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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

Help prevent package damage or loss

  1. Use a box strong enough to support the weight of the contents
  2. Ship cases in corrugated shipping containers
  3. Securely seal contents at risk from leakage
  4. Use at least two inches of appropriate cushioning material to protect items from each other and the corners, sides, top, and bottom of the box
  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

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Labeling Tips

Filling Out the Label:

  • Include the receiver's postal code 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 recipient's telephone number on the label. Army Post Office (APO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses are not accepted by UPS.
  • 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. Putting the label on a seam, edge, closure, or on top of sealing tape, may hinder legibility.
  • To avoid confusion, 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.

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Denial Reason: Package insufficiently sealed or closure failed

Specific claim denials which 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 two inches (5.08 cm) wide
  • Nylon-reinforced filament tape that is at least two inches (5.08 cm) wide
  • Water-activated reinforced tape that is at least three inches (7.62 cm) wide

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

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Denial Reason: Insufficient packaging, cushioning, or protection

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

  • The merchandise was not sufficiently cushioned
  • The merchandise was not properly placed within the packaging to sufficiently protect it
  • 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 two inches (5.08 cm) of cushioning and placed a minimum of two inches (5.08 cm) 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: 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

UPS recommends 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 from leakage

Make certain that caps or covers are applied securely 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 is important to apply closures with the correct application torque to ensure that the liner compresses and forms a good seal. Proper application torque will also help prevent the closures from backing off 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. 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 which 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. Further details on proper packaging are available in the UPS Rate and Service Guide.

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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