Essential Tips for Safely Shipping Fragile Gifts Internationally

Cover Image for Essential Tips for Safely Shipping Fragile Gifts Internationally

Sending a fragile gift across the miles can be a bit nerve-wracking. We all want our gifts to arrive safe and sound, right?

The good news is, with the right packaging and a reliable courier, it’s not so tough!

Are you ready to learn some handy tips? Let’s dive right in and make sure every gift you send becomes a perfect surprise!

1. Choose the Right Box

Selecting the right box is a pivotal step in shipping fragile gifts internationally. Here are some considerations to help you choose the right box size:

  • Strength and Durability: Opt for double-walled boxes for added strength and protection. These boxes are designed to withstand the rigours of international shipping, ensuring that your gift remains secure throughout its journey.
double wall box

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  • Inner and Outer Boxes: For highly delicate items, consider using two boxes: an inner box to hold the gift and an outer box for added security. This double-boxing technique provides an additional layer of protection, safeguarding your gift from external pressures and impacts.
double-boxing technique

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  • Inner and Outer Boxes: For highly delicate items, consider using two boxes: an inner box to hold the gift and an outer box for added security. This double-boxing technique provides an additional layer of protection, safeguarding your gift from external pressures and impacts.
  • Box Dimensions: Measure the dimensions of your gift before selecting a box. The box should be large enough to accommodate the item and the necessary padding, but not so large that the item can move around excessively. Excessive movement can lead to damage, especially for fragile items.
  • Customised Solutions: For irregularly shaped or oversized items, you might need a customised box. Some shipping companies, like JustShip, offer bespoke packaging solutions to accommodate a variety of items, ensuring a secure fit and optimal protection.

2. Protecting the Gift: Bubble Wrap or Foam?

bubble wrap vs foam

Ensuring your fragile gift is well-protected is paramount, and choosing the right protective material can make all the difference. Both bubble wrap and foam have their unique advantages, and understanding their properties will help you make an informed decision.

Nature of Your Gift & Choosing Materials:

Bubble wrap is flexible and absorbs shocks – great for odd shapes. Foam sheets give structured protection, ideal for items needing a solid barrier.

Assessing the nature of your gift is essential in deciding which material to use, ensuring the safety of the item during transit.

Understanding Bubble Wrap:

bubble wrap

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Always have the bubble side touching the item. Wrap fragile parts individually. Remember, layering, especially on corners and edges, is crucial.

This technique offers additional protection to the most vulnerable parts of the item, reducing the risk of damage.

Understanding Foam:


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Foam varies in density and thickness. Thicker foam is for valuables; thinner foam works for less delicate items. Like bubble wrap, layer foam between items.

This method ensures that each item is adequately protected, minimizing the risk of them knocking against each other.

Trade-offs Between Bubble Wrap and Foam:

When shipping fragile gifts internationally, choosing the right protective material is crucial. Bubble wrap and foam offer unique advantages, and understanding their properties will help you make an informed decision.

Here's a comparison of the two materials to help you evaluate the trade-offs:


Bubble Wrap






Adaptable, great for wrapping odd shapes

More rigid, offers structured protection

Shock Absorption


Good, varies with density and thickness

Protection Level

Layering adds protection, especially on edges and corners

Thicker foam offers higher protection for valuables, thinner foam for less delicate items


Ideal for a variety of items due to its flexibility and lightweight

Suited for items needing solid, structured protection


Generally less expensive

Can be more costly depending on thickness and density

Combining Bubble Wrap and Foam:

Considering the differences and trade-offs, you might find that a combination of bubble wrap and foam best serves your needs, balancing both weight and safety. Evaluating these trade-offs is vital in determining the optimal protection for your fragile gift.

3. Fill Up Any Remaining Spaces with Packing Peanuts or Padding

packing peanuts

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More padding equals more safety! However, it can cost more. Use lightweight fillers like foam peanuts or air pillows.

Ensure the box has a cushioned base, place the wrapped item, then fill the sides and top.

Check the box’s weight regularly to avoid extra costs. This strategy helps in maintaining the balance between safety and cost-effectiveness.

4. Tape the Box Securely

Securing the box properly is a fundamental step in the shipping process, especially for fragile items.

The H-taping method is foundational, but sometimes, fragile items may need more.

H-Taping method

Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure your box is taped securely:

  • Reinforce the Box: Start by reinforcing the box’s bottom and corners with extra tape. These areas are prone to stress and wear, so additional reinforcement will help maintain the box’s integrity during transit.
  • Address Weak Spots: Ensure there are no weak spots or points of entry on the box. If reusing a box, it’s crucial to reinforce old tape areas to prevent any potential breaches.
  • Double Tape if Necessary: Don’t hesitate to double tape if the box needs to handle more weight and delicacy. This extra layer of tape can provide additional security and peace of mind.

Best Type of Tape to Use for Sealing Up Boxes:

  • Recommended: Shipping tape is a go-to option due to its strong adhesion, making it suitable for most boxes.
  • Not Recommended: Avoid using masking tape and scotch tape as they lack strong adhesive properties, making them unsuitable for securing shipping boxes. Additionally, avoid using clear duct tape, as it can leave a sticky residue, which can be problematic.

5. Label the Box as Fragile

fragile label

Ensure the box is labelled as fragile. This will alert the shipping company to handle the box with extra care.

Make sure to position the labels on multiple sides. This way, it’s visible no matter how the box is oriented.

6. Get Insurance Coverage

International shipping can be unpredictable. Accidents happen and that’s where insurance steps in as your safety net.

Securing insurance coverage for your fragile gifts is not just a precaution; it’s a necessity.

  • Document the Item’s Condition: Before you seal the box, take clear, detailed photographs of the item from multiple angles. Documenting the condition of your gift serves as a visual record, which can be invaluable when processing claims should any damage occur during transit.
  • Understand the Terms: Insurance policies can be intricate. Take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions. Know what is covered and what is not. Pay attention to the claim process, the required documentation, and any deadlines. Being well-informed helps in avoiding any surprises and ensures a smoother claim process.
  • Declare Accurately: When declaring the value of your item for insurance, be accurate and honest. Under-declaring can lead to insufficient coverage, while over-declaring can result in higher costs. Remember, accurate declaration is key to fair compensation in case of loss or damage.

Make sure to purchase insurance when shipping fragile items. Insurance will provide extra protection for your item in case it gets damaged during shipping. Most shipping carriers offer insurance for fragile items, so make sure to inquire about it before shipping your item.

7. The Benefits of Air Shipping for Fragile Gifts

Choosing the right shipping method is just as important as the packaging itself when it comes to sending fragile gifts internationally.

Air shipping stands out as a particularly savvy choice, and here’s why:

  • Speed: When it comes to shipping gifts, timely delivery is key. Air freight offers the fastest transit, ensuring your fragile gifts are delivered promptly.
  • Less Handling: Air shipments typically go through fewer hands and transfers compared to other shipping methods. Less handling means there’s a smaller chance of your package being dropped or bumped, ensuring your fragile items remain intact.


If packing the fragile item is too much of a hassle for you, JustShip offers professional packing services to ensure your delicate gifts are well-protected for their journey – and this exclusive perk is reserved just for our shippers!

But we don’t stop there; we also offer insurance for fragile items, adding an extra layer of protection in case any mishaps occur during shipping.

Ready to ship your fragile gifts? Create a shipment with us now!

For any further questions or specific shipping needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re just a message away, always here to assist you!

December 5, 2023

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