Packaging Tips

DHL encourages the use of proper packaging. Because you, as a shipper, are ultimately responsible for safely and securely preparing your shipment, the following tips can help you package properly. Our courier will inspect the shipment when the pickup is made. If improvements in packaging are necessary, the courier may request that you modify the packaging or may refuse the pickup.

Outer Packaging - Use a sturdy container

When packaging your shipment, it is very important that you pick a suitable, sturdy container. It is recommended that you use a durable, corrugated cardboard box for most shipments.

  • Box contents must not exceed the gross weight capacity of the box. Most box manufacturers indicate the weight capacity on the bottom flap.
  • If you are reusing a box, be sure that it is in good condition with all flaps intact, and that it is free of rips, punctures and tears, and of old labels and markings.
Internal Packaging - Protecting the contents

Just as important as how you contain the contents of your shipment, is how you package them on the inside. You need to ensure that the contents of your shipment are properly protected. Use any combination of:

  • Corrugated fibreboard
  • Moulded plastic materials
  • Loose shredded paper
  • Bubble wrap or bubble pack
  • Plastic or foam “peanuts”

Use enough material (at least two to three inches on each side) to ensure that the contents of the shipment do not shift significantly during shipping. Also, wrap items individually to further protect them. If the package contains fragile items, be sure to write “FRAGILE” on the outside of the container.

Tip: It’s a good idea to include copies of all paperwork inside the package in case anything gets misplaced.

Sealing and Labeling

Be sure to securely seal your package. Tape all seams end-to-end with pressure sensitive packing tape, at least 2” in width. Avoid using masking or duct tape. Affix the DHL waybill and other shipment paperwork securely on the package. Do not obstruct or obscure the paperwork. In addition, be sure to remove or conceal old addresses or shipping labels.

Please note: It is important to use the appropriate size package for the items being shipped; packages must be able to be closed and sealed pursuant to the instructions and design capacity of the package.


  • While DHL cannot always abide by directions indicating the orientation of packages, such as “This Side Up,” you can help to ensure that your package remains in the proper orientation during transit by placing the waybill and paperwork on the top of the package.
  • If the contents of your shipment are fragile, write “FRAGILE” on the packaging.
  • Even the stickiest labels can come off, so it’s a good idea to include copies of all shipment paperwork inside the package in the event the paperwork on the outside of the package is misplaced.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid using wrapping paper, string, cellophane, or masking tape on your packages.
  • In inclement weather, avoid allowing your packages to get wet while waiting for pickup.
  • If you are shipping a high-value item, avoid including information about its worth on the package or address label.
Shipping Large or Irregularly-Shaped Packages

To avoid possible damage, larger or irregular items should be packaged in crates, boxes or other secure containers with adequate cushioning. Waybills and other paperwork should be securely attached to the flattest surface of the package. Ensure that all sharp or protruding edges are covered for protection.


  • Rolls of fabric or wallpaper can be shipped in a thick, secure bag.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid packaging the shipment in a container with handles, straps or wheels as these items require manual intervention in our processing centres.
Multi-piece Shipments

When shipping multiple packages under one waybill, do the following:

  • Do not “bundle” or “band” the packages together.
  • Affix the original waybill and shipment paperwork to one package, and then affix copies of the waybill to the other packages.
  • Write the waybill number on each package in the event the shipment paperwork becomes free.
  • Label each box with the total number of boxes in the shipment, such as “1 of 3,” “2 of 3” “3 of 3.”
Shipping Artwork

If you are shipping artwork, including but not limited to paintings, prints, photographs, etchings and sculptures, we recommend the shipment be professionally packed by a company that specializes in the packaging of the specific artwork being shipped.