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Postal Masters Packaging Tips

  • Use a rigid carton with flaps intact
  • Always wrap items separately
  • Use adequate cushioning material
  • Use strong tape designed for shipping
  • Use a single address label
  • Make sure to use a complete clear street address for both sender and receiver
  • Put duplicated address label inside package


  • Use a corrugated box
    For the best results, use a new box large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all six sides of the box. If the box has already been used, remove old labels or other shipment labels and markings. Never exceed the maximum gross weight for the box, which is usually printed on the bottom of the box. If the used box shows signs that the integrity of the box has been compromised, don't use the carton.

  • Provide internal protection
    To properly cushion the contents of your package from damage, wrap each item separately. Fragile items need to be protected from each other and separated from the corners and sides of the box to prevent damage.

    Listed below are various materials used for inner protection of the contents of your box, listed from most protective to least.

  • Foam In-Place: This is a foam that is sprayed into the box to form a perfect protective mold around the contents. This is recommended for electronics (computers, CD players, TV's), fragile items (crystal, china, wine bottles, framed paintings, lead glass windows) and awkward or difficult items (e.g. stuffed and mounted fish). This product is by far the most protective and versatile available.

  • Styrofoam Sheeting: Available in 96x48x1" sheets, this does a great job on large and heavy items. Very useful when packing trunks, desks, and various mid-sized wooden furniture, as well as appliances.

  • Bubble Wrap: This is good for packing light delicate items, heavier items with multiple layers of bubble.

  • Polystyrene Peanuts: This is the most common inexpensive filler. Very good for filling voids inside boxes. Unlike paper, styro peanuts maintain their shape. Peanuts don't become compressed like shredded paper does, and helps maintain the integrity of the package.

  • Corrugated Dividers: These are good for separating items during shipping so they cannot bang into each other, however, they should be used in conjunction with some other packing material.

  • Shredded Paper: This should only be used as a last resort. Shredded paper does not hold it's shape. During shipping, it can become compacted, creating a void inside the box which can jeopardize the integrity of the box, which will make it more likely to crush or open.

  • Always use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents cannot move inside the box when shaken.

  • Fragile objects require special packaging for shipping.

  • All packages should be packed in such a fashion that they can withstand a three foot drop.

    Close it securely: Proper closure is important for safe transportation. For best results, use one of the following types of tape:
  • Pressure sensitive plastic or nylon reinforced tape.
  • Water activated paper tape. Use 60 lb. grade tape at least 3 inches wide. Apply 3 strips to both top and bottom of box to seal all seams.
  • Water activated reinforced paper tape. Similar to plain paper tape, except that reinforcing fibers have been added for strength. Only the paper tape or the reinforced paper tape may be used when sending a package via Registered Mail with the USPS.
  • NEVER use masking tape, cellophane (Scotch) tape, duct tape, string or paper overwrap.

    Use Proper Labeling: For the best results in shipping, keep these points in mind when addressing your package:
  • Always include a complete address for the recipient including the correct ZIP Code. For international shipments include a contact name and phone number with the correct postal code.
  • Include the suite, apartment or unit number, if applicable.
  • Affix the address label on top of the box. If using a packing slip, affix it to the top of the box if possible.
  • Do not place more than one label on the box. This only adds to confusion.
  • Remove any other labels that are on the box. Also, cross out any markings on the box with a black marker.
  • Place a second address label inside the box for added protection.
  • Always include your complete return address with name and phone number.

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