Packaging Tips

Packaging tips to get your parcel on the right track

DPD would like to share some recommendations and tips on the best way to package your items.
Several things should be taken into consideration to avoid any delays.

Packaging in general

To ensure a smooth journey through our sortation hubs and network, it is important the packaging is suitable for our operation. This may vary depending on the contents of your parcel.

Choosing the right packaging is the first step to ensuring your items will reach their destination in good condition. You should take into consideration the weight and the type of contents within your parcel. Manufacturer packaging or product packaging alone is generally not sufficient for courier transportation as it does not provide enough protection.

General Tips

  • Use good quality carton boxes that are strong and rigid. If the box bends or folds due to the weight of the contents it is not suitable
  • Ideally, for heavy loads, you should use carton boxes made of high-quality corrugated cardboard. These should preferably be double-walled to ensure strength, durability and protection
  • Avoid using a carton more than once as its strength, and therefore the protection it offers, is significantly reduced when used multiple times
  • Choose the correct size of the carton to match the contents - under-filled boxes are likely to collapse and overfilled are at risk of bursting open
  • Securely seal the carton with strong tape or staples designed for shipping, with the flaps taped down along the middle and on both ends over the corners to ensure the base is secure and will not come open in transit - general use sellotape is not sufficient
  • 'Fragile' and 'Handle with Care' labels are considered as information only and not a substitute for good packaging
  • If you can hear or feel the contents of the carton moving inside, then the parcel is not packaged properly
  • A parcel's orientation may change during sortation, so please bear this in mind when you're developing your packaging
Outer Packaging

Outer packaging

Goods should be packed in a sturdy cardboard box that is suitable for the size and shape of the shipment. The external carton, not the contents, must provide the strength and structural integrity of the package. The outer packaging must always be securely sealed to avoid items dropping out and the contents must not protrude from the parcel. Heavier goods should be packaged in double wall board type boxes.

Be mindful when using bespoke packaging like folding boxes with snap lock bases and ensure you use the correct assembly technique to ensure durability. If you are a DPD account holder, always check with your DPD account manager if in doubt that the packaging is suitable.

Our Expresspaks are designed as means of carriage; they do not offer sufficient protection for items that may break. You should wrap items in protective packaging such as bubble wrap before placing them into an Expresspak.

When using straps for extra protection, ensure they are tight to the parcel to ensure they do not catch on anything or snap during transit.

Inner Packaging

Inner packaging

To ensure adequate protection, always fill any empty space around the item to prevent items from moving around. Use soft filling material for light goods and stronger filling material for heavier items. Make sure the internal packaging supports the product enough to prevent the product from being over-stressed. For example, a lamp is designed to be supported by its base, not its light shade; the packaging must therefore allow for the parcel to be orientated in several ways.

Goods should not be in contact with external packaging. To protect your item from impact during processing, you should use impact absorbent internal packaging in conjunction with void fill.

When shipping several items in one package, it is good practice to use protective material around each individual item.



When sending several items you must never glue or bundle your parcels together. This poses a high risk of parcels becoming lost when they detach from each other. You must always label each package individually to reduce the risk of loss.

Parcel labels should be positioned on the largest surface of the parcel and be free from wrinkles to ensure efficient scanning. Any straps or markings should not cover the label.

If you are not using a printed DPD label, please ensure that the recipient's address is clearly visible on the parcel and the label printed is not faded, which may cause an issue with scanning any barcodes.

Pickup Shop

Pickup Shops

DPD drivers are only permitted to collect parcels that weigh less than 20kg and do not exceed 1.2 metres on the longest side from Pickup Shops. DPD cannot guarantee the service on consignments shipped which are out of the Standards Terms and Conditions.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items

DPDgroup UK does not transport any substances that could pose a risk to the health and safety of our delivery drivers or processing staff. Please visit our Standard Terms and Conditions to understand better what can and cannot be shipped under Article 4 (GOODS NOT ACCEPTED FOR CARRIAGE OR STORAGE):

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