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Packaging and wrapping overview

Careful preparation and packaging help ensure safe and secure delivery of items. We strongly recommend the use of environmentally friendly packaging. Visit our e-store to buy packaging and wrapping materials.

We recommend the following tips for most parcels:

Choose a rigid, good quality outer container

The container must be sturdy enough to protect the item you’re mailing. Depending on the article you’re mailing, a corrugated cardboard box is generally a good container.

If you’re reusing a box, make sure:

  • It has the strength and integrity for shipping
  • Old shipping labels and barcodes are removed
  • Old addresses and markings are covered up or removed

If you deposit unpackaged items not of a size or shape suitable for wrapping (such as pails or tires), you must pay an unpackaged items surcharge. You must not reuse containers that have been used before for restricted items or non-mailable matter for mailing other goods.



  • The package no longer contains those materials and they’re re-wrapped to cover all previous markings that refer to restricted items or non-mailable matter
  • There are no longer any traces (spills, residue, and so on) of the previous materials

See Non-mailable matter for more information.

Use packaging material

If fragile, surround the item with cushioning material on the top, bottom, and all sides to limit movement and protect the item.

If there are multiple different textured items (for example, liquids or sharp edges) in the same package, the items should have cushioning between them to prevent movement and keep the integrity of the contents intact.

If the item may be subject to bending, use a rigid material to prevent bending or folding.

Wrap individual contents separately and use void fillers to stabilize and protect items while in transit and during handling by machines and people.

Examples of cushioning material and void fillers:

  • Packaging paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Newspaper
  • Kraft paper
  • Crinkle or shredded paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam or expanded polystyrene pieces (also known as foam peanuts)
  • Inflatables
  • An old t-shirt

You must tightly and securely wrap all items with enough cushioning and reinforcing materials.  If the item contains liquid, it must be wrapped with enough absorbent material. Outer containers must not have handles, loops, or loose material that could get caught in the sorting equipment or create safety issues.

These measures will help to prevent:

  • Loss or damage to items
  • Potential damage to postal equipment
  • Injuries to people handling the items

For items mailed in a frame (such as pictures) protect the front and back with strong cardboard larger than the frame. Place soft material between the frame and the cardboard to reduce pressure on the glass.

Use sealing material

Firmly seal all seams of the item with quality, reinforced packaging tape to make sure that your item stays closed.

Don’t use:

  • String
  • Masking tape
  • Ordinary household tape

Please note:

You can't strap, tape, or bind together 2 items (boxes, polybags, or a mix of both) or more by any other means. You must deposit them as single items.

Label your item

Label the inner container with the address and return address on the top (the largest side of the box) and then put it inside the shipping box.

Make sure you use the proper service label and that the label is visible and affixed flat and wrinkle-free to the largest side of the box. If your item is too small, ensure that the barcode isn’t placed over a crease or applied in any manner that makes it difficult to scan, and that the barcode and address don’t wrap around the edges of the item. For mailing tubes, affix the label lengthwise so that the side of the barcode points toward the ends of the tube.

You must carefully package and label common allergen items to minimize the potential for allergic reactions.

Examples of common allergen items:

  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tree nuts (for example, almonds or walnuts)
  • Eggs

Please note:

  • As a guideline, your packaging should withstand a drop of about 1 metre (39.3 inches) on to concrete to prevent potential damage or breakage.
  • Without limiting any other exceptions that might apply, we won’t pay any claim for shipments which aren’t adequately packaged to ensure safe transit through our automated system.
  • We’ll apply a surcharge to cylindrical mailing tubes. The surcharge doesn’t apply to items shipped using Small Packet™ and Tracked Packet™ services.