How to Pack Oddly-Shaped Items for Shipping

How to ship irregular or odd-shaped items

Packing oddly-shaped or oddly-sized items for shipping requires a bit more care than regular packages. We have prepared easy guidelines to help you prepare your odd-shaped parcel delivery in the best way. Find out about courier services and how to package irregular-shaped items for shipping or transport.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER

What to bear in mind when shipping oddly-shaped items

  • Measure the irregular package – Get the correct dimensions of the irregular item you are shipping. Different shipping services have different weight and dimension limits. If you book with inaccurate dimensions, this can lead to an incorrect quote or surcharges at a later stage.
  • Packaging an oddly-shaped shipment – Will a cardboard box be sufficient to protect your odd-shaped products, or will you need a pallet? Depending on your shipment’s irregular shape and size, you may need to get additional packaging and cushioning materials.
  • Labelling a package with an irregular surface – Attach the shipping label to the flattest or most even surface of the parcel. Cover the entire label with transparent tape. Avoid “flying tags” or labels that hang from the shipment. If possible, put a copy of the label inside the parcel.
  • Shipping insurance for irregular-shaped items – Most Eurosender services already include insurance in the price, but you can purchase additional insurance when shipping an oddly-shaped item of higher value.

Ship an odd-shaped item with Eurosender

If you are looking for the cheapest way to ship packages with odd shapes or sizes, Eurosender offers some of the most affordable rates, matching you with an ideal logistics service for your requirements.

You can select “bulky items” in the booking tool and enter the details of your shipment. For non-standard or special requests, you can request a custom offer, and our logistics team will contact you in the shortest possible time with a quote for shipping odd-sized or odd-shaped objects.

SHIPPING OPTIONS

Courier services for irregular-sized shipments

Eurosender offers you several options to choose from when arranging odd-shaped shipments:
Do you have special requirements? Get a personalised quote

PACKING GUIDELINES

How to pack oddly-shaped items for shipping

Depending on the irregular item you are shipping, we recommend using either a shipping pallet or an appropriately sized, sturdy cardboard box as packaging.

Irregular shaped items

Pallets offer stability and easy manoeuvrability for transporting heavy items.

  • Place the item in the centre of the pallet, making sure it does not hang over any sides.
  • Secure the item on the pallet using straps or stretch film, to ensure it cannot shift during transit.
  • If possible, place a thin wooden platform on top of the item and fasten it to the pallet with braces.
Unboxed items

You can use a strong cardboard box to ship lightweight items without their original packaging. However, if you are unable to locate an appropriate box for transporting your irregular shaped item, you can also use a pallet.

  • For pallet: Ensure your item does not exceed the pallet dimensions. Use cushioning pads to cover all the sharp edges of the item. Cover it with a wooden frame, multi-layered or corrugated cardboard or a flat wooden board.
  • For box: If you decide to use a strong cardboard box, ensure you check the weight limit to avoid damage during transport. Thick corrugated cardboard boxes are also highly recommended for sharp or protruding items.
Sharp or protruding items

Oddly-shaped shipments with sharp or spikey edges should be placed in a cardboard box first, before securing it to a pallet. This is important to prevent damage or injury.

  • Dismantle the sharp item as much as possible. Cover sharp edges with a protective material such as bubble wrap to prevent damage, then place inside the box.
  • Cover the box walls with thin foam padding or wood to reinforce the sides and prevent crushing.
  • Fill gaps with crinkle paper or packing peanuts to stop the contents from shifting. Add a thick layer of foam on top of the package for extra cushioning, then close and seal the box.
Long or cylindrical items

For long objects such as skis, golf clubs or rolled carpets, you can follow these packing guidelines:

  • Wrap the entire length with bubble wrap or foam. Use extra layers for more delicate items.
  • Seal the rolled package tightly with adhesive tape.
  • Place the item in a long cardboard box or tube and fill the void space with packing peanuts or crumpled paper.
  • Close and seal the box. Add the shipping label if required for the service.
Circular items

If you are shipping items such as wheels, check the packing steps below:

  • Cover the object completely with bubble wrap or polyethylene foam.
  • Get a sturdy cardboard box that is large enough for the object to fit comfortably inside.
  • Fill empty spaces with cushioning materials so that the item cannot move inside the box.
  • Close and seal the box. If required for the service, attach the shipping label.

For more detailed instructions, check our guides on how to pack a parcel and how to pack a pallet.

Pack oddly-shaped items for moving

When planning a relocation, you can pack oddly-shaped items for moving following the same steps described above. Alternatively, you can choose our convenient Van Delivery service and not worry about how to package objects of odd shapes and sizes. The Van Delivery service is reserved for your load only, with direct transport from the pick-up to the delivery address. Eurosender can help you find the best solution for moving your oddly-shaped items whenever and wherever you need them.
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What are considered irregular shaped items in shipping?

Generally speaking, items that cannot be packed into standard square or rectangular shipping boxes are considered irregular, odd-sized or odd-shaped. We have prepared detailed packing guides for various irregular-shaped items you can ship with us:

Are you shipping another oddly-shaped item? Check more pack and ship guides.

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FAQ on how to ship odd-shaped items and packages

How do I measure an irregular-shaped package or item for shipping?
  • Using a tape measure, first calculate the item’s girth, which is the distance around the thickest part of the object.
  • The formula for calculating the girth of a rectangular shaped item is (2 x Height) + (2 x Width).
  • If you have a more triangular shaped item, the girth is equal to the sum of the three sides.
  • For cylinder-shaped items such as rolls of fabric or wallpaper, carpets or sculptures, the girth is the circumference of the tube and is calculated by π (3.14) x diameter (the distance from one edge of the circular end of the tube to the opposite side).
  • Measure the item’s length, which will be the longest side of the odd-shaped object.
  • Measure the width of the item, which will be the next longest side.
  • Measure the height of the item when laying the object flat.
  • Remember to also weigh your item.
If you are still unsure how to measure your irregular item before booking your shipment, contact our logistics experts, who will be happy to walk you through the process and then tailor a custom offer based on your item’s measurements and destination.
What is the cheapest way to ship odd-shaped packages?
This will depend on several factors, such as the distance from the pick-up to the delivery addresses, the size and shape of the irregular items you are shipping, as well as the transport method. You can use our booking tool to get an instant quote for shipping or mailing odd-shaped items. For shipments within the EU, the Standard Service is the cheapest option if the parcel fits within standard shipping dimensions. Otherwise, Pallet Delivery is the cheapest solution.
What packaging materials are used for shipping or mailing odd-shaped items?
You can prepare most odd-shaped parcel deliveries with normal packaging materials such as cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, stretch film, polystyrene foam, packing peanuts and many others. We recommend choosing materials that will adequately protect your odd-shaped product or item to prevent damage or injury. You can reuse a box as packaging for your irregular shipment if the contents fit comfortably inside and if the box is sturdy enough to withstand transport and handling.
What if I am unable to package the irregular-shaped item for shipping sufficiently?
Unfortunately, if your item is not correctly packaged for a standard freight shipment, the freight courier may refuse collection. Not only is it important to reduce the risk of damage, but an incorrectly packaged item can impose an increased risk of injury.
Instead, you can book a Van Delivery within Europe, saving you the hassle of packaging an irregular shaped item for direct transport with no stop-overs.
To book a Van Delivery service, or if you are still unsure how to pack an irregular item for shipping, contact our friendly team of experts who are always on hand to advise you on the specific irregular item you wish to ship.
When shipping an oddly-shaped item, is insurance included?
Most shipments have basic insurance included, and the amount of coverage included depends on your chosen service. Additional insurance is also available to purchase at a reduced price – depending on the type of irregular item you wish to ship. Ask our sales team which insurance is right for your irregular-sized shipment.
It is essential to ensure the odd-sized or odd-shaped object for shipping is packaged correctly to minimise any risk. Check also that it is not an item listed as forbidden or restricted since insurance may not apply in this case.