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What Packaging Is Best For Sending Food In?

Thursday, 1 November 2018 at 16:05

food courier

Whether sending food packages to relatives abroad or a son or daughter at university, a box of food lets someone know you're thinking about them.  Many appreciate the gift of food, be it homemade cake or a tin of beans. Food packages are not like other packages, though. The contents are often fragile and perishable, so senders must put a good deal of thought into how to package them. While the thought of sending food certainly counts, it counts a lot more when the food arrives fresh and neatly presented.

In order to successfully send food, those putting together food packages must use the best packaging and posting boxes for doing so. This requires senders to be familiar with the options for packaging and posting boxes for sending food. Senders should also follow a few important packaging tips for assembling their packages. eBay is a good source from which to buy packaging and posting boxes, as well as packing supplies. By knowing what to look for, consumers can successfully use the site to send food to those they care about.

Options for Packaging and Posting Boxes for Sending Food

Many foods are fragile, so anyone planning to send food via the post should be familiar with the different options for packaging and posting boxes. Understanding the features of these boxes helps senders choose the ones that are best for sending their food packages.

Single Wall

Single wall boxes are comprised of one layer of corrugated cardboard. This makes them lightweight but also less sturdy than other types of packaging and posting boxes. A lower level of protection of the contents may be acceptable if the food packaging itself secures the food. The reduced weight of single wall boxes does reduce shipping costs, which is an important consideration if a sender is shipping a package of already well-protected food. Single wall packaging and posting boxes may therefore work well if the sender is shipping canned food.

Double Wall

Double wall packaging and posting boxes consist of two layers of corrugated cardboard. The extra layer makes these boxes stronger than single wall boxes. Double wall boxes are, therefore, a better choice for foods that require extra protection. They may also provide more support for heavier contents than single wall boxes are capable of. Although double wall packaging and posting boxes are heavier and costlier to purchase and ship food with than single wall boxes are, the greater protection and support that they provide often make them worth the additional cost.


Polystyrene is a synthetic polymer made from a liquid petrochemical. It is lightweight with an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It also has very good insulating properties, making polystyrene packaging and posting boxes ideal for shipping food that must remain cold in transit. For this reason, the food industry uses polystyrene boxes to ship fish, meat, and vegetables.

Those planning to ship foods that perish quickly should use polystyrene packaging and posting boxes to keep these foods cold and fresh. Polystyrene also protects its contents well from physical damage that can result from the jarring and jostling a package endures while in transit. However, senders should still consider placing their polystyrene boxes inside of single wall or double wall boxes to protect the polystyrene boxes themselves.

Packaging Tips for Sending Food

Choosing the best packaging and posting boxes is an important aspect of successfully sending food, but it is not the only facet of the process. Senders should know how to choose food types for shipping, how to pick box dimensions, how to protect package contents, how to waterproof packages, and how to properly seal the packaging and posting boxes they use. Following these packaging tips helps senders successfully ship food across long distances.

Food Types

Choosing the types of food for sending can be challenging. It is possible to send highly perishable foods as long as they have the right packaging. Meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables that need to remain chilled should go into polystyrene boxes. They should also be packed with cold packs or dry ice. Cold packs are preferable for creating a refrigerated environment, while dry ice can freeze everything inside of the box.

The polystyrene provides insulation for the cold temperatures that these materials create, enabling highly perishable foods to remain fresh for a few days. If the package takes too long to arrive, though, the possibility still remains of these foods spoiling.

Dry foods such as pasta, cured foods like sausages, preserved foods such as jams, and canned foods tend to last a long time without refrigeration. These are ideal for shipping because they do not require low temperatures inside of their boxes or insulation. Senders can use single wall or double wall boxes to send these foods without any need for rushed deliveries.

Box Dimensions

The dimensions of the box that a sender chooses are another important factor in successfully sending food. The right size box should have enough room to add padding around the food items. It should not have so much space that the items shift around while in transit. Adding padding increases the expense of shipping food, so it is important to find the right balance between adequately protecting food items and spending money to send the package.

Protecting Package Contents

The packaging and posting boxes that senders use provide the first layer of protection for food contents, but senders should take additional measures to guard package contents against damage. Senders should place food in airtight wrapping, if it does not already feature this packaging. It is also important to keep moist food separate from dry food so that the two do not influence each other's textures.

Senders should surround all food items with padding. This can be bubble or foam wrap or packing peanuts. They serve the dual purpose of preventing the package contents from shifting during transit and protecting the food items from physical damage. If a sender uses packing peanuts, he or she should first line the bottom of the box with about 5 cm of the peanuts.

The sender can then place the food items in the box, making sure to maintain some space between the items and the walls and the ceiling of the box. The sender should then fill the available spaces in the box with more packing peanuts until the box is full. This should provide ample protection for shipping.


Waterproofing a packaging and posting box is also important to successful shipping of food packages that contain liquid products. The point is to protect the box in case these liquids leak, rather than to protect the food products from liquids leaking into the box. Lining the box with a garbage bag prevents the box from becoming wet and weakening as a result of liquids spilling onto it. Single wall cardboard boxes are especially prone to weakening should they become moist. Although the liquid food product may not arrive as it was packaged, the liquid contents cannot cause the box to break if it is properly waterproofed.

Sealing Packaging and Posting Boxes

It is still possible for packaging and posting boxes to break open, even if they remain dry for their journeys. It is, therefore, important to adequately seal these boxes. Senders can use packing tape to ensure that their boxes do not split open in transit. Packing tape has strong adhesive designed to stick strongly to the corrugated cardboard of single wall and double wall boxes. Senders should be sure to tape boxes closed and to cover all of the boxes' seams. When in doubt, senders should add extra tape. It is best to err on the side of caution, lest the package open up during shipping and spill its contents.