How to pack a parcel

  • Find a suitable box or bag
  • Wrap your items
  • Pack the empty space
  • Put your address inside
  • Fasten your parcel with tape
  • Secure any loose edges
  • Label your package
  • Send your parcel

Help your parcel arrive in pristine condition with our step-by-step guide on how to package a parcel

It’s a long road to get your parcel from you to its destination.
Your parcel will:

  • Travel in different vehicles
  • Visit more than one sorting hub
  • Ride several miles of conveyer belt and be sorted by automatic scanners

Miles will be covered. Hills will be climbed. Conveyer belts travelled. Scanners bleeped.

Don't forget: Your parcel needs to be wrapped well enough to stay intact should it fall off a conveyer belt (which can be up to 1.2m high).

1. Find a suitable box or bag

When you're looking at how to package a parcel, consider:

  • Box or bag - do you need a box or would a mailing bag or padded envelope be better? Watertight mailing bags are best for clothes
  • New or old - you can buy boxes for packaging or use an old box from home
  • Sturdiness - is the box tough enough for the journey ahead? You need it to be structurally sound
  • Size - will the item fit inside without leaving lots of empty space? Make sure the box closes easily and retains its shape
  • Labels - if you reuse a box or bag, make sure there are no old labels or barcodes showing. These might be picked up by our scanners and can send your parcel to the wrong place

2. Wrap your items

Wrap any items before you put them in the box or bag. Fragile items, in particular, must be wrapped as our scanners can’t detect ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’ labels. Packaging options include:

  • Bubble wrap - reuse bubble wrap you have at home. Fun to pop, too
  • Newspaper - layers of newspaper sheets from yesterday’s newspapers are good for the environment and your wallet

3. Pack the empty space

Make sure your precious cargo stays secure by filling any gaps around the item, once it’s placed in the box. Parcel packing options include:

  • Paper and newspaper - the most environmentally friendly option, scrunched-up newspaper, is an easy way to fill the space
  • Cardboard - layers of cardboard can create a sturdy shell
  • Sheets - old but clean sheets can be used to wrap items tightly

Important: Make sure your parcel’s packed so it could fall off a conveyor belt without the contents being damaged.