How to Mail a Box

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Mailing a box successfully, whether it's across town or internationally, requires the careful preparation of the box and its contents before you ship. Packing the contents securely includes safely enclosing the contents within a protective layer of packaging that keeps what you're shipping from moving within the box or for multiple items, from moving against one another. Even when well-packed, you'll need to secure the box openings, protecting the box from inadvertently popping open mid-transit, as well as from theft of the contents. Once packed though, the mailing process is an easy one, with nothing more required of you than proper labeling and arranging for shipment with your local post office.

Things You'll Need

  • Bubble wrap, inflatable air bags or expanded polystyrene peanuts
  • Pressure sensitive plastic tape or nylon reinforced filament tape
  • Packing label
  • Select a strong sturdy box large enough to contain your mailing items with room to cushion the items to avoid damage. Corrugated cardboard boxes are suitable for most items.

  • Protect your mailed items by individually wrapping each item before placing them into the box. Separate any fragile items packed from each other within the box as well as from the box walls and corners. Leave a space of at least two inches between items and between the items and the walls of the box. Use packing materials such as bubble wrap, inflatable air bags, or expanded polystyrene peanuts to space items. Fill all voids within the box with the packing material to avoid items shifting during transport.

  • Seal the top and bottom seams of the box to close the box for mailing using either pressure sensitive plastic tape applied to the top and bottom seas of the box, or with nylon reinforced filament tape. Apply the tape in three strips on boxes where the opening seams in the center, one centered on the seam across the center of the box, and one on each box edge where the flaps making up the box top or bottom meet the body of the box. Apply the three strips along the three edges of a box where the opening fully overlaps the top or base of the box, creating three edges.

  • Attach a label to the box containing the correct shipping information in an easily seen location on the top of the box where it doesn't overlap a seam. Type or print the shipping information clearly. Include a contact name and telephone number for packages mailed internationally. Include a return address for all mailed packages.

  • Take the box to a post office. Ask your postal delivery worker for the location of the nearest one. Have the box weighed and measured. Inform the postal worker of the shipping destination and the class that you wish to use to ship the box. The higher the shipping class, the more expensive the shipping rates. The postal worker will give you the shipping costs.

  • Pay the shipping costs and take a receipt from the postal worker containing your shipping information and any tracking information provided. Tracking ability depends on the shipping class used. Leave the package with the post office for mailing and wait for the package to arrive at its destination.

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