WATERPROOFING &
PACKAGING YOUR PARCEL

HOW TO PACKAGE A PARCEL AND PROTECT IT - A HANDY GUIDE
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8 STEPS TO WATERPROOF AND PROTECT 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.




WATERPROOF DELIVERY BOX

Whilst cardboard boxes are never going to be 100% waterproof, you can take steps to stop them from breaking and leaving your items exposed to the elements. We recommend always use a strong and sturdy box. If sending something heavy or fragile, a double or triple walled box works best as this is less likely to break or get crushed. Avoid re-using old boxes (even if it doesn’t look damaged) – it is likely the box will be weakened by its previous use.

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




SEAL YOUR PARCEL

The best way to waterproof your delivery box is by making sure it’s well sealed. When it comes to packaging parcels, sellotape isn’t going to cut it – you’ll need to invest in good, strong parcel tape. We always suggest using parcel tape which is around 40-50mm wide. Apply the tape along any seams, flaps and openings of the outer box to ensure it is fully sealed closed.

Shrink wrap is great if you’re sending larger items and will help keep your items waterproof during transit. 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.




PROTECT ITEMS WITH WATERPROOF WRAP

Using a sturdy box and ensuring it is properly sealed, should keep the water out. However, it is a good idea to use waterproof packaging inside your parcel too. Wrap each individual item in a waterproof wrap. Bubble wrap is a great option – not only is it waterproof, but it also offers cushioning so your item won’t get damaged in transit. If you don’t have any bubble wrap to hand, you can wrap the item in tissue paper and then pop inside a plastic bag.

Be sure to fill any space inside your parcel too – this will stop your items moving around and breaking. Avoid using internal packaging which will hold water, like packaging chips or newspaper. Instead, opt for air pillows or another non-absorbent padding option.




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 attach it to the outside of your 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.

protect your label



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.




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.




PARCEL BAGS

Depending on the size, shape and weight of the items being shipped, a sealable parcel bag (or mailing bag) is a great alternative to a box. Unlike cardboard, the plastic material is waterproof so your contents will be kept dry and secure whatever the weather. This is the perfect option for sending clothes which are lightweight and won’t break in transit.




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.

safe place



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.


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