Packaging and Posting Boxes: How to Secure Heavy Items

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Packaging and Posting Boxes: How to Secure Heavy Items

A package in the mail has a long and potentially perilous journey to make before arriving at its final destination. Depending on where it has to go, it can end up flying through the air or sailing across seas with many bumps, drops, and accidents along the way. Heavy objects sent through the mail have the biggest danger of breaking simply because of their weight. Business owners send their packages out to their customers often hoping for the best, only to receive a complaint later because the package arrived in very poor condition, or the item inside was severely damaged.

Packing heavy items takes a bit of extra work, but it can be safely performed by using packing materials purchased through a moving shop or online at websites like eBay. It is worthwhile to take the time to first understand proper packing procedures before sending heavy items unsecured through the mail and potentially having to issue a costly refund for a broken package.

Packing Small

The first concept to understand about packing heavy items is to keep the box small. The bigger the box, the more difficult it is to carry. This increases the parcel's chances of being dropped or falling off a conveyor belt. Due to the extra weight of the item inside, even a short fall of a yard or so could severely impact the integrity of the contents inside. Therefore, when sending heavy items like books, ceramics, or metal tools, keep the packaging small.

No Combination Shipping

This means it is not a good idea to combine two different heavy items into a single box if it means that a larger box must be used. It is very tempting to cut down on shipping costs by mailing a single large box instead of two medium sized ones, but business owners run the risk of their products getting damaged during the shipping process. In turn, this causes the customer to become dissatisfied with the service he or she received. Customer dissatisfaction ends up hurting a business far more than any money saved on shipping costs.

Packing Tight

One basic principle of handling heavy items is to pack the box tight. This is especially true of glass, which is heavy yet fragile. Glass is actually very strong; a good example is that it is possible to stand on glassware without it breaking underneath. However, it is very brittle, and even a short drop can send a beautiful wine glass into a thousand broken pieces. If you are sending multiple items together, such as a set of glassware, make sure that the pieces are placed together so tightly that they cannot move.

Packing Materials

One of the best ways to keep the item or items inside the box safe from being slung around in the back of a mailing truck or a cargo plane is to surround them with protective packing materials. There are two types: outer materials such as a box, and internal materials used to keep the item safe inside the box.


When it comes to boxes, there are two types most consumers choose. The single wall box is the least expensive option and it works best for sending light materials. Heavy objects do not fare well inside single wall boxes because the sides of the box are not strong enough to resist a hard impact from a heavy object inside. This disfigures the box and makes the shipping item susceptible to greater damage.

Double Wall Boxes

Double wall boxes are the better choice for heavy items that are over 20 pounds. They use two sheets of cardboard around their sides, making them sturdy and quite durable. If a heavy object bangs into the wall of the box, it holds its shape better than a single wall box. Sharp metal objects like tools, however, can still cut holes into a double wall box, so the shipper must take care to wrap the metal, or use another type of container.

Interior Packing Materials

Securing a heavy package means never shipping it without some sort of interior protection. Anything is better than nothing, but the materials listed below are some of the best money can buy. Use them to keep heavy parcels secure and safe on long voyages.

Kraft Paper

Also simply called brown paper, kraft paper is sold in rolls. It needs to be scrunched up into a shape like a sausage and then stuffed into the box. Use it on the bottom, sides, and top to prevent the item inside from hitting the edge of the box. The downside of kraft paper is that it does not really provide an extra weight protection. If another heavy box is set on top of the package, the brown paper easily collapses under the extra weight.


Styrofoam pellets are small, but their size allows them to penetrate every void inside the box and provide extra support around the heavy item inside. Styrofoam is a unique synthetic material that can regain its shape after it has been squashed. This means that even if the box is thrown onto the floor, the styrofoam pellets protect the internal parts. The main downside to using styrofoam is that it is not environmentally friendly since the material takes thousands of years to decompose.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is more expensive that kraft paper, but it has more benefits. Bubble wrap is sold in a roll, and it is essentially a sheet of plastic with small air pockets. These pockets cushion the item inside the box and even if one of the pockets pops, the rest should be able to provide enough extra support. It is an excellent filler material to use for the entire box lining. Take extra care to pack it around the sides and corners until there is no room for the item inside to move. It works best when dealing with fragile materials like glass.

Corrugated Roll

Corrugated rolls are small sheets of cardboard that can be inserted inside the box to enhance its strength. For example, a single wall cardboard box benefits from the extra support that corrugated rolls give when wrapped around the interior sides. This material helps prevent the box from collapsing, and is a good choice if the heavy item inside is not quite as high as the box is tall.

Air Cushions

Air cushions work much like bubble wrap, only they are bigger and provide superior protection. A heavy item lined with air cushions creates a protective layer that keeps everything safe and secure. It fills every void inside the box, making it strong enough to stand on. The downside to air cushions is that while they are not expensive, the machine required to fill them with air usually is somewhat pricy. An inexpensive alternative is to rent an air machine if the business frequently sends heavy items through the mail.

Choosing the Right Material

Deciding which material to use for packing a box is part art and part common sense. Some materials protect certain items better than others. On the other hand, some items can destroy internal packing material.


Best Packing Material


Bubble Wrap


Styrofoam, Paper, Bubble Wrap


Paper, Styrofoam



When packing items, think about where the box is going. If it is going to be a very long trip, then add extra material until all voids are filled. If the business does not have the ideal packing material around, then use something else. Mailing the box with some form of internal protection is better than sending it with nothing at all.

How to Buy Boxes and Packing Material on eBay

By now, everyone is familiar with eBay as the world's great garage sale. It is possible to find everything under the sun from eBay's vendors, including a full selection of boxes and packing materials. Many sellers offer their items for sale at wholesale prices, and you can get a great deal by purchasing them in bulk if your company regularly ships heavy items.

Boxes are sold in flat sheets that are assembled at your business. You can search for boxes for sale by typing 'boxes' into the search engine to pull up all relevant results. Keep in mind that there are many types of boxes, so you may need to narrow your results by typing in 'double wall boxes' or 'single wall boxes'.

Packing materials are also sold on eBay. Decide what material you want, such as bubble wrap, and then type 'bubble wrap' into the search engine. Again, like boxes, packing materials are sold in many different quantity levels. This means you can buy one roll of bubble wrap or 100 rolls for example.


Securing heavy items inside a shipping box is a prime concern for shipping retailers who want to deliver their products safely and successfully. Heavy items are typically defined as anything over 20 pounds, and because they are so heavy they can be easily damaged in a fall. It is best to ship heavy items in small amounts, and use the smallest box option possible since larger boxes are somewhat difficult for carriers to handle.

The type of box also plays an important factor since most single wall boxes are too weak to hold a heavy item. Select a double wall box and then line it with some sort of packing material such as kraft paper, bubble wrap, or corrugated cardboard rolls. Always tightly pack the box so that the item inside does not move. Buyers can purchase all of the items they need for safely shipping heavy items directly through eBay, allowing busy business owners to save both time and money on packing supplies in the process.

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