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Packaging Guidelines

Here are some general packaging guidelines that will help you prepare your package for shipping. Please visit related links to other guideline areas for more detailed information.

Guidelines for Good Packaging

You can help to ensure that your package arrives safely and on time with these packaging guidelines and procedures developed from UPS research.

  • Use a rigid box with flaps intact
  • Remove any labels, hazardous materials indicators, and other previous shipment markings on the box that are no longer applicable
  • Wrap all items separately
  • Use adequate cushioning material
  • Use strong tape designed for shipping
  • Do not use string or paper over-wrap
  • Use a single address label that has clear, complete delivery and return information
  • Place a duplicate address label inside the package
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Guidelines for Pallet Shipments

If you are palletizing your shipment for UPS Worldwide Express Freight and Air Freight, follow these guidelines and procedures to ensure that your pallet arrives safely and on time.

  • Select a sturdy pallet that is strong enough to support the load of your shipment (quality pallets are typically made of either wood or plastic and can weigh between 20 and 70 pounds)
  • Choose boxes or cartons of proper strength and stack them in columns on the pallet
  • Use stretch wrap (60 gauge minimum) to secure all boxes in your shipment to the pallet
  • Secure individual pieces over 150 pounds to the pallet with either metal strapping or unbreakable plastic straps applied around the box or skid freight on all sides for all shipments to and from the United States
  • Label each pallet in your shipment with telephone numbers and complete address information, including the postal codes for the shipper and the consignee

For UPS Worldwide Express Freight, the maximum size for export shipments varies based on the destination country. For international shipments, the maximum weight of a pallet may vary by destination or origin. Shipments that weight over 4,400 pounds require prior approval.

See Step-by-Step Instructions for Preparing Your Freight Shipment

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How to Determine Weight and Size

UPS has established specific weight and size limits for the packages and pallets that you send with all UPS services. For more information about specific weight and size restrictions, select the link below.

Weight and Size Limits

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Get Packing Tips

Tell us about your shipment and we will create a customized list of packaging guidelines.