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UPS® Packaging Guidelines

Play it safe and choose the right packaging materials.

In order to make sure that your packages reach their destinations safely we suggest you adhere to all UPS packaging guidelines. UPS requires boxes to be in new condition, and firm with all flaps intact. If you reuse a box it must have all previous labels removed and nothing remaining from the previous shipment.

Packages must be well insulated with correct packaging materials for the items being shipped. UPS offers a list of acceptable shipping materials for safe shipping. Here is what they suggest:

  • Bubble wrap: Encapsulated-air plastic (bubble) sheeting is a packing material made of air bubbles that are encased between two poly sheets as they are sealed together. This process allows encapsulated air to provide a cushion to protect against shock.
  • Packing Peanuts and Loose Fill Packaging: Loose-fill materials are used to fill empty spaces in packages that contain lightweight, non-fragile items. An example of loose-fill material is Expanded Polystyrene Peanuts.
  • Double (Over) Boxing: Double (over) boxing is an effective method of safeguarding fragile equipment like electronics from damage. While using a single box or the original manufacturer’s packaging is possible in some instances, there are many situations when this shipping method is ill-advised. Many single boxes are not designed to endure the shipping process, which includes sorting impact, over-the-road vibration, and other kinds of package handling situations. The original equipment manufacturer’s package is usually designed to ship the product once, and not multiple times. Even then, it is often designed for shipments on pallets, not single-piece shipments

UPS suggests that you do not simply put a label onto packages supplied by a manufacturer. Many times the boxes used when shipping via pallets are not thick enough to ship as a single-piece shipment.

Seal the Package Securely

UPS packages must be sealed with at least two inches of adhesive tape. For packages that weigh 60 pounds, you must use three-inch reinforced tape applied to the top and bottom so that the middle and edge seams are properly sealed.

Packaging by product type with UPS Packaging Advisor Tool

If you are shipping unique items that are specific to an industry you can check the UPS Packaging Advisor Tool for correct guidelines. You will be able to enter the exact dimensions and weight for your package and get the suggested shipping materials you should use to package the item.

UPS Claims

Packaging your items according to UPS guidelines will give you the best chance of having a claim approved should you need to file a claim for a damaged item. We hope this helps you and if you have any questions regarding packaging you can reach us at