Anyone who regularly sees shipments come and go through UPS or FedEx can attest to the fact that the packages being shipped don’t always arrive in the same condition they were sent in. On its journey to the destination, the package may be tossed, tipped over, tumbled or stacked with other boxes on top of it. However, with the proper packing practices and the right supplies, you can ensure that even your set of fine china can be shipped without any damage during the journey to its destination.
To start packing your dishes, lay them out on a table according to size and type – plates in one pile, cups in another, and larger trays and heavier items in another. The largest and heaviest items should be packed individually with three or four layers of bubble wrap, depending on the fragility of each piece. The same goes for irregularly shaped items that do not stack well together. This manner of packing ensures that there are many layers of bubble that will act as a buffer between each item.
For plates, bowls and saucers that are all uniform in size and shape, we recommend that they be wrapped in small stacks of four or five. In order to do so, however, it is necessary to place a buffer between each plate. Thin sheets of foam wrap will serve for this purpose, as they do not add any significant weight but will still work well to protect the surface of each plate. Once you have your stack of alternating plates and foam sheets, it is ready to be bubbled into a single bundle. For stacks like these with multiple items together, four layers of bubble should protect them sufficiently.
Once you have everything wrapped in bubble, you must select a sturdy box. Cartons known as “dish packs” or “dish barrels” are ideal for shipping fragile china items – they have a double layer of corrugated cardboard and are a little taller than a regular shipping box. Depending on how large your china set is, you may decide on a different size box instead of a dish pack, which measures in at 18”x18”x28”. If so, a comparable double layer carton is highly recommended. In addition, a layer or two of bubble wrap on the top, bottom, and all four sides of the carton will help protect the contents from external impacts.
Of course, the heaviest and strongest items should be placed at the bottom of the box, and the lightest and smallest on the top. Items such as trays and plates should be placed in the box edge-on so that they are vertical, not flat. If necessary, you may want to consider adding a couple of layers of bubble in between layers of china for additional buffering as you stack them in the box. If there is any extra space to fill in between bundled items or at the top of the box, bubble wrap or peanuts are good options to do so.
Now that you’ve learned the procedure for packing your china set, you can rest easy knowing that you have done everything possible to ensure your package arrives with its contents fully intact!