Transporting fragile goods – how to do it?

Do you need to transport any fragile items but are not sure how to do it safely? In this article we gathered all the basic tips which will help you to transport your fragile cargo without damage.

Whether your fragile cargo will arrive safely to its destination usually depends not only on the transport provider but also (even more so) on you and how you will prepare it for transportation.

Preparing a fragile cargo for shipment

First of all, you need to find a right cardboard. The most important thing is its size – it shouldn’t be much bigger than the cargo, as any additional space increases the risk of damaging the fragile items during transportation (because of jostling on the road). Of course, it’s nearly impossible to find a cardboard precisely in the size of the cargo (unless you still have the original packaging), but the less free space is left after placing the items inside, the better.

When choosing a cardboard it is also important that it is as thick and sturdy as possible. Thin cardboard will easily bend during shipment and won’t protect the cargo properly. There’s also a risk that it will tear during loading and unloading. To be extra sure, it’s best to strengthen the bottom of the cardboard with a layer of duct tape (even if you’ve managed to find a really thick box).

Before placing fragile cargo in a box, wrap each item in some material that will help to absorb possible impact in case of jostling on the road or emergency braking. Bubble wrap is the best for this task, but some cloth or packing paper will also work.

Be extra careful while transporting a mirror. The bigger it is, the more prone to damage it will be during transportation. It is a good idea to place an “x” from duct tape on the whole mirror (from corner to corner). Of course it won’t save the mirror from breaking in case of major impact but it will make it a bit more resistant to jostling on the road.

The next step is to place the fragile items in a box and fill all the space left in the cardboard. The more efficient filling will be all the materials dedicated to packing parcels, e.g. foam peanuts. But (like with bubble wrap) it’s not something that we always have home, so there are more common substitutes – like sponges, cloths or even newspapers. Just make sure that you fill all the additional space in the box.

fragile goods transportation

The last step is to properly label the box where the fragile goods are – regardless of whether you plan to transport them yourself or to hire a hauler. Even transporting the fragile cargo in your own car booth, it’s easy to confuse the boxes (especially if you are moving to a new home and have lots of boxes). By labeling the cardboard with fragile goods, you make sure no one will stack anything on top of it, which could ruin all your careful packing and damage the fragile items.

How to label the box properly? You can just write “Fragile” on the top and on the side of the box – it’s important to label the box in these two places, to be sure the writing will always be easy to see, no matter how you (or the hauler) will arrange the boxes. It’s also good to identify which way the box is up – it’s especially important while transporting crockery sets. If you plan on shipping your fragile goods abroad, it’s good to buy some stickers with a universal sign for fragile cargo.

Now all that’s left is to place the box with fragile items in a vehicle. Make sure that it won’t move during shipment and that any other cargo you will be transporting can’t fall on it, e.g. in case of sudden turn of the car.

Transporting fragile items with a transport provider

If for any reason you can’t or won’t transport the fragile items by yourself, you can hire a transport provider to do it for you. Before choosing the right company be sure to read the terms and conditions – fragile cargo is sometimes considered a non-standard load and therefore shipping it will be more costly (that’s usually the case with couriers). If you can, contact the transport provider directly and ask about any extra charges. It’s also a good idea to ask about carrier liability insurance – it ensures that you will receive a compensation in case anything happen to the cargo during shipment.

A price of fragile goods transportation

A cost of fragile goods transportation depends on the dimensions of the item, length of the route as well as the dates of loading and unloading. Of course, any additional charge for non-standard parcel will affect the price.

Below you will find some sample offers for fragile goods transportation. All the prices come from real quotes on transport marketplace

For transporting fragile goods on international goods you’ll pay approx. £90-140.

A window from Łódź (Poland) to Ipswitch (UK)  for £94:

A painting from Berlin (Germany) to London (UK)  for £134:



I'm searching for easy ways to safely transport untypical items. I would like to prove to all our readers that - after some preparations - you can transport just about anything. No matter what the courier says.

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