Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Whether it’s a paper book, metal gadget, merino wool dress or even a glass bottle, you’ll want to properly and securely package them in parcels when sending to family, friends and to our fellow Renters.

Packaging is important in protecting the item inside when it’s travelling from Owner to Renter, and from Renter to Owner. So here are some tips on how to pack your parcel for the journey ahead. We’ll also show you how to calculate the Volumetric Weight (VW) in point 7 of this article.

Alternatively, you can also check out the Shipping Process Article to get an in-depth view of how Shipping is done on YORenters.

1. Your Item

Your main aim is to prevent any damage to your Item so effective packaging is essential. You’ll also want to know what type of package to use which can be determined by the characteristics of the Item you are packaging.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Weight, shape and size matters. The box or packaging must be strong enough to carry the weight of your Item. Your Item will also need enough space to fit inside your box or package of choice.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Extra care is needed for high value Items. So make sure to prepare some extra cushioning and protection for the Items that need it. Low value Items may not be worth as much, but you still want to package it securely.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Fragile Items would require special labelling to notify courier drivers that the package requires extra handling and care. A 'Fragile' and 'Handle with Care' sticker would be necessary if you’re packaging brittle goods.

2. External Packaging

Quality packaging is key to protecting your shipment during transportation. The following are some guidelines in picking and choosing an external packaging that suits your Item’s needs.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Material Strength
Use packaging material that is well-made and hard to break down. High quality corrugated cardboard boxes are preferred over used/recycled boxes as they offer more protection. Consider using double-wall or tri-wall boxes for the more fragile or heavy Items as well.

Reusing Boxes/Packages
Reusing boxes may not be recommended as they may have lost some of their rigidity. Although if you are reusing a box or packaging, remove all old labels on it. You’re not able to send a package with outdated shipment labels on it.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Boxes that are too big for your Item may collapse, while boxes too small may burst. So choose a box or packaging that fits the Item while making it compact and sturdy. For the smaller Items, consider using a courier flyer bag that can be bought at any courier delivery office.

When choosing a size of box for your Item, get one that is a little bigger than your Item to allow you to add protective packaging around it. Which brings us to our next point...

3. Internal Packaging

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Internal packaging is used to prevent the contents of your package from being damaged and moving around too much while in transit. Below are some of the more popular internal packaging materials that can be easily found:

  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam peanuts/pellets
  • Polystyrene chips
  • Polyethylene foam
  • Shredded paper
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Loose fill
  • Airbag cushioning
  • Eco friendly padding
  • Edge/corner protections

Using internal packaging will also prevent chances of damage from shock, vibrations, impacts and pressure during transit. Try using multiple layers of internal packaging to safeguard your Item as every layer of padding is an extra layer of protection.

4. How to Pack - 4 Simple Steps to Packing Boxes

  1. First, seal the bottom of the box with the H-taping method.
  2. Insert required protective padding material and then place Item in the centre of the box.
    (Create a 6cm gap layer between the Item and the box’s inner wall)
  3. Pad out any excess areas with filler material.
  4. Finally, seal the top of the box using the same H-taping method.

Packing Techniques

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

6cm Distance. Place your Items in the center of the box with at least 6cm of separation from the box’s floor, walls, or corners to prevent excessive rubbing and friction when in transit.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Leave No Empty Space. Completely fill every available space within the box to avoid box content from moving during transit.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Wrap Items Individually and Use Dividers. When shipping multiple items in a single package, wrap each item individually and separate with divider materials or corrugated inserts.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

H-Taping Method. Apply 1 strip of tape along the center seam of a box opening. Then Apply 2 strips of tape across both edges of the box to create an 'H' shape.

5. Sealing

Both the adhesive tapes you choose and how you seal the shipment together makes a difference in protecting your shipment contents from being exposed or damaged during transit.

Recommended Sealing Tapes

Choosing an appropriate adhesive tape and sealing method can help in protecting your shipment from being exposed or fall open. Some recommended tapes :

  • Polypropylene tape (brown plastic tape)
  • Vinyl adhesive tape (electrical tape)
  • Fiber-reinforced paper tape (duct tape)
Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Avoid these tapes as they do not offer considerable strength or durability to hold a package:

  • Kraft paper tape
  • Cellophane tape
  • Masking tape
  • String

6. Labelling

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Air Waybill/Consignment note

Always use a clear and accurate air waybill with completed details to ensure your shipment moves swiftly throughout the delivery process. Some tips to take note:

  • Make sure your Air Waybill is printed in A4 paper.
  • Place the Air Waybill or any other loose documents in a plastic self-adhesive clear window pouch and attach it on top of your package.
  • Fix the shipment label securely on the ‘top’ surface of the shipment box.
  • Ensure the label is wholly visible on that surface.
  • Do not apply other labels, tape or paperwork over the Air Waybill to avoid scanning issues.
  • Remove all outdated consignment note labels on the box if any.

Displaying the shipment labels clearly is important in ensuring that your shipment moves swiftly in transit. To avoid any delay in transit always make sure that all necessary documentation is fully and accurately completed before sending.

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Special handling label

Attaching a special handling label to your parcel can help notify courier riders on how it should be handled and taken care of. Some special labels include:

  • Fragile, Handle With Care - The parcel contains fragile items and must be handled carefully.
  • This Way Up - The upward arrows show the preferred orientation of the parcel and protect it against incorrect transportation or wrong storage.
  • Keep Dry - The parcel must be protected from excessive humidity and be stored in dry condition.

7. The Volumetric Weight

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

The Volumetric Weight (VW) of a package is a calculation that reflects the density of a package. While actual weight calculates how heavy a package is, the Volumetric Weight (VW) calculates how much space does a package use in correlation to its mass.

The formula on how to calculate the Volumetric Weight (VW) of your parcel:

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

The VW figure calculated will be used when entering the Weight (kg) when adding an Item as an Owner or the actual weight of the Item plus its packaging, whichever is higher.

8. Incorrect Volumetric Weight - What Happens?

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Rare though it may be, certain cases may arise whereby the parcel weight that you have written down is different from the actual and/or volumetric weight that the shipping courier has calculated. Some problems that may occur are as follows:

  • Delayed shipment - Delays occur when the courier puts your parcels on hold in their hub until the extra cost that set out as the cost for the standard delivery of your order has been paid.
  • Excess surcharge by courier - The courier issues an additional charge to the sender to cover the extra cost incurred on the extra checking procedure, thus you’ll have to pay more than what was originally paid for.

How to Avoid

  1. Measure the actual weight with a weighing scale.
  2. Calculate the volumetric weight of your parcel by multiplying its dimensions (length, width, and height) then divide by 5000.
  3. Book your parcel with the higher of the two weights calculated in steps 1 and 2.

9. Regulations

Parcel Packaging and the Volumetric Weight

Some regulated Items may require special packaging in order for it to be able to be accepted by most courier services. Do not however send dangerous, restricted or prohibited goods as you may be liable to prosecution.

Most courier delivery services will refuse posting of packages over the counter or to hold packages (after collected by the courier) if the shipment has inadequate or unsecured packaging with no added protection. So make sure the packaging is secure and proper.

For a list of prohibited and restricted Items, refer back to your Rental Agreement.

The Item Listing explained for Renters

A perfect balance of safety and durability is key when it comes to item packaging. Follow the tips above and you’ll be a packaging pro in no time.

So how was your packaging experience? Do you have some additional tips you would like to share? Have a topic or discussion you would like to talk about?

Start chatting with us instantly by clicking on the floating chat button at the bottom right-hand corner of this page. We're available on live chat from 9AM–6PM on weekdays.

You can also contact us by emailing [email protected][dot]com to chat with our helpline for any further questions. Hope to hear from you soon. Stay safe and take care.