Glass shipment by courier package is a very sensitive issue. Don’t do it unless you have got no choice. So, if there is no other option and the risk should be taken, it is worth taking advantage of all available means to secure your product – from ensuring the proper packaging to the insurance of the goods.
Sending fragile items with ordinary courier packages is always a gamble. Shipment of large panes of glass, especially those made of a non-toughened and at the same time thin glass (e.g. picture frame glass) is very risky. There is only a small chance that such a parcel will be delivered undamaged. However, items such as plates, cups or glasses can be effectively protected against damage.
Do not save on the filler
You should be extra careful while packaging glass for shipment. It is not as easy as when you send items resistant to shocks, bending or light impacts, such as books or metal tools by courier parcel .
In the case of packaging glass or porcelain, the package must be at least few centimetres bigger than the size of the goods. The point is to ensure quite a large void between the glass object and the box to accommodate the filler. It will provide good cushioning and protect the items against moving around inside.
The traditional filler for packaging glass and porcelain is wood wool – aesthetic, ecological and considered to be relatively effective. However, nowadays more modern materials are available. For instance, it is a great idea to wrap delicate items into several layers of bubble wrap and place them in a rigid cardboard box. Styrodur fittings are also very effective as they provide cushioning and secure the items from moving. When used with a cardboard box they enhance the protection properties of the cardboard box against mechanical damage.
In the case of particularly valuable items, each piece should be packed in a separate package. Even better is to use a “Russian doll” method – the box with the item should be placed in a larger one, and the void between both boxes should be filled with biodegradable loose fill peanuts ‘skropak’, crumpled paper, air cushions or foam. Such packaging will provide you with a light package still resistant to mechanical damage.
Impossible without a pallet
The hardest to transport are panes of glass. Some forwarding companies refuse to accept mirrors, glazing, furniture doors, shower cabins, etc. So if you manage to find one that will agree to do so, it is your job to pack the goods properly.
First of all, you should pay attention to the protection of corners and edges (with appropriate plastic covers, cardboard or styrofoam corner and edge protectors). Then you have to ensure the items are not moving inside the package. It is also essential to fix ready packages to the pallet so as to have a balanced centre of gravity to protect the pallet from tipping over. Shipping without a pallet will almost certainly result in damaged goods.
Custom package, which is marked and insured
A package with glass or porcelain should be declared as non-standard in order to avoid mechanical sorting. The second necessary protective measure is the insurance of the goods against loss or damage of the package. It is not cheap, but in the case of high value shipments, the only effective way to get your money back in case of loss. However, it is not applicable in the case of items of sentimental value that cannot be replaced (redeemed or reproduced).
Also, make sure to label the parcel properly. Although, labels “Handle with care! Glass!” or “Fragile” do not guarantee security, it is obviously a good way to inform the courier about the contents of the package. You have then got more chance that your package will be handled with care. The same applies to the labels “This side up” and “Do not stack”, which are both very important in the case of glass shipment.
If, despite all of the precautions taken, the customer still gets smashed glass or porcelain, at least we will be able to tell ourselves that we have truly done our best.