Handling fragile items particularly those of value or sentiment, can be nerve-wracking! The time has come when you must ship something that is fragile and you are not sure where to start. You could try hand-delivering the item yourself, however for a variety of reasons you are unable to do this such as when delivering an item that was won on an online auction site, purchased by an out of state buyer or to send fragile items to a destination ahead of time such as when moving to a new residence or vacation home. Or maybe you just need to ship something fragile that you recently purchased or made and want to make sure it gets there safely. Whatever the reason may be, here are some ideas to help you decide the best method to ship this fragile item.

When deciding what shipping method to use, the first things that must be considered is the type of item to be shipped, how large it is and how much it is valued. That will be a starting point for anyone shipping a fragile item. If the item is small and worth $100 or less, then it is safe to say that it can be shipped using a standard postal system method, which doesn’t require any special handling. For items that are larger (over 40 lbs.) or worth $100 or more, than an alternate shipping method, such as an overnight delivery services, trucking service or other shipping method should be employed. That can be the case when shipping something like antiques, furniture, large pieces of artwork or sculptures, expensive pottery, metals or other heavy items.

When shipping any fragile items, it is important to prepare them ahead of time for shipping, regardless of shipping method chosen. This can be done by visually inspecting the item and taking pictures of them. The item should be carefully examined to determine if there is any damage pre-existing, such as cracks, dings, tears or surface damage and this should be noted for insurance purposes. An appraisal of the item should be done to determine the market value of the item and documented. This can be done by a skilled appraiser, antiques dealer or jeweler. This person can also offer advice as to how the item many best be shipped in order to get it to the intended recipient safely as they have experience with this. To prepare the item for shipment, one would carefully wrap the item in a material that can withstand bumps and jarring, such as bubble wrap, foam casing or paper packing material.

After the fragile item is carefully wrapped and the wrapping is secured with tape, then the item should be boxed carefully inside a box that is approximate to its size and shape. You can do this by cutting a larger box down and then carefully folding it and securing it around the fragile item. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly square or if it looks ugly, as this will be inside and looks are not important. Remember you are just creating a structure that will support the fragile item.

Now, this box containing the wrapped fragile item will fit inside another larger box or crate to help create a shock barrier for the fragile item. This is referred to as the double-box barrier method. You may also line the larger box with packing material, such as shredded paper, foam packing peanuts or even hay if using a wooden crate as the shipping container. Then the outside box can be sealed tight and labeled for shipping, by the safest method you have chosen. Choose an insurance rate that is within the range of the item’s value and then send it off.

With careful planning, you can safely ship any fragile item to anywhere in the world. Just take time to think ahead to determine the best method to prepare and send your item and you will ensure its safe arrival.