• Sam from JustShip!

Four Common Packing Mistakes When Shipping Internationally

The process of shipping an item overseas can be confusing. The effort it takes to ship - from filling up forms to measuring, weighing, packing, and labeling - is overwhelming. We understand, we’re in the business after all.


Here are the top four mistakes our customers unintentionally make when shipping.


1 Wrongly declaring your package’s weight and dimensions.


In order for shipments to be on the plane to their destination by the following day, they have to be out of the warehouse before the cut-off timing listed by FedEx. Inaccurate information will result in additional paperwork and charges, leading to delays in processing. The worst case scenario is that your shipment will be pushed back another day.


To ensure that all information that goes onto the shipping form is correct, JustShip conducts a verification check for all packages received.


Parcels that have different dimensions as declared on their shipping form will be subjected to additional charges as per FedEx’s guidelines. Not only that but FedEx will hold on to the package until payment is received, leading to delays in the overall shipping time.



2 Incorrectly listing item weight.


On most products that come in a container, there is a small number on the base of the packaging of every item that lists the weight of the product.



Clarins Foundation 30ml (Photo Cr: Perfume Store)



Tiger Balm Ointment 18g (Photo Cr: Walgreens)


This number refers to the weight of the product inside the packaging.


Cosmetics and medicinal balms often come in glass packaging (containers). Glass is a relatively inexpensive non-reactive food-safe material, which is why it is commonly used. However, glass is heavy, which contributes to the overall weight of the entire item.


See the differences here.



Medical balm in glass container, weight listed 120g


Same medical balm, measured weight 240g.



A small glass container of medical balm listed as 120g, turns out to be actually twice the weight due to the glass container used.


Fragile packing is strongly advised for glassware to protect them from cracking and shattering during transit. The process for fragile packing is to bubble wrap each individual item and fill the shipping box it is contained in with stuffing.


Your package in the shipment process is constantly subjected to external and internal pressure, from the items moving around in the box or rough handling on the outside. Without bubble wrap and stuffing to absorb impact, the probability of damage is high.


Either way, the overall weight of your package will increase, which goes back to the first point - having accurate information in your shipping form.


2.1 Incorrectly listing item details.


On a related note, having incorrect item details on your shipping form creates more paperwork and may cause a delay in shipment.


Eg. Listing a packet of chicken rendang paste as dried biscuits.


Meat is a prohibited item to ship internationally. If this is discovered at the destination country’s customs, your item will be rejected and shipped back.


3 Choosing to ship your item in its original box.


Our customers regularly ship household items such as electric kettles, vacuum cleaners, and pots and pans to their loved ones overseas. They are often left inside their original packaging box to ship.


That’s worrying for a variety of reasons. First, the packaging box of your electronic houseware is not meant for international shipping - it has a higher probability of being damaged in transit. The box it comes in sits in the cargo shipping container or another bigger box that protects it from the elements. It is bundled together with other boxes for safety.


Secondly, some other boxes have barcodes displayed, especially if the boxes are reused from FedEx, DHL, or any other postal courier. These extra barcodes might jam up FedEx’s processing - and your package might get rejected.


4 Not having recipients’ contact information


FedEx requires all shipments to have both the sender’s and receiver’s phone number. Phone numbers are attached to and used to verify postal codes.


Moreover should any problems arise, the phone number will be the first point of contact. For the shipping process to go smoothly, always ensure all details are correct and filled in.


Help JustShip make international shipping an easy, seamless, and effortless process - by ensuring that the information you provide is all correct.


JustShip offers cheap international shipping including picking and packing. Got a question? Contact us at +65 9647 7661 / hello@justship.sg to speak to a customer service representative. Got a package? JustShip with us today.


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