13 April 2023
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How do I securily package my parcel?

A parcel identified as "fragile" will generally not benefit from any special attention, it will be treated in the same way as the others...

Before choosing the packaging for your parcel, it is important to estimate the degree of fragility of your item, bearing in mind that parcels are handled many times, transhipped many times, and handled on automated lines where they must be able to withstand falls of around 1.5 metres without being damaged.

The packaging of your item must also be adapted to the shape, weight and size of its contents.

The vast majority of postal operators provide advice on packaging and recommend certain good practices to protect your items adequately, such as:

  • using multi-ply cardboard boxes specifically designed for transport; packaging already used for retail is generally not suitable for logistical handling;
  • the use of appropriate cushioning materials (kraft paper, bubble wrap, foam, cloth, polystyrene, air cushions, extra cardboard boxes, etc.) to avoid empty space in the package, direct contact between the contents and the packaging and between each item;
  • hermetic packaging in specifically designed boxes, containing absorbent materials, for liquids;
  • the possible use of isothermal packaging to protect against temperature variations
  • the use of anti-static packaging for electronic parts
  • the re-use of the object's original packaging;
  • complete closure of packages with sufficiently wide and strong adhesive tape;

It is worth noting that each postal operator has its own specific rules on packaging and wrapping. It is therefore advisable to consult them before sending fragile goods. It should also be noted that certain types of goods (glass, silver, electronic items) may be prohibited and it is therefore advisable to check this before sending. (*)

What if there is damage?

Postal operators may reserve the right to refuse or interrupt the processing of your poorly packaged parcel, or even to destroy it immediately, and furthermore, to disclaim any responsibility and to avoid any compensation in application of their general conditions or transport and international rules.

In this respect, we are not in a position to relay the provisions contained in the general or transport conditions of all postal operators active on the Belgian market. We will limit ourselves to reproducing below the international provisions of the Universal Postal Convention (**) concerning the general packaging conditions:

All parcels must be packed and closed in a manner appropriate to the weight, shape and nature of the contents and to the mode and duration of transport. The packaging and sealing must protect the contents in such a way that they cannot be damaged by pressure or successive handling, and that it is impossible to tamper with the contents without leaving an apparent trace of tampering.

Every package shall be particularly securely packed if it is to be :

be transported over long distances ;

to be transported over long distances; - to withstand numerous transhipments or multiple handling;

be protected against significant changes in climate, temperature or, in the case of transport by air, against variations in atmospheric pressure.

It must be packed and closed in such a way as not to endanger the health of staff and to avoid any danger if it contains objects likely to injure the staff responsible for handling it or to soil or damage other parcels or postal equipment.

We would add that the same provisions specify, with regard to liability, that designated operators are not liable (...) when the damage has been caused by the fault or negligence of the sender or is due to the nature of the contents.

In conclusion, as you will have understood, it is a question of ensuring that the packaging carried out does not represent any risk, either for your goods, or for other parcels, or for the staff and installations of postal companies.

(*) Please note that damage to a parcel packed on the basis of the information provided in this article cannot be attributed to ombudsman poste.

(**) Source: Convention Manual comprising the provisions of the Universal Postal Convention as revised by the 2016 Istanbul Congress, those of its Regulations as revised by the Postal Operations Council in 2017 and the comments made by the International Bureau.