How to pack a parcel

  1. Find a suitable box or bag
  2. Wrap your items
  3. Pack the empty space
  4. Put your address inside
  5. Fasten your parcel with tape
  6. Secure any loose edges
  7. Label your package
  8. Send your parcel

Help your parcel arrive in pristine condition with our step-by-step guide on how to package a parcel

It’s a long road to get your parcel from you to its destination. Your parcel will:

  • Travel in different vehicles
  • Visit more than one sorting hub
  • Ride several miles of conveyer belt and be sorted by automatic scanners

Miles will be covered. Hills will be climbed. Conveyer belts travelled. Scanners bleeped.

Don’t forget: Your parcel needs to be wrapped well enough to stay intact should it fall off a conveyor belt (which can be up to 1.2m high).


Find a suitable box or bag

When you’re looking at how to package a parcel, consider:

  • Box or bag - do you need a box or would a mailing bag or padded envelope be better? Watertight mailing bags are best for clothes
  • New or old - you can buy boxes for packaging or use an old box from home
  • Sturdiness - is the box tough enough for the journey ahead? You need it to be structurally sound
  • Size - will the item fit inside without leaving lots of empty space? Make sure the box closes easily and retains its shape
  • Labels - if you reuse a box or bag, make sure there are no old labels or barcodes showing. These might be picked up by our scanners and can send your parcel to the wrong place
empty box

Wrap your items

Wrap any items before you put them in the box or bag. Fragile items, in particular, must be wrapped as our scanners can’t detect ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’ labels. Packaging options include:

  • Bubble wrap - reuse bubble wrap you have at home. Fun to pop, too
  • Newspaper - layers of newspaper sheets from yesterday’s newspapers are good for the environment and your wallet
wrap items

Pack the empty space

Make sure your precious cargo stays secure by filling any gaps around the item, once it’s placed in the box. Parcel packing options include:

  • Paper and newspaper - the most environmentally friendly option, scrunched-up newspaper, is an easy way to fill the space
  • Cardboard - layers of cardboard can create a sturdy shell
  • Sheets - old but clean sheets can be used to wrap items tightly
  • Important: Make sure your parcel’s packed so it could fall off a conveyor belt without the contents being damaged.

packing parcel

Put your address inside

Your item’s secure, but before you fasten the lid on your box, you need to put some details on a piece of paper inside. Please write:

  • Your own name, address and phone number
  • The name and address of the parcel’s destination
  • Why? If the address label comes off your parcel – for example, if the label peels off while it’s traveling – we’ll know where it needs to be sent.

address parcel

Fasten your parcel with tape

Once your item’s inside its box with the space padded – or snugly tucked inside its mailbag – secure it with tape:

  • Choose strong tape - it’s so much more durable and secure
  • Cover all openinga - that includes across gaps, down the sides and underneath. Lock it down
  • Tape the corners - boost durability by taping the corners. The extra layer acts as a defence against scuffs
parcel tape

Secure any loose edges

We’ve kind of already covered this. But we cannot overstate the importance of securing the edges around your package. If you see it, tape down:

  • Cardboard flaps at the top/bottom of your box
  • Bits of mailbag that stick out from the main package
  • Top tip: Basically, anything that’s an edge that sticks out – even slightly – from the package must be flattened and secured. This helps prevent it getting stuck on the belt, avoiding damage.

address parcel

Label your package

You’re almost done. But labelling is one of the most important parts of learning how to wrap a package for delivery. Don’t fall at the final hurdle.

  • Book your delivery using the Hermes website or app (or you could use a Print in-store device at a ParcelShop) and print out your label. The label includes the recipient’s name and address and your barcode.
  • Position the label in the middle of the top of the parcel if it has flat sides. For round parcels (note: if you’re sending a poster, map etc, use a triangular – rather than circular – tube), secure the label where you have enough surface area.
  • Secure the label with good-quality tape – use a small piece along each of the 4 edges. Don’t leave any flappy paper exposed.
  • Write your address on a return label and secure to the back of the parcel – clearly mark it as ‘return address’ to avoid confusion.
  • Is your address inside the box? Don’t forget to include it. If your parcel gets lost, that’s how we can get it back to you.

label parcel

Send your parcel

Your parcel’s wrapped, packed and ready to go. To send it, book a collection or drop off online.

send parcel