Japan Luggage Express
Japan Luggage Express Ltd.

Shipping fragile items from Japan

Ship delicate items Japan

Shipping fragile items from Japan

Some people may want to ship fragile items and wonder whether there is a special service for handling fragile items when shipping from Japan.

Is there a special service for shipping fragile items from Japan?

When something is shipped internationally as freight or via post, it goes through several facilities and organizations, and one has no control over how the packages are handled. There are no services for shipping fragile items with special care—i.e., services for handling fragile items do not exist in the shipping industry.

Therefore, it is important to pack your items well so that they will be protected.

Every day, many extremely delicate items are transported worldwide. Examples include computer parts, semiconductors, testing machines for semiconductors, optical equipment, machine parts, porcelain, medical equipment, and musical instruments such as violins, cellos, and pianos. In fact, because Japan exports many high-tech goods, it is no exaggeration to say that many shipments exported from Japan are fragile or highly delicate.

What do the exporters of such delicate goods do when they export their products while shipping overseas from Japan? The answer is that they take care to pack the goods. Often, many such goods are packed in wooden crates.

In general, crating is required for large items—such as pieces of furniture—for which clients cannot find suitable cardboard boxes. One can request crating or palletizing for fragile or delicate items to increase safety as well.

However, because crating or palletizing can be expensive and considerably increase the volume, some people want to pack the items themselves to save costs.

When shipping delicate items, the following method is recommended.

All fragile items must be wrapped in shock-absorbing materials that, ideally, are a thickness of 6 cm. Put shock-absorbing materials on the bottom and top of the box containing fragile items (ideally also about 6 cm each).

Use soft materials such as bubble wrap, clothing, and linen to pack around any fragile items and to fill any spaces.

When sending glassware/porcelain, etc., we recommend what we call “double-packaging” or “double-boxing,” if possible. In other words, put the items in boxes with fillers first and then put the entire box into another, larger box. There should be some filler in the larger box as well. ‘Filler” refers to shock-absorbing material such as plastic chips and bubble wrap, as well as common objects such as clothing.

These are only suggestions. Following them does not guarantee no possibility of damage.

  • Ensure that any sharp objects are packed away from all edges/sides. Should they puncture the side of a carton, the handling staff could risk injury and your effects could be damaged.
  • Generally, we do not recommend that you ship fluids such as wines, spirits, and the like. Firstly, you will generally have to pay duty and taxes at the destination. Secondly, in the unlikely event that your box is dropped, the item could leak and spoil the rest of your belongings.
  • If you are shipping a framed picture/painting, put some adhesive tape on the surface of the glass (i.e., tape that can come off easily later on) so that the glass will stay in place even if it gets broken or cracked. It may be a good idea to put some paper, etc. between the picture/painting and the glass so that the broken glass will not damage the picture/painting in case the glass is broken.
  • Use sturdy cardboard boxes. Boxes will be piled on top of each other, so they must be sturdy enough to hold the weight of other boxes. Do not use cardboard boxes that have already been used for another purpose.

Cargo Labels

Principally they do not pay attention to such remarks on packages as “This end up”, ” Do not tilt”, “Lay Flat”, ”Do not lay flat”, “Fragile/Handle with care”, “Top Load” etc.  “Fragile/Handle with care” remark might make some effect but the effect would be very limited. There’s no telling whether handling staff at various points will actually see or pay attention to your fragile sticker, let alone follow its instructions. It is often said they handle it as any other box. Putting fragile stickers should perhaps be done for the peace of mind and  be considered one of those cases of “better than doing nothing”.

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