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Courier loads and packing tips

Posted by Mark Hughes on Friday, October 5, 2018 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
If you're shipping courier loads, packing the goods might be something you need to think carefully about.

Consider the weight

As a general rule, delivery companies tend to have various weight restrictions that differentiate between them and what might be termed freight carriers. However, whatever the debate on terminology, remember there's a relationship between the weight of your goods and the strength of the packaging needed.

It's not unknown for some poor drivers to arrive to collect something only to find that it's a heavy metallic object with sharp corners and contained within a glorified brown paper envelope. They're perfectly entitled to refuse to uplift it. Cartons and boxes are often rated up to a maximum load in pounds (these days sometimes also kilos). Make sure you always use a box for your courier loads, and one that's adequate for the weight. Leave envelopes for the carriage of paperwork etc.

Distribute the weight

Using a carton that's simply too big, in terms of volume, for the object is at best extravagant, but it can also be dangerous if the object is small but very heavy.

Remember that drivers can't see at a glance where the weight is in a box or carton, so they might naturally assume it's roughly evenly or centrally distributed. That can lead to drops if they discover, with shock, that all the weight is contained within one small corner.

If you can, distribute the weight evenly. If that's not possible - mark clearly on the box that the weight is uneven and where the bulk of it is.

Take the contents into account

Some specialists in courier loads may have very strict rules relating to the carriage of hazardous, fragile or 'dirty' items. Make sure you conform to those. In the case of the latter category, remember that liquids, soft gooey runny stuff and anything that's smelly, should be encased in a container rated for the job and one that can be firmly sealed in airtight fashion. Just putting something unpleasant or messy in one of your mum's old cooking jars secured with some scotch tape is going to be a recipe for disaster - even if it's then contained in a good carton.

Secure the contents inside the box

No driver likes to be carry a parcel where the contents are rattling about inside and making a noise like a tambourine as they do so. It's disconcerting to say the least! 
Make sure that whatever your item is, you have secured it firmly inside by tape and polystyrene. Things moving around in a carton equals damage waiting to happen.

Reinforce the seams of cartons

Whatever the carton says on the lid about permissible weights, it's always a smart idea to strengthen it with some good strong shipping or ducting tape. By definition, if a carton is collapsible then it has seams, and they can be points of failure if they open in transit. 
A few cents' worth of tape and five minutes extra in packing might help avoid that. Given the cost of courier loads and possibly your cargo, it's an investment worth making.

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