How to pack a parcel for shipping?


Large, small, with regular shapes and those quite out of shape. Packing a package many a shipper spends sleepless nights. How to choose the right cardboard box? What to fill the package with and properly secure the item? We know and come to help. Check out GLS' parcel packing guide.

A parcel is more than just a package. For the recipient, it is very often the business card of the sender. It is worth paying attention not only to whether the parcel is packed safely, but also whether we have done it aesthetically. Importantly, the form and manner in which a parcel is packaged represent an important customer experience associated with a brand and can be part of a company's marketing strategy. For e-commerce, parcel packaging is also a kind of storefront - the more attractive it is, the more customers will look at and buy the product. An aesthetically pleasing cardboard box, proper protection, stable filling and even a small leaf addressed to the recipient will make the so-called unboxing a really pleasant experience.

Choice of packaging

The standard packaging for shipments is a cardboard box. It must be sturdy and have the right dimensions - it cannot be too small, because then there is a risk that it will come apart at the sides and the security tape will not stay in place. The result? Probable tearing of the carton and possible damage to the shipment. When packing small items, it is worth remembering that the package should not be too large either. The items inside will literally "fly" around the package, and we will have to use a lot more filler to secure them, which, as a consequence, will simply prove uneconomical and unenvironmental.

The golden mean? A cardboard box ideally suited to shipments - it's simpler to choose it when we send, for example, books or boxes in the form of cuboidal shapes. It's worse when we have an irregular shipment - such should be properly secured in advance or order a die-cut carton, which has cutouts and fillings matching the dimensions of the item being shipped. When choosing a cardboard box, it's also worth looking at what you currently have in your business and home - perhaps there's a good shoe box that we can use, or just a cardboard box from a previous shipment that we can reuse - it's very eco-friendly. Here, however, a note of caution - you need to remember to first remove all labels from the previously used cardboard and check it for damage.

When deciding to send a shipment in a newly purchased carton, it is worth choosing one that will allow you to reuse it. It is good if the carton has special perforations on the sides and a spare protective tape that will allow the package to be reused without damaging it. Then we do not need to use additional adhesive tape, because it is, so to speak, an integral part of such packaging. Cut cartons, because these are what we are talking about, are very often used by the fashion industry - they look elegant and are easy to open. If you run a business where every detail counts, and customers are particularly sensitive to aesthetics, it's worth branding a cut cardboard box, such as with a decorative print or personalized sticker with your logo, to gain even more influence on the customer's memory of your brand.

If not a cardboard box, then what?

What other options do we have for packing a package? Here it all depends on the form of shipment. Small bulky items usually do not need to be placed in a cardboard box. For example, small cosmetic accessories, jewelry or small electronics can be sent in a courier envelope, that is, one with adequate protection in the form of bubble wrap.

The second way to secure items is to pack them in stretch film. It protects perfectly from moisture, but unfortunately does not protect the item from mechanical damage. So it is not worth packing fragile and delicate items in this way.

Securing items

Regardless of what you are shipping, the shipment should be properly secured. Even if you have a cardboard box of the right size, it is advisable to wrap the item in bubble wrap or paper, for example. Why? This is best explained using the example of books. Even when there is little empty space between the books and the carton, not wrapping them exposes them to, for example, unsightly folds at the corners. Sometimes it is enough to wrap an item only with stiffer paper, we can also use air cushions to fill the empty space. If we run an online store - we will gain an additional advantage with the recipient if we brand such paper or (here this trick especially works in the beauty industry) spray it with perfume. When packing a parcel, remember that the filling should fulfill its function - protect the item and absorb shocks.

It is also worth paying attention to eco-friendly fillers such as skropak, wood wool or SizzlePak paper filler. Moreover, wood wool, such as colored wool, can be an additional decorative element in a package, and at the same time it is a filler that perfectly protects the shipment.


When sending a package in a cardboard box that does not have a built-in adhesive tape strip, we should take care to tape it properly - especially where the individual components meet. The adhesive tape must have enough adhesion to stick to the carton and, in addition, can be printed with the brand logo. We can also protect the entire carton with stretch film, which will protect the carton from moisture.


When printing the label yourself, remember to stick it in a place visible to the courier, do not bend it and do not seal it with adhesive tape. Labels printed on ordinary paper can be protected by placing in a special film for shipping labels.As we mentioned earlier, when preparing a shipment in a reused cardboard box, be sure to remove all previous labels from the box beforehand so that the courier knows to whom the shipment should ultimately go.
We hope that you will find our GLS parcel packing tips helpful and will make packing parcels easier, and perhaps inspire you to look for more functional and creative solutions in this regard.