How-to Package and Ship Fragile Items

For businesses new to shipping, the process can sometimes feel overwhelming. Then, add in a layer of learning how-to ship fragile items, for the process to begin to feel complicated and stressful. We can help!

How-to Package and Ship Fragile Items

Posted by Aritetsoma

Before you even want to learn how to ship fragile items, you may be asking, “What is classified as a fragile item?” when it comes to the world of shipping. Fragile items are any items that can be easily broken, shattered, or damaged; they can be delicate, brittle or frail. Examples of such items are glass items, laboratory materials, musical instruments, technological accessories, marble, tiles, porcelains, optical instruments, and valuable collectibles. Fragile items require special storage and solid packaging due to their fragile nature.

Don’t have an account? It’s easy and free to sign up!
Simply click here to get started

Tips on how-to pack and ship fragile items, properly!

We have 6 important tips to help you with making sure your items are properly packed and ready for shipping:

  1. Use a shipping box that is slightly bigger than the item(s) you are shipping
    You don’t want to use boxes that have too much space in them, because they can allow the item to move around during transportation. Using a box that’s slightly bigger than the product allows any remaining empty space to be filled with dunnage (solid plastic, bubble wraps, air pillows, shredded cardboards, packaging peanuts, steel, corrugated paper, molded foam) to keep everything in place.
    While poly bags can be cheaper to ship than boxes, they are not a very good choice for fragile or breakable products as they can be destroyed easily. While there are poly bags that come with bubble wrap padding, they do not eliminate breakage of fragile items.
  2. Wrap the item in supporting material
    If your items aren’t manufactured with supportive packaging and are stored loose, then you will need to wrap them in a lot of dunnage.
  3. Only, if necessary, wrap the item in foam
    For very expensive or fragile items, you may want to make a foam wrap for the package that is molded to its specific measurements and shape.
  4. Use air pillows or packing peanuts
    If there is empty space in the box, you could also fill the space up with airbags, packing peanuts, or crinkle paper.
  5. Add the “fragile” sticker
    Adding a fragile sticker or label will let the shipping company know that the box needs to be handled with extra care. You may also use multiple stickers to make certain it’s seen. Using a fragile sticker may add a shipping surcharge from the courier for manual handling.
    Please note that if the carrier deems your package to be fragile, they will not place it on the conveyor belt system at the depot and it will be passed by hand.  This will incur an additional fee of approximately $25.00 per box and we will not be able to request a credit for this charge.  This charge is often, but not always added when a fragile sticker is applied.
  6. Pre-alert carriers when processing your shipment
    With FlagShip you can request “special handling” for your fragile shipment with a click of a button which alerts your chosen courier that your item requires extra care in transit, although this will incur additional fees.

Always prepare your items for shipping in the proper packaging using the right materials for fragile items and take extra care (don’t rush!) when assembling the shipment. Without it, you run the risk of damaging your fragile items, which in turn impacts your revenue, and no business wants that.

Ship your fragile items the smart way with FlagShip
Sign-up for a  free FlagShip account today

Insurance for fragile shipments

Insuring your fragile items is something we highly recommend since incidents can happen any time, even with the most professional and reputable carriers. Shipping carriers often provide a very basic shipping insurance plan where the carrier’s maximum liability for uninsured package(s) is $100.00 CAD. While carriers do offer their own full insurance coverage, it comes at a much higher premium. FlagShip is committed to making your small business shipping easy, cost-efficient, and stress-free. That is why we have our own in-house insurance at a much lower rate. Click here to learn about our shipping insurance and what items can be insured.

Ready to ship your fragile items with confidence and ease?

FlagShip can help you find the best shipping rates and solutions for your fragile items, whether you need to ship them domestically or internationally. With FlagShip, you can:

  • Compare discounted rates from leading couriers in Canada
  • Access our online shipping system to process and track your shipments
  • Request special handling and insurance for your fragile items
  • Get tailored service and support from our shipping experts for your eCommerce needs
  • Get expert support and advice from our friendly customer service team

Don’t let shipping fragile items stress you out. Sign up for a free FlagShip account today and see how easy and affordable it can be to ship your fragile items safely and securely.

If you have any questions on how-to pack and ship fragile items, don’t hesitate to contact our team at or call us at 1-866-320-8383. We would be happy to help with your small business shipping needs!   

Additional resources:

Shipping and parcel packaging: what are my options?

Packaging your shipment – 3 tips to save you money

Select the proper packaging to lower your shipping rate

How to ship a package for cheap