Why correct packaging is essential to the Customer Experience

Selecting appropriate packaging materials and having proper labelling is the best way to avoid damage, delay or additional costs when sending through a courier network. Parcels can pass through many hands and machines when travelling through a courier network, so it’s essential to package them well enough to handle this multi-step journey.

From a consumers perspective, it’s not very reassuring to receive an order that isn’t packed well and can lead to an increase in returns if it arrives damaged or with missing parts. A good packing job will protect your customers’ products during shipping, but it also has the added benefit of ensuring your customer experience is positive when they receive and open their order.

Correctly packing your goods decreases the chances of customers returning the product because they feel like it wasn’t worth their time or money. Well-packed items make customers confident they received the best possible experience with your company when they received their product.

Customers that receive a positive customer experience are more likely to leave a pleasant online review, which will lead to more sales for your business.

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Now more than ever, a great customer experience relies on delivering your product on time for them. Use this guide to save yourself money.

How to package your products

1. Choosing the box

We recommend sending items in boxes as opposed to loose or shrink-wrapped. 

We strongly recommend protecting goods that are in their retail packaging by placing the retail box in outer packaging or a separate compartment 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 fit their contents properly have a greater chance of splitting in transit and may not provide good protection.

Boxes with too much space or padding are not good. They might break if they have something else on top of them. If sending poster tubes, use a triangle or square tube holder, not round.

2. Packing your box

Inner packaging

Your parcel will be handled multiple times throughout its journey in a transport network. Selecting packaging materials that are suitable for inside your box will help everything stay safe and prevent items from moving inside the box during transit.

There are many suitable types of packaging materials for shipping  – bubble wrap, foam peanuts, shredded paper, or the newspaper can all be used as an inner packaging material depending on your product type. It would be best if you chose a ‘fit’ for the product, the size, and your box’s weight.

Use the right packing materials

What are the types of packaging materials? Traditional packaging materials that are ideal forms of internal protection include bubble wrap, shredded paper, corrugated cardboard, and polystyrene type material. Although traditional, as long as your item is supported, you may choose to opt for other materials such as eco-friendly packaging materials that have a biodegradable element.

How to package your products

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 thing that is not suitably wrapped will move inside the box, damage the packaging, and be non-conveyable.

Use the 5/5 rule

Remember the ‘5/5 Rule’ when packaging fragile items. 5cm from the walls, base and top of the box and 5cm of cushioning around each item.

Remember 5/5

3. Seal your box securely

Seal your parcel securely

To help prevent boxes from 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.

4. Packaging labels for boxes

Label your box correctly by making sure you have put the complete address

Label your parcel with a complete address

Across New Zealand, many towns and streets have the same name, making delivery difficult if we don’t have full address details. Here’s how to label a box for shipping:

  • Include a contact name and phone number (with the area code for landlines).
  • Remember it is best to send the parcel 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. Ensure 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 packaging labels for boxes, 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 identify your parcel 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 required to be placed outside the box.

Other packaging considerations

Maximum dimensions

Keep in mind the maximum dimensions of the service you are using.

For example, at New Zealand Couriers the maximum dimensions we accept are; 25kg in weight, 1.8 m in length and 0.1m3 in volume.

‘Caution Heavy Item’ stickers should be applied to any item over 20kg for the safety of those handling your parcels.

Dangerous and Prohibited Goods

If you want to send hazardous items, e.g. paints, aerosols and batteries, you must follow the guidelines of the service you are sending with.

There are some items that New Zealand Couriers cannot deliver because of the nature of the item. See the details in our Dangerous Goods Policy or our list of Prohibited Items.

Specialty stickers

Specialty items

Make sure to use specialty stickers such as ‘Fragile’, ‘Heavy’ or ‘This Way Up’ when sending items of that nature. This will help ensure appropriate transport, handling and storage of your parcel during transit.


With the right packaging for your products, you can provide an outstanding customer experience.

From choosing a box size for your items to packing them correctly, we’ve covered everything! Whether this is something new or if you are looking to refresh on some old habits, now is the time to make sure that your customers receive their purchase in perfect condition.

Download the full New Zealand Couriers Packaging and Labelling Guidelines PDF here.