reputation and deter potential customers.

Knowing how to pack, label, and send fragile items is essential to keeping your customers happy and avoiding additional costs. Here’s how to ship fragile items.

Tips for shipping fragile items

Size and weight matters

noissue protective kraft mailers use eco-friendly padding made of paper to protect products

Consider the size and weight of your package to avoid overloading. Measure by girth and length, using inches as your guide, to determine whether the packaging you’ve picked suits the job.
Use packaging slightly larger than the product to fit ample cushioning material. Protective kraft mailers made from sustainable paperboard provide extra padding and security for handling fragile items.

noissue Padded Poly Mailers have bubble padding to keep your goods safe during transit

Avoid boxes with too much empty space, which causes items to shift around and risk breaking. Where possible, use compact yet roomy packaging that fits in the mailbox.

Restrict product movement with cushioning material

It’s crucial to correctly place your fragile pieces to keep them still and safe during shipping. We recommend putting the fragile item in the middle of your chosen packaging, with cushioning material evenly spaced on all sides. Ensure all sides of the packaging are fully sealed.

Pack items individually

FedEx and other shipping carriers recommend packing fragile items individually. Wrap each item in a minimum three-inch thickness of air-cellular cushioning material before surrounding it with eco-friendly filler.

Choose the right packing materials

Padded mailers

noissue Padded Poly Mailers have bubble padding to keep your goods safe during transit

For the most fragile products, consider doubling the packaging. Wrap the breakable products before you pack them into your padded mailers, creating a few inches of cushioning. Use custom roll labels to showcase your brand and add an interactive QR code. noissue labels use non-toxic adhesive and are compost-friendly.

noissue custom roll labels can be easily applied to the outside of a mailer bag

Mailer boxes

noissue recycled and recyclable kraft mailer boxes and tissue paper by @keishacansew

Choose the right box to support the product's weight and allow ample cushioning material. Double-box extra breakable items for added protection. Enhance sustainability with compostable bags and kraft hang tags.

Cushioning and padding

Fill empty spaces and secure your fragile item inside the box using biodegradable packing peanuts, crinkle paper, tissue wrapping paper, or other eco-friendly materials. For protection, add multiple layers of wrapping.

Labeling fragile packages

Labeling your package is a hot topic of debate. While placing a fragile sticker on custom packaging can help, many are handled by automated equipment, and workers may miss the stickers.USPS representatives state proper packaging is more important than labeling, which should be a secondary step.

Custom fragile sticker by @shopourcommunity

However, you can add multiple stickers to the packaging to grab shippers' and handlers' attention. Just make sure to avoid covering the shipping label. Use eco-packing tape or a recycled hang tag to further indicate fragility.

noissue Recyclable Custom Fragile Stickers, Recyclable Shipping Labels, Recyclable Custom Packing Tape, and Recyclable Kraft Mailer Boxes by @kinsfolkshop

Labeling for different carriers

The USPS encourages the use of fragile labels on boxes for careful handling, but it removed its Special Handling-Fragile service in 2022.

Consider the labeling requirements of the postal service you plan to use and the impact of automation when determining how to label fragile products. It's better to err on the side of caution and use labels that grasp handlers' attention.

Shipping Insurance

Shipping insurance provides peace of mind, especially for international shipments. Depending on the package and shipping distance, domestic shipments may not always require insurance.

Wrapping It Up

Ready to start shipping your fragile items? Pack your breakable items in noissue’s rigid, heavy-duty mailers, corrugated kraft mailers, or protective kraft mailers, and use custom labels to mark them as fragile. This will ensure your precious products arrive safely at your customers when moving from A to B. Happy shipping!