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Preventing Claims

Review the Preventing Claims Overview and Labeling Tips to help reduce the chances that you'll need to report a problem.

If your claim has been denied, select a claim denial reason below to learn about helpful suggestions developed by UPS packaging engineers.

Preventing Claims Overview

To help prevent damage or loss of merchandise goods, we recommend you follow these tips when preparing your package:

1. Choose new, solidly constructed boxes of corrugated material to give appropriate weight support for your package.
2. Ship cases in corrugated shipping containers.
3. Securely seal contents at risk of leakage.
4. Leave at least 2 inches of space around the item being shipped on all sides for protection.
5. Reinforce package edges to protect from bending.
6. Securely seal package closures and seams with reinforced tape.
7. Include complete address information and telephone numbers on the label.
8. Ensure that the label adhesive is compatible with the package surface to prevent the label from unraveling/peeling, or falling off on items such as carpets, fabric rolls, and exhibition boxes.
9. Place a duplicate address label inside the package in case the external label becomes damaged or illegible.

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Labeling Tips

Filling Out the Label:

  • Include the receiver's postal code (where applicable) with the complete street address, contact name, and telephone number on the label. Add the suite, apartment, or unit number, if applicable.
  • Make every effort to obtain a street address. If you do use a P.O. Box address, include the receiver's telephone number on the label. UPS does not accept Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses.
  • Always include your complete return address, including full street address and postal code. For international shipments, include a contact name, telephone number, and postal code.


Label Placement:

  • Place the label on a flat surface on the top of the package. Placing the label on a seam, edge, closure, or on top of sealing tape, may hinder legibility.
  • Place only one address label on the box. If using a packing slip, place it on the same surface of the box as the address label. When reusing boxes, remove or cross out any old labels or markings.
  • Insert a duplicate label or other form of address information inside the package. This will help us locate your package if there is damage to the label or box.
  • Ensure that the label adheres to the surface on which it is placed, as some product items can be resistant to adhesive backings (e.g., tires, golf bags, etc.).
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Denial Reason: Package insufficiently sealed or closure failed

Specific claim denials that occur as a result of insufficient seal or closure are:

  • The package closure was not sufficient and failed, allowing merchandise to fall out.
  • The package was not sufficiently closed or sealed.

How to securely seal packages

Apply three strips of tape to both the top and bottom of the box so the middle and two edge seams are sealed.

Use a strong tape, such as:

  • Pressure-sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2 inches (5.08cm) wide
  • Nylon-reinforced filament tape that is at least 2 inches (5.08cm) wide
  • Water-activated reinforced tape that is at least 3 inches (7.62cm) wide

Do not use masking tape, cellophane tape, duct tape, water-activated paper tapes, string, or wrap the box in paper because it will not provide a strong enough seal.

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Denial Reason: Insufficient packaging, cushioning, or protection


Specific claim denials that occur as a result of insufficient packaging, cushioning, or protection are:

  • The merchandise was not properly placed within the packaging to sufficiently protect it.
  • The merchandise was not sufficiently cushioned.
  • The packaging was not sufficient to protect the merchandise.

How to properly cushion contents

Each item within the package should be wrapped separately with a sufficient amount of cushioning material. Each item should be surrounded by at least 2 inches (5.08cm) of cushioning and placed a minimum of 2 inches (5.08cm) away from the box walls. This prevents product-against-product damage and protects the contents from shock and vibration, which can pass from the outside of the box to the contents. Fragile items such as electronics, glass, ceramics, and artwork need separation from each other and from the corners, sides, top, and bottom of the box. These packages may require additional cushioning or a double (over) box.

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Denial Reason: Insufficient weight support

Specific claim denials that occur as the result of insufficient weight support are:

  • The single-wall (or double-wall) box was not sufficient to support the product's weight.

How to determine if the box is strong enough to support the weight of the contents

We recommend choosing a box strength that is suitable for its contents based on the UPS Box Strength Guidelines. Never exceed the maximum gross weight limit for the box, which is printed on the Box Maker's Certificate on the bottom flap of most boxes. After years of testing and analysis, engineers at the Customer Solutions Package Lab have developed box strength specifications for single-package distribution.

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Denial Reason: The product's packaging closure failed, causing leakage

How to securely seal contents at risk of leakage

Make certain that caps or covers are secure to help ensure they do not loosen during transit and result in a leak. It is recommended that you add a heat induction foil seal to help prevent leakage.

When shipping liquids in a sealed bottle, it's important to apply closures with the correct application torque to ensure that the liner compresses and forms a strong seal. Proper application torque will also help prevent the closures from unravelling during vibration. Liquids in plastic bottles need to be separated from each other inside the corrugated shipping container. It is recommended that a corrugated divider be used to create cells for each bottle.

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Denial Reason: Damage to the external case due to no protective covering

How to ship cases using a protective covering

Some contents come with their own containers or cases. These may not be durable enough to protect contents during shipment. As well, the exterior of these cases might not be adhesive resistant, causing labels to unravel while in transit. To minimize these items being placed in the UPS Corporate Overgoods division, we recommend that you place cases into a corrugated shipping container following the UPS Box Strength Guidelines. 

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Denial Reason: The package lacked edge protection to prevent it from bending

How to protect package edges to prevent them from bending

Consider increasing the strength of the box or using angle-board (V-board) to increase the beam strength of the package. Either option will help prevent corners and edges from bending.

Note: This page contains general packaging guidelines illustrate the minimum recommended steps to adequately protect package contents. Depending on package contents, additional steps may be necessary to ensure that packages are adequately and securely packed, wrapped, and cushioned for transportation.

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Related Links

Package Preparation

To find out more about preparing your package for shipping, please see:

Packaging Advisor

Guidelines for Package Preparation