• Your guide to packaging with
    New Zealand Couriers

    Tips to help you to get your package delivered quickly and safely.

    Download our packaging guide

Packaging and labelling for International

New Zealand Couriers' top priority is getting your item delivered on time and in great condition.

Our experience tells us that proper packaging and labelling is the best way to avoid damage, delay or additional costs. International parcels can travel a huge distance, passing through many hands and machines, so it's vital you package them well enough to handle a multi-step journey. In the unfortunate event of an item being damaged we do consider the packaging, and if it's deemed to be insufficient, the claim may be declined.

To make it easier for you, we've compiled some of our top tips when it comes to packaging and labelling.


1   

Choosing your box

Where possible we recommend sending items in boxes as opposed to loose or shrink-wrapped. We strongly recommend protecting goods in retail packaging by placing the retail box in outer packaging or a separate box for transport.
Consider strength and durability

Consider strength and durability

Choose durable boxes made of corrugated cardboard, with their flaps intact, especially when sending heavier items. Re-used boxes lose strength. Check for signs of damage, including creasing to the box sides, tears or dents to the box. Ensure your box is rigid and in good condition.

Choose the right sized box

Choose the right sized box

Boxes that are too small to properly fit their contents have a greater chance of splitting in transit and may not provide good protection. Boxes that are too large with too much padding or empty space are likely to collapse if another item is placed on top of it during delivery. If sending poster tubes, use a triangle or square tube holder, not round.

2   

Packing your box

Inner packaging.
Use the right packing materials

Use the right packing materials

Your item will be handled multiple times throughout its journey in our network. It is important to use the right inner packing materials to help everything stay safe and prevent items moving inside the box during transit.

Remember 5/5

Remember 5/5

Remember the 5/5 rule for fragile items: 5cm from the walls, base and top of the box and 5cm of cushioning around each individual item.

Irregular shaped items should be packed into boxes and held in place with appropriate packaging materials.

Bubble wrap, shredded paper, corrugated cardboard and polystyrene type products are often ideal forms of internal protection. Wrap all items individually, and make sure there's enough packing material between them to avoid damage. Protect sharp edges with both tape and padding. A heavy item that is not suitably wrapped will move inside the box, can damage the packaging and will be non-conveyable.


3   

Seals and labels

Avoid unnecessary delays.
Seal your item securely

Seal your item securely

To help prevent boxes coming apart, seal all openings. Boxes should be closed securely using at least three strips of packaging tape on both the top and bottom of the box creating an 'H' seal. Make sure the openings and joins have enough tape to hold them securely closed.

Use strong packaging tape designed for shipping. The sort of packaging tape to use should be a minimum of 4cm in width.

Label your item with a complete address

Label your international item with a
complete address

Successfully completing an international delivery can be very challenging without complete address details on the item to be carried. Always label your item to be sent with full street, city, country, area code and other such address details.

  • Include a contact name and phone number (with the area code for landlines).
  • Remember it is best to send the item to a physical address where someone will be present during the day.
  • Include a full return address and phone number on the back of the box, in case it needs to be returned or the sender contacted.
Display the address label clearly

Display the address label clearly

Place the label securely on the top of the box. Make sure the label is visible on one surface and that the label does not cover any openings or corners. If using strapping, ensure it does not cover any part of the label.

Remove all old labels and stickers to avoid potential confusion

Remove all old labels and stickers to avoid potential confusion

If you need to apply other labels to your box, please avoid placing them on the same surface as the address label.

Place a second address label inside the package

Place a second address label inside the package

This will help us identify your item if the original label falls off or becomes damaged.

Use a plastic self-adhesive clear window pouch

Use a plastic self-adhesive clear window pouch

This will hold any loose documents that are required to be placed outside of the box.


Specialty items

Use specialty stickers such as 'fragile', 'heavy' or 'this way up' when required. This will help ensure appropriate transport, handling and storage of your item during transit.

Specialty items

Maximum dimensions

For International Express the maximum weight per item is 25kg, however you may have multiple items on one consignment note. The total consignment weight must not exceed 500kg.

For our International Economy service the maximum weight per item is 70kg and there is a maximum palletized weight of 1,000kg.

If you wish to send an item weighing more than 25kg or longer than 180cms you’ll need to contact us on 0800 655 010 prior to making a courier booking as we must confirm if we are able to transport the item before we pick it up.

What can't be sent?

If you are wanting to send items that are hazardous eg: paints, aerosols and batteries, you must follow New Zealand Couriers Dangerous Goods (DG) Policy before it can be accepted for transport.

There are some items that New Zealand Couriers cannot deliver because of the nature of the item. See the details of our Dangerous Goods policy or our list of Prohibited Items, or call Customer Services on 0800 655 010 for more information.


Download our packaging guide