How to Pack a Parcel

Here’s some handy advice to help you pack your contents safely to minimise the risk of damage.

Step by Step Packing Process:

  • Check whether your contents are suitable for shipping – see AnPost guide to what you cannot send through the post HERE

  • If you are sending your parcel to a different country, check the customs rules for the country in question. It is your own responsibility to ensure that the destination country will accept your goods, so you should always check for the most up to date information from the local customs department in your destination country.

  • Purchase a suitable container and packing materials.

  • Ensure you have the correct shipping documents.

  • Place a copy of your shipping documents inside the parcel before you seal it, along with a second copy of your address label, just in case anything should happen to the label on the outside.

  • Close the container and firmly tape, strap, or wrap closed.

  • Affix labels only after you have taped the parcel shut.

  • Call our office to arrange for collection on 01 6610000.

If you have any problems during this process, do not hesitate to contact our office for advice.

How to pack…


For high value documents that must be protected from damage, ensure to use a cardboard envelope. For thick documents or files, use an appropriately sized box and pack carefully with packing materials.

Oversize Documents

For oversize documents that cannot be folded, postal tubes are ideal to protect your items, e.g. posters, prints, drawings, and maps.

Choose a tube that’s long enough to store your documents with enough space either end to accommodate the end caps, and ensure to tape down the plastic end caps securely.


Choose thick and sturdy, corrugated cardboard. Double or triple walled cardboard would be more appropriate for fragile items or contents over 10kg.

Do not reuse old boxes as they may have lost structural integrity and do not use boxes that have been scratched or punctured.

Too much or too little packing material may damage the contents of your box. Ensure that there is enough packing material to prevent the contents moving around, but not so much that the contents will get squashed.

Please place a label on boxes over 20kg to indicate the load is heavy.

Never use string or rope to close your box, it is not secure. Use tape across the top where the edges of the box meet, and along both sides of top to ensure there are no gaps. The tape should form a ‘H’ pattern on top and bottom of the box.


Stack items in neat columns and do not allow items to overhang the edge of the pallet. Keep the top surface of the pallet level and stackable. Either strap your items to the pallet using two straps from both sides or stretch wrap. Ensure that the pallet is also strapped/wrapped to the items.

Unusually Shaped Items

Consider the size and nature of your unusually shaped items. Will you be able to find a box for them to fit in? Perhaps they are large enough to fit onto a pallet?

If your goods have loose or moveable pieces, ensure that these are strapped or taped in place before packaging. Choose suitable packing material that will both enclose and protect your items. Use layers of soft packing material inside to cushion your items and enclose in a more sturdy outer layer to protect them during transit.

Do not leave gaps inside your parcel, always ensure these are filled with appropriate packing material. Do not allow sharp corners or edges to protrude from the packaging. Always use an outer container large enough to cushion these edges with plenty of effective packing material like bubble wrap.

For long items, bubble wrap the entire length of the goods and tape before placing inside a long box or tube and fill any gaps with additional packing materials.

For circular items, place a layer of packing material inside a box, put your goods inside and secure well with plenty more packing material.

For specific items you may be able to purchase premade shipping cases, for example, musical instruments. For very valuable items you may wish to consider getting a case custom made.

If it’s hard to find a flat surface to stick the address label on, use transparent tape to secure the label so there’s less chance of it getting caught on anything and ripping during transit.

Please note that it’s important you measure your unusually shaped packages carefully to ensure that we can give you an accurate quote and avoid extra charges later.


The best way to protect a bike while shipping is to take it apart, pack each piece carefully in bubble wrap, secure it with tape and place all the pieces inside a large, flat cardboard box with plenty of extra packing material. Place the bolts inside a small bag inside the package so that they do not get lost during transit.

Musical Instruments

Place the instrument inside a hard case specifically made for that instrument. If the foam inside the case is old or worn in any way, we would recommend buying a new travel case.

If this is not possible, you need to ensure that your instrument is firmly secured inside its case so that it cannot move during transit and that it is adequately cushioned – plenty of bubble wrap could be helpful. Always fill any gaps with plenty of packing material and ensure that the instrument is well cushioned on every side.

For string instruments, ensure that the bridge in particular is protected with foam or something similar.

For drum kits, take the drum kit apart, pack each part separately in plenty of bubble wrap or similar to ensure the pieces do not move during transit. Place the pieces inside suitable cases or boxes with all empty space filled with packing material.

Sports Equipment

Break down large items into smaller component parts if possible. Wrap each part separately in bubble wrap or similar. Place in a suitable box and fill empty space with enough packing material to prevent movement during transit.

Fragile Items

Fragile items are best packed alone in a suitable container, completely surrounded by packing material to reduce the risk of damage. Always affix a ‘fragile’ label to the outside of your parcel. Consider placing a ‘this way up’ sign on your parcel.

Handy tip: If you order fragile items online, always keep the original packaging and box just in case you need to transport the item at a later time.

Valuable Items

Here at Deadline we’ll always do our best to look after your parcel, but there are occasionally rare circumstances outside our control, so we recommend that you purchase protection cover to provide you with peace of mind.

What to Pack With…

Packing Materials

Suitable packing materials include bubble wrap, packing chips, air pillows, and many types of paper based packing materials eg shredded paper. Please choose a packing material appropriate to the contents to ensure that the risk of damage is minimised.

How to Label Your Parcel…

If you are reusing a container, please ensure that you have removed old labels before affixing the new labels. Ensure that new labels are clear and legible.

If you cannot print your labels on adhesive paper, use a document pouch or plastic wallet to protect the label and fasten securely to the outside of your parcel.

Always place labels on the top surface of boxes or on the side of pallets. Place labels squarely on one side of the parcel, not over an edge or corner. Do not place any kind of taping across the label itself to ensure that the label can be easily read by both humans and scanners.

If you have any concerns about how to pack your items, do not hesitate to call our team on 01 6610000 for dedicated advice.

Disclaimer: Whilst we try to offer helpful advice with regard to packing, ultimately it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that their items are properly packaged, and therefore we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage due to poor packing.

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