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Packaging requirements

Shipwire offers specific guidelines on how your goods should be packaged when sent to a Shipwire warehouse. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you get the most value out of the Shipwire service, and will prevent unnecessary errors, delays, additional charges, and/or damaged product.  If after reviewing this information, you have any additional questions, please contact our friendly Customer Care team.


Merchants and/or their suppliers should adhere closely to the carton and packing requirements included below. Failure to follow carton weight, size or corrugated requirements may result in lost or damaged merchandise, delays, or additional charges (incurred as a Special Project, or in additional handling fees). General requirements include:

  • Cartons/packaging need to sufficiently protect your product from damage during inbound transit and receipt (i.e. to Shipwire).
  • Master cartons with contents < 70 lbs must use double-wall corrugate.
  • Master cartons  with contents >70 lbs must use  triple-wall corrugate.
  • Cartons must score a minimum of 200 lb. burst test or 32 edge crush test.
  • Cartons and packaging used for parcel shipping (non-freight) should be designed to protect their contents from a 6 ft (2 m)
    • All of the major shipping carriers use automated processes to sort packages. Tilt sorting equipment can have packages falling up to 6 ft before collection in a bin.

Inner Cartons

  • When using inner cartons packed inside a master carton, these must be constructed of a cardboard that is sturdy enough to allow for normal handling in the warehouse. Inner cartons should not easily tear, or break-apart
    • Specifications are difficult to define since each product has a different weight and size. We expect merchants to use good judgment here. If there are any concerns about the ability for the inner carton to sufficiently protect the product, merchants should employ test orders.

Oversized and/or Heavy Individually Packed Items

  • Cartons, or individual items with size >=  18 inches (45.7 cm) in any two dimensions (e.g. length and width), and/or with weight > 28 lbs (12.7 kg) are considered oversized.
  • Oversized items may incur additional receiving charges. Please consult our Customer Care team if you have any concerns or questions about your product.
  • Oversized cartons or items should be sufficiently packed to withstand pressure incurred through the normal course of handling heavier items. These items should be able to sustain being moved, or handled with equipment including, but not limited to: forklifts, pallet jacks, clamp trucks, conveyors, hand trucks, and sortation equipment.

Carton Sealing

  • Sealing tape must be at least 2 inches wide and used on all open sides to properly seal cartons.
  • Do not use tape or band two cartons together to make a case pack. All master and inner cases should be in their own individual cartons and/or plastic bags.

Packaging Materials

Merchants are responsible for ensuring that merchandise is sufficiently protected from damage during transit and delivery to a Shipwire distribution center. This requires shipping cartons that are adequately packed for shipment. Below are our minimum requirements:

  • For cartons containing glass or plastic bottles, use dividers to protect the merchandise from breakage or crushing. Fragile items should be individually packed in cartons that will protect them from being damaged.
  • Unless otherwise specified, do not use any fillers such as confetti paper, cardboard, tissue paper, etc., to fill up empty space within the cartons. Void fill should be limited to inflated air bags, packing peanuts or kraft paper.

Plastic Bags

The following requirements are applicable to plastic bags used as protection during shipment and then removed when the product is received in the Shipwire Distribution Centers. Note: These requirements do not apply to plastic bags used as display packaging.

  • Plastic bags used on products sent to Shipwire Distribution Centers must comply with all federal, state and local laws.
  • Do not package toys in bags that stretch to more than 14 inches in neck circumference, or to more than 23 inches when the stretched neck circumference and the bag’s length are combined.
  • For apparel, purchase low-density, recyclable, polyethylene dry-cleaning style bags 1mil in thickness that are easily removed.


  • Wrap all items at high or moderate risk of damage items individually.
    • To evaluate your risk, consider both your product’s replacement cost, and the likelihood of damage (e.g. Valuable consumer electronics would typically be considered high risk. Apparel is typically considered low-risk)
  • For any high-or-moderate value product that is excluded from insurance (e.g. a fragile product), keep in mind that adequate packaging IS your damage insurance.
    • Ensure any fragile product is marked as such in your Shipwire product catalog (under  Manage Products).
  • Wrap products that are subject to color-fading (e.g. leather items) in polybags (not paper)
  • Include a silica gel pack if your product is sensitive to moisture (e.g. leather goods)
  • Ensure that any packaging used for toys is not hazardous to children

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