Shipping items to customers is straightforward and simple. You place items in your company’s mailer box, fill them with some packaging materials, attach a label, and send them off. 

However, shipping glass isn’t quite so simple. Glass is more vulnerable to breakage from the bumps, drops, and tosses that it experiences in transit. It can seem risky to ship highly fragile glass off to its destination in a cardboard box.

Shipping glass doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little extra care and packing materials, you can ensure that your glass items have the protection they need to make it to your customer in one piece.

Materials You’ll Need

For shipping most items, there are relatively few packing materials used. Usually not much is needed beyond a box and some filler around the item. 

Glass is a different story. Due to the often turbulent conditions the package goes through, it is important to use a larger amount of protective packing materials. The more protection around the glass, the better chance it has of making it to its destination in one piece. 

Here are the materials needed to safely wrap and package your glass items for shipping:

  • Two inch-wide packing tape
  • 2 boxes – one large and one small
  • Bubble wrap
  • Wrapping paper
  • Packing peanuts 
  • Plastic bag (optional)

You first need to find two boxes for packing your item. You read that right — to properly pack glass, two boxes are needed. This technique is called overpacking and offers more protection to the items than just one box. 

The first box is the box you actually place the glass into. This box should be just large enough to fit the items with about two inches of room on all sides for filling with packing material. It may be tempting to reuse an old box, but consider buying one that is custom-fit for the item. A worn-down box with holes or tears will not offer the same protection as a brand new one. 

Next, find a second, larger box. Carriers provide different guidelines for how much bigger the outside box should be, with most suggesting around six inches of extra room for packaging materials outside the smaller box. Aim for these six inches and remember that more is better when it comes to protection for the glass.

If you are concerned about the aesthetics of this packing style, consider creating a custom box with your company’s branding on it for packing the items. This is a great way to promote brand recognition and impress customers. 

To wrap the glass and fill the empty spaces in the boxes, you’ll need a variety of packing materials. Packing peanuts and bubble wrap are commonly used to fill the empty spaces. 

Wrapping paper and bubble wrap work well for wrapping the glass itself. Lastly, don’t forget to get packing tape that is at least two inches wide to seal the boxes securely shut. 

How to Wrap Glass

After gathering all the necessary materials to package your glass safely, it’s time to wrap. Here are the steps to properly wrap your glass:

  1. Before you begin, if any of your items contain liquid, seal them in a plastic bag before wrapping them in protective material. This keeps leaks from happening if the item breaks in transit.
  2. To begin, wrap each item individually in wrapping paper, anchoring it in place with tape. Use multiple sheets of paper to ensure the most protection. 
  3. Then, wrap the items in bubble wrap. Cover them with multiple layers, also anchoring them in place with tape. The more layers, the more protection.
  4. If you are shipping multiple items in the same box, consider using dividers. Dividers create space between items so that they don’t scratch or bump into each other during transit. 

Packing The Boxes

Once the glass is properly wrapped, begin to assemble the boxes. First, fill the bottom of the outside box with three inches of packing material, such as packing peanuts. Then, do the same to the smaller box, creating a slightly thinner layer. 

Place the wrapped glass inside the smaller box on top of the layer you just created. Fill the empty space around with glass with more packing material, until the items cannot shift around. Securely seal the smaller box with packing tape. 

Set the smaller box in the larger box on the layer of packing material you have assembled. Fill the empty space around the smaller box with more packing material until the box is full. Seal the inner box securely with packing tape. 

Before you seal the outer box, make sure to label the inner box. It may seem counterintuitive, but if the outside box gets damaged, a label on the inside box is a great backup. 

How you tape the box shut matters. Make sure to use enough of the proper kind of packing tape to keep the box securely shut. You don’t want to use an excessive amount of tape, however. This makes for an unpleasant unboxing experience for your customer, and they could even break the item themselves as they struggle to open the package. 

Consider taping the seams from the inside, too, if the glass item you are shipping is heavy. This prevents items from breaking through the bottom of the box. 

Shipping Glass

Now that your glass is safely and properly packed in a box, it’s time to ship it. Many special kinds of shipping exist, so it is important to figure out which best meets your needs. Policies vary from carrier to carrier, so check with them for the most accurate information.

Since your glass has been packaged protectively, it is safe to ship. No special services are necessary. Simply drop your package off or schedule a pickup like you would for any other package, fragile or not. 

However, some shippers offer a special handling service for a small fee. If you purchase this service, the carrier gives the package preferential handling. It will still ship at the same speed, but the carrier makes an extra effort to be gentle with the box. While this increases your shipping costs, it is better than replacing a broken item. 

If, after packing your items, you are still worried about your item breaking during transit, consider shipping insurance. Shipping insurance is a policy covering the cost of items that are lost, damaged, or stolen during transit. 

You can purchase shipping insurance through the carrier or through third-party companies. The cost varies based on the declared value of the items you are shipping. While insurance can't keep your item from damage, it covers the costs of replacing the item if it does break. 

Safe Shipping

Now that your fragile glass items have been safely packed, wrapped, and shipped, you can rest easy knowing that you have done your part to get them to their destination safely and in one piece. 

By properly wrapping the glass in layers of protection and using the over boxing method, you give your items the protection they need to endure transit. Visit Box Genie for all your shipping needs.

 

Sources: 

  1. Special Handling-Fragile | USPS 
  2. How to Pack | FedEx 
  3. Declared Value | UPS

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