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Possible Damages When Packaging Fragile Items

Packaging fragile items can be intimidating and stressful. With so many sealing, marking, and cushioning techniques, packaging fragile items can be quite confusing as well. Fortunately, Valley Box has on-site packaging services and a professional packaging center where our expert packaging technicians have the knowledge, experience, equipment, and materials to package your product properly and in a timely manner.

damage claims

While Valley Box always does it’s absolute best to protect your fragile items, on rare occasions fragile items can be damaged during transport.

Some common causes that are often outside of our control include:

  • Severe impact
  • Package design flaws or failures
  • Improper stacking resulting in crushing
  • The end users improperly handling or unpacking
  • Hidden damage from internal cushioning or bracing failure

Occasionally when products are damaged or destroyed, the blame game can come into play. It is important to note that from time to time a packaging company may use a freight company or hire carriers. To make sure the cause of damage and the parties involved are identified for insurance purposes, we recommend the steps below to protect your company:

  1. First, identify what the cause of damage may be.
  2. If your packaging is very repetitive, standardized, and involves packaging larger amounts of products every day, lab testing the packaging may reveal the cause of damage. 
  3. For all types of manufacturing, other steps should include taking a photo of the packaged product prior to shipment. Ask the same of your client if the package is received damaged.
  4. If you suspect that the carrier is mishandling your shipments, include damage indicators like a Tip N Tell (which shows when packages tip in transit) or ShockWatch (which provides proof that products may have become damaged during transit, providing evidence to support a damage claim). 
  5. If there are handling, transport, and unpacking procedures, include visual instructions on the outside of the package.

After you have identified the cause of damage, some solutions might be to:

  • Change your packaging procedures.
  • Choose an alternative solution to improve the packages performance.
  • Safeguard against fraudulent damage claims from customers with damage indicators.
  • Get to know your distribution environment and possible variables associated with land, sea, air, or rail transport. The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) can help.

The ISTA has four basic categories of hazards that may occur during distribution including shock, vibration, compression, and atmospheric. Each hazard category has a major test category associated with it and there are 13 associated test types. Contact the ISTA for further information on package testing at And remember, packaging fragile items should be left to the professionals. Contact Valley Box to request a packaging quote today!


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*To learn more about how Valley Box prevents vibration damage & improves delivery time check out our Vibration Dampening case study. 

Topics: Services, Tips

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden crate. This specialty crating manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugated, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty crating to the next level.