Top Shipping Pitfalls

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Not packing the boxes correctly

This is one of the most obvious of the shipping pitfalls on the list but it’s one that many companies still manage to get wrong every day. To ensure that your parcels arrive at your customers in good condition you will want to make sure that you are getting this right, regardless of how careful your courier it is. For starters, you will want to use a box that is a good fit for your product, too big and your product will be left rattling around in the box and will be susceptible to being crushed. Too small and you run the risk of the product bursting through the packaging or being damaged by impacts during transit. Fill the box correctly and make sure that you add enough protective material to ensure that your product is adequately protected, and the sides of the boxes are supported.

Selecting the wrong type of box

As well as selecting the right size box and packing it properly it’s also paramount to ensure that you have selected the correct type of box to use. It’s important to remember that your parcels may end up in stacks of other boxes and will sometimes end up at the bottom with all that weight bearing down, which can cause damage if the wrong type of outer box is used. Make sure you pick the right strength box for your needs, whether it be single wall, double-wall, triple wall or even wooden shipping crates.

Using the wrong protective material

What you use to protect your products in their boxes can literally make or break your orders. Whether you need to use foam rolls or edge and corner protectors, make sure that you’re using protective packaging that is tailored to your product’s needs. Make sure that the protective packaging you’re using is able to stand up to the weight of the product and that any sharp edges are covered as they will pierce the box that they are in and will be more susceptible to impacts. Think about the journey that your parcels will go on and try to anticipate the instances where they could get damaged and take that into account, for example, can your product withstand other boxes being stacked on top of it or survive being dropped on the ground when being carried?

Box being packed

Not being aware of size and weight restrictions

Again, this is another of the shipping pitfalls that comes from using the incorrect packaging but has different implications. With many companies shipping out items in boxes that are too big for the products they risk overpaying on postage. As many delivery companies price their services on parcel size as well as weight, it’s important to reduce the amount of empty space that is shipped. It might not seem like a lot but a small increase on each order will add up and start to increase your costs.

Lack of labelling

Apart from making sure that your order is getting sent to the right address, it’s important to ensure that other informative labelling is added to your parcels. This can include labelling if the contents are fragile or need to be kept a certain way up. This on its own doesn’t protect the contents, however, it does draw attention to whoever is handling it that some extra care is needed which can increase the chances of it making it to its destination in one piece.

Fragile parcel

Just going for the cheapest delivery service

Even with all the labels on your parcel telling the courier the correct way to handle your parcel, it won’t make a difference if the courier doesn’t want to take notice of them. Not to say the cheapest delivery service will offer the worst service, but it’s important to consider the longer-term costs of choosing a service solely based on price, as it could result in an increase in damaged orders, therefore, reducing your profits. Check review websites such as Trustpilot and find which courier services have the best reviews. You’ll never eliminate damaged parcels entirely, but you should always be working towards keeping them to an absolute minimum.

Not being aware of certain import and export rules

When exporting products to different countries there can be quite a lot of information to be aware of. Many sellers run into problems by not being aware of export/import rules and regulations which may differ from country to country. Check the specific rules for each country that you are exporting to and make sure that you are including all the relevant documentation it’s good practice to double check that you aren’t sending over any prohibited products too.


With all those shipping pitfalls listed, we hope that you are a bit better prepared for avoiding them with your future orders. And if it’s packaging related, Davpack can help you with your needs, whether it’s keeping your products well protected, or making them look great for your customers.

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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