Shipping delicate items can present a number of challenges. Depending on how fragile an object is, even a little bit of roughness can leave it damaged or broken by the time it reaches its intended destination. Whether you’re giving a gift or shipping delicate items for commercial purposes, shipments that arrive in poor condition will reflect poorly on you. Fortunately, while shipping delicate items may be challenging, it’s by no means impossible. Putting the following pointers to good use can help ensure that your next fragile package arrives at its destination no worse for the wear.

Only Use Shipping Companies You Trust

When shopping around for the right shipping company, cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best. If a company charges reasonable rates but has a reputation for damaging shipments, it’s generally a good idea to go with someone else. This is particularly true when it comes to commercial shipments. Even if damaged cargo is purely the fault of a shipping company, their error will likely be attributed to your business. With this in mind, make a point of doing business with shipping companies that have a proven track record of timeliness and professionalism. This may mean spending a little more than you intended, but it may also be necessary if you want a shipment to arrive unscathed.

Be Smart when Prepping Shipments

While a lot of problems can be attributed to shipping companies, not everything that happens to a package while in transit is their fault. For example, if you’ve done an inadequate job of prepping a package for shipping, there’s a good chance you’re to blame for any damage it incurs. As such, you’ll need to make sure that delicate items have sufficient cushioning and are packed in comfortably-sized shipping containers. Furthermore, when dealing with perishable items or objects that are sensitive to extreme temperatures, take care to equip the boxes with temperature indicators for shipping.

Provide Special Instructions

When shipping delicate items, it’s imperative that you inform your preferred shipping company of this fact. In many cases, these companies handle delicate shipments much differently than shipments that can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. To ensure that there’s no confusion with regard to a shipment’s durability, make sure that companies are fully aware of what you’re shipping and exactly how fragile these items are. In all likelihood, the company you’re dealing with has special shipping options for this type of cargo. Again, this may mean spending a little more, but peace of mind and recipient satisfaction should be well worth the additional cost.

As anyone who regularly ships delicate items can attest, a lot can go wrong while a package is in transit. In some instances, damaged shipments are the fault of shipping companies. Other times, the blame lies squarely with the sender. While there’s no end-all solution to damaged shipments, there are numerous steps senders can take to decrease their likelihood. Anyone looking to nip shipping problems in the bud would be wise to heed the tips discussed above.