Waterproofing and Packaging Your Parcel


Learn how to package a parcel and protect it from weather conditions, by waterproofing and packaging your parcel with our handy guide.

We know how important your parcel is to both you and your recipient. Our aim is always to deliver the items entrusted to us in good time and the same condition as they were sent. Here we share some simple steps to take when waterproofing and packaging your parcel, in order to protect it on its journey.

UK weather conditions can sometimes make this process difficult - but there are things that you can do to protect your contents from the elements. From weatherproof labels to strong packing tape, here’s a few of the essentials you’ll need, come rain, sleet or snow.


8 Steps to Waterproof and Protect Your Parcel:


1. Seal your parcel


Invest in a good, strong tape along any seams, flaps and openings of the outer box to fully seal it closed. We always suggest using strong parcel tape of around 40-50mm wide. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the outside of the parcel packaging. Shrink wrap is great if you're sending larger items and will help keep your items waterproof during transit.


2. Individually wrap each item within your parcel


It may be obvious but tissue paper or bubble wrap will work well for this. Be sure to fill any space with crumpled newspaper, polystyrene or packing chips. This will avoid any items moving around and breaking during transit.


3. Double check the outer box is strong enough


Once all items are sealed within the outer box, check to see that it can support the weight of all items, especially if using a recycled box. If it doesn’t, you may need to use a stronger box or container.


4. Protect your label


We all want packages to arrive at the right place, which means addressing them so they’re clear and easy to read. Once printed off, place your label inside a waterproof plastic wallet and adhere it to the outer box to make sure it remains water resistant against the elements. We don’t recommend completely sealing the delivery label with clear tape, as it can reflect light and make it difficult for the scanning devices to read the barcode information on the labels.


5. Mark the box if the contents are fragile


Affix stickers or draw arrows on the outside of your parcel with ‘This way up’ and ‘Fragile’ if your parcel needs to stay upright during transit. It doesn’t 100% guarantee delicate handling – especially with automated parcel sorting machines - but every little bit helps to avoid breakages during delivery.


6. Waterproof shipping labels


These are an ideal addition for parcels that are travelling a great distance or that may get damaged by rain. The address stays legible throughout the journey, something that may not be the case should a pen either rub off or run – something that can happen should a letter or parcel get caught in rain while in transit.


7. Sealable mailing bags


Depending on the size, shape and weight of the items being shipped, an alternative is to use sealable waterproof mailing bags that will keep your contents dry and secure whatever the weather.

However - It’s important that you don’t wrap your parcel in black plastic; automated sortation machinery is unable to process it, meaning your UK parcels will be delayed, and international deliveries will be automatically returned to you.


8. A dry safe place


Allocate a safe (and dry!) location for collection and delivery to avoid your parcel being left to brace the elements for long periods of time.

DHL Parcel UK offers a handy service that allows you to leave your parcel in a designated 'safe place' for our driver to collect. Not only does this help if there isn’t anyone at home to accept the delivery personally, but also could be somewhere the parcel will be protected from the weather. A mailbox is great for ensuring smaller items stay protected, while clearing some space in a porch or other covered area is recommended, as it means a parcel can be left in a dry and secure location. See more about how to make your safe place safe.

Whether your parcel is going to Aberdeen or Aberystwyth in the UK, Antwerp or Athens in Europe or Auckland or Adelaide in Oceania, it’s going to be handled at several points throughout its journey – inside and outside - so be sure to follow our waterproofing and packaging tips to rest assured your parcel is ready to go.