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3 Tips for Packing & Shipping Fragile Items


fragile mark

What can you learn from this article?

  • ● You will learn what the suitable materials are for packing fragile items like bowls

  • ● You will know how to pack breakable items properly

  • ● If you are running an online business, there is a fragile item checklist

  • ● You can find the fragile item courier recommendation list and their insurance policy

Tips for Shipping Fragile Items

Compared with the packaging of other items, bowls and plates easily get crashed. They require a more careful and complex packaging method. They need to be covered with cushioning packaging materials and ensure that the box's bowls and plates are stable.

The bowls will crash during the delivery if we don't pack them well. What can we do to prevent this accident from occurring?

Use suitable packaging materials

How to pack fragile items? When packing fragile items like bowls for shipping, the most important thing is using cushioning materials and knowing the correct way.

After the bowls are packed, the suitable material and methods will protect the bowls well so that everyone can feel at ease during the shipping.

The following 4 key points are about using proper materials and practices to pack a bowl for shipping.

4 Fragile Package Shipping and Packing Materials

There are some general items you need like scissors and packing tape. Still, it would be best if you also prepared the following stuff, such as double-corrugated boxes and plenty of bubble wrap or professional packing paper. Remember, a fragile box is not your first option.

1. Waste paper and newspapers

You can quickly obtain paper packaging materials from waste paper or old newspapers at home. The paper can be reformed based on the packaging needs.

Packaging: The paper is not only thin but also does not take up much space. It can completely cover the items and avoid friction and scratches.

Crumpled: After being softly kneaded, the paper is soft and elastic and can become a buffer.

Shredded paper: After shredding the paper, we can use it to fill the void in the box, better protecting the breakable items.

2. Old towels or clothes or newspaper or packing paper

Paper, clothing, or towels are natural packaging materials that are easy to obtain and use. As long as you use them to wrap the breakable items.

They provide good impact resistance. In addition, you can spread it on the bottom of the box and grab it into a grid-like "honeycomb" structure, which makes it easier to pack fragile items like bowls.

3. Bubble wrap

Suppose the fragile items are expensive or have commemorative value. In that case, it is recommended that you use bubble wrap to cover them completely. The bubble particles can fully absorb the impact generated by the collision.

4. Styrofoam particles

After finishing the packaging, we use styrofoam particles to fill the remaining space of the shipping box. This practice makes the items in the box more sturdy and absorbs the collision impact during the shipping. Besides, it helps lower the chance of scratching the items.

The Best Way to Pack Fragile Items for Shipping in 5 Steps

Knowing how to use the right packaging materials to protect fragile items is not enough. We also need to understand how to use the proper packaging methods to ensure no damage occurs to the breakable items.

1. Leave a "fragile" sticker on the box

Remember to mark the fragile items with colored tape or stickers in a prominent place outside the box. It would be best to tell the couriers or mail carriers to be more careful when moving them.

Suppose your package has the fragile sign for shipping when the delicate items are shipped to a distribution center. In that case, the couriers can instantly understand how to handle or ship fragile items.

2. Sorting before wrapping them

To maximize the benefits of the packaging materials and reduce the collision impact, you must first sort the fragile goods according to their shapes and sizes. Then it would help if you placed them from large to small. It is the best practice for using the package box space.

The styrofoam particles fill the space inside the box without leaving any gaps, which not only makes the bowls well protected, but the package box absorbs extra impact better.

3. Packing with cushioning materials and filling the box carefully

In addition to wrapping the fragile items with packaging materials, buffer packaging materials should also be placed to the box inner surroundings, bottom, and top.

It will provide a second layer of protection for the items and absorb the collision impact first during shipping.

5. Locate the fragile item boxes when getting them in the truck

The outer boxes inevitably collide with one other item during the shipping if you don't use tools or materials to locate it.

Therefore, we can locate the fragile package boxes with tape, rope, etc., so that the fragile items can be shipped safely to the customers.

12 Common Fragile Items List

Things that are fragile or breakable are called fragile items or delicate items. Things like Ceramic items are fragile. Here's a list of fragile items for you to check if you need to use another packaging method to pack the items.

  • ● Plates, bowls, dishes, porcelain

  • ● Artwork, antique, painting

  • ● Drinking glasses

  • ● Liquid cleaning supplies

  • ● Wine & liquor bottles

  • ● Mirrors

  • ● Pictures frames

  • ● Stereo and audio equipment

  • ● Lampshades

  • ● Electrical products

  • ● Phone screens

  • ● Crockery

Shipping Fragile Items with Extra Care or You Will Incur a Loss of Money

Broken products are losses of profit. No one will pay for an unusable product. When a customer receives a damaged product, they will blame the accident on the courier and the eCommerce retailer.

The customer will ask for a refund. Even the online seller can receive compensation from the courier, but that is also a lost business. Some customers will leave bad reviews on your store or review sites.

Word-of-mouth is a highly effective marketing tactic for promoting a product. Still, it will backfire when your product or shipping service cannot satisfy your customers. The most fragile thing in the world is customers' trust, not the item.

That's the reason you need to choose a reliable courier as your shipping partner.

Well-known Fragile Shipping Services Providers

The following couriers are the best shippers for fragile items. If you are an individual sender, you can take the breakable items to the post office. They will help you pack the items. If you're a business owner, you can work with them because they are known for great shipping service.


DHL has special handling fragile services. It offers free £25 cover as standard across all UK and Ireland deliveries and £50 for international deliveries. It can also be upgraded if the actual value of the item you are shipping is greater than £25 (£50 for international).


USPS offers special handling services for customers shipping breakable products. You'll pay $11.35 for special handling services for individual items, and can only be purchased at your local post office. Keep in mind that buying this service doesn't ensure items are against loss or damage.


For dimension-based services, FedEx charges $15 per package for additional handling. For weight-based services, they charge $24 per package. Lastly, how much is fragile shipping? For fragile delivery or packaging-specific services, they charge $13 per shipment.


Though it comes at an extra cost, you'll pay $10.85 per package for special handling, otherwise known as "additional handling" in UPS terms. Visit your local UPS store to get started with fragile shipping.

SF Express

SF Express is good at fragile shipping. Special warehousing service charge = Warehousing-in service fee (collected by SF) + advanced payment (collected by the third-party warehouse or pickup agent)


Shipping fragile items for your eCommerce business is not an easy task. Even you follow the proper steps completely, accidents will happen. All we can do is do our job and hope for the best. It can increase the chance of completing the delivery without breaking.

If you want to explore more best shipping services for fragile items, there are more eCommerce shipping tips for you.

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Grow your business with KeyDelivery!

  • Integration with 1200+ carriers.
  • Access the best discounts for USPS, DHL, UPS, and more.
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Grow your business with KeyDelivery!

  • Integration with 1200+ carriers.
  • Access the best discounts for USPS, DHL, UPS, and more.
  • KeyDelivery is free for 500 shipments each month.
Sign Up Free Contact Sales