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How To Pack Boxes For Shipping Overseas

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
January 3, 2023
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Table of Contents

Packing for a relocation is a time-consuming process that requires you to consider the importance and safety of your belongings. Preparing for an international move is even more difficult as you question the safety of each item wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in boxes.

You will also have to deal with other obstacles, such as quarantine, customs, insurance, etc. This is the article's intent, as I will give tips on how to pack your boxes safely and securely when shipping them abroad.

How To Pack Boxes For International Shipping

Step One: Get the right boxes

Choosing the proper shipping containers is crucial. Ensure that if you use a box that has been used before, the box is not torn or exposed to moisture that could affect its structural integrity. Put high-quality packing tape under the box to keep it from opening once it has been sealed.

Make sure to eliminate any shipping barcodes, stickers, or labels that are no longer valid, as these can lead to confusion during delivery. Some types of contents being delivered may need you to select shipping boxes with double walls, which are made with tubes or holes between the cardboard sheets. This helps to strengthen the boxes.

Ensure that the box is larger than the content you are delivering to allow for layers of packing paper or bubble wrap on the bottom. The contents can get damaged when products are forced into too small a box. Pack the heaviest objects on the bottom and the lightest on top.

This increases the box's stability and reduces the likelihood of movement during transport. Consider the weight of the packed box, as it may be too heavy to lift; it may be easier to use several boxes to distribute the weight. A shipping box should not weigh at most 30 pounds.

Step Two: Pack right

When sending boxes overseas, wrapping each item separately is vital to avoid your belongings getting damaged from bumps. Numerous packing materials are available, such as foam sheets, newspaper, and bubble wrap. You may need many layers and tape to attach the final wrap. Extra packing material within the box will keep its contents from moving around.

Such materials can include; sturdy kraft paper, natural, non-toxic, compostable packaging peanuts, and Styrofoam. You may also use towels, scarves, and cushions to protect fragile things by filling empty spaces. Instead of foam, you can use anti-static materials to protect electronics.

After the products have been wrapped and packaged, gently shake the box to check for any loose items; then, add more filler to secure the package. If you follow standard packaging and shipping rules, your things will get to their destination without getting broken.

Step Three: Seal the boxes with the correct tape

It is critical to use the correct tape when shipping packages internationally. Many types of tape are unsuitable for the task due to their insufficient strength. A strong brown tape is required to seal seams and secure flaps. Wrap the tape around the entire box and adhere to it for a secure hold.

Moving professionals recommend using H-tape to seal your package. Tape across the sidewalls along both sides and the center of the box, ensuring the flaps overlap and there are no gaps.

Step Four: Label appropriately

Each package must include a mailing label on every side (side, bottom, and top). On the labels of certain boxes, you must include the destination and a list of the contents. If you are going to procure the label online, you must ensure that each information field has correct and complete information.

Contact information is required and must be correct. In addition, your return address must be exact and complete. If there is a problem with the delivery of goods, the courier must be able to contact you. The correct labeling of addresses expedites and simplifies the delivery procedure.

You can also place a second label inside the box so that if the one on the exterior becomes damaged, you have a new label ready. Remember that most foreign shipments require that you fill out a customs form accurately to ensure on-time delivery.

Packing Tips For Seamless International Shipping 

Know the rules

International moving is a complicated process that requires more planning and research to do well. When you export your items, you must ensure they are correctly packaged, listed in your inventory, and accepted in the country where they are going.

It is essential to know how customs work in the country you are shipping to before you ship there. For your package to be cleared by customs, it must comply with the country's regulations governing what things may and may not be brought into the country.

If you are relocating, there will be clear rules for bringing your household items and personal belongings into the country. Some things will only be shipped with the proper permissions and paperwork, while others will never be allowed to leave the country and will be seized outright.

When you hire international movers, you can get help from a customs brokering company to ensure your shipment gets into the country without any problems.

Reduce your load

Shipping goods across state lines is sometimes cheaper and easier than shipping them to another country. Before you move overseas, you should get rid of as many things as possible to save money and make the process easier. Sort your belongings into three categories: to ship, sell, and give.

Ship what is necessary, sell what can be sold, and donate the remainder. When deciding what to ship, remember that customs duties and other rules may make some things more expensive.


Your things might get lost or broken during ocean freight and the many inspections and ports along the way. If something were to happen to your shipment, you would want to be compensated for your loss.

Your international mover may offer insurance, but if not, you'll want to look into getting some on your own. Items with a high value, like works of art or ancient artifacts, should be evaluated by the insurance company to ensure they are appropriately valued and covered by the policy.

Be careful of weight

You must weigh your items and choose parcel packaging that is right for their size and weight. Selecting a box or crate that is too light to support the load increases the risk of the packaging breaking or the shipment toppling during transport.

This is especially vital if you plan to ship large or heavy items, which need to be packed in sturdy containers that can hold more weight.

Instead of settling for inferior packaging that "does the job" but falls short when the consumer receives the delivery, these measures ensure that your belongings make it from point A to point B without harm.

Decide how best to move

Both air and sea transport is available for international shipments. While ocean shipping can take months to reach its destination, air shipping typically takes only a few weeks. You are free to ship using either or use both methods simultaneously.

When deciding what to ship by air and what to ship by water, prioritize sending the more essential items, such as clothing, cookware, and bedding.

Hire A Competent Shipping Company

When sending packages across borders, it's even more important to use the correct box size and pack them securely. During the rigors of the transportation procedure, things are often damaged if they are not packed correctly.

Depending on the dimensions, weight, and nature of the item you're sending, you can choose the appropriate shipping supplies from various sizes, shapes, and materials. In addition to following the tips in this article for how to pack, it is crucial to hire a reputable moving company to handle your boxes.

There are a lot of moving companies as well as mail forwarding providers that will help you ship your boxes overseas. Before deciding which one to hire, you should consider your budget, the most practical way to ship the boxes, and where you are shipping the boxes.

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