Purolator Inc.

Packaging Guidelines

Packaging Guidelines

Why Packaging Matters

Taking the time to carefully package a shipment benefits all involved. When shipments are properly packaged to meet Purolator’s requirements and to handle travelling through our sortation systems, we can best meet our objective of getting them to their destinations in exactly the same condition as they were sent. The end result is reduced risk of damage claims, a better relationship with your customers, and a helping hand to the environment through reduced manufacture of corrugated containers to replace damaged ones, and decreased reshipments.

Please review our packaging guidelines and tips, or come by one of our Retail Shipping Centre locations for additional assistance and advice, as well as an assortment of boxes and other packaging. Find Location

General Packaging Guidelines

  • Use a robust corrugated cardboard box with undamaged flaps (refer to the Manufacturer’s Certification Stamp to ensure the box strength is sufficient for your shipment).
  • Pack heavier items in double-wall boxes.
  • Pack fragile items in a sturdy outer box using the double-box method, ensuring at least 3” (8 cm) of cushioning around fragile items inside and on all sides around the inner box.
  • Cushion the contents with sufficient materials, wrapping items separately and positioning them away from each other in the centre of the box.
  • Put small packages, chipboard boxes (gift boxes), and items that may be damaged by normal handling in an outer corrugated cardboard box for added protection.
  • Put containers filled with liquids in an upright position inside inner packaging that can withstand leaks, and ensure that the containers are securely sealed (see “Liquids” below for more details).
  • Remove any inapplicable labels or markings from previous shipments from the outside of the package.
  • Place a clearly completed label with full delivery and contact details on the outside of the box, as well as an extra copy of the label inside.
  • Wrap and tape any protrusions or sharp edges on items that are oddly or irregularly shaped (see “Irregularly Shaped Items” below for more details).
  • Seal the package with strong packing tape using the H taping method to secure all seams and prevent accidental opening during shipping.
  • Do not seal the package using masking, cellophane, scotch or duct tape.
  • Do not put string, plastic strapping, elastic bands or paper overwrap around the package.
Contact your Purolator Account Representative for more information on how to follow best practices when preparing your shipment to avoid unnecessary special handling and its applicable fees.

Guide to Correct Packaging

Pack the Right Box*

  • Use a new corrugated box (avoid using old boxes) that’s free of any punctures, tears or corner damage, and ensure all its flaps are intact.
  • Ensure the weight of the contents does not exceed 50% of the gross weight limit indicated on the Manufacturer’s Certification Stamp on the box.
  • Ensure the box is rated at a minimum Edge Crush Test (ECT) value of 32 lbs./inch or bursting test of 200 lbs./sq. inch, as indicated on the Manufacturer’s Certification Stamp.

Cushion the Contents*

  • Wrap each item separately.
  • Ensure each item is surrounded by 2” (5 cm) of cushioning material to protect the contents and to prevent movement inside the box.
  • Ensure at least 3” (8 cm) of cushioning around fragile items inside and on all sides around the inner box in a double box shipment.
  • Fill any empty spaces with appropriate cushioning material, such as void fill air pillows, air cellular cushioning (bubble wrap), polyethylene foams, polystyrene foams, corrugated inserts, loose fill peanuts, or crumpled newspaper/newsprint.
  • Do not use inappropriate cushioning materials, such as tablecloths, bed sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, or clothing.

Seal Boxes Securely*

  • Apply tape to a clean dry surface only.
  • Use pressure-sensitive adhesive tape (packing tape), water-activated reinforced tape, or water-activated paper tape (minimum 60-lb [27-kg] grade) that measures at least 2” (5 cm) in width.
  • Do not seal the package using masking, cellophane, scotch or duct tape.
  • Do not put string, plastic strapping, elastic bands or paper overwrap around the package.
  • Seal all flaps and seams securely using the following H taping method to prevent accidental opening during shipping:
    1. Apply first strip to seal the centre seam.
    2. Overlap a minimum of 4” (10 cm) on either side of the box.
    3. Seal the edge seams on both ends with two strips of tape.
    4. Repeat the process for the bottom of the box.

 

Label the Box Clearly*

  • Label packages correctly to reduce the risk of your shipment becoming unmarked, and enable track and trace technology to ensure delivery of your shipment.
  • Remove any inapplicable labels or markings from previous shipments from the outside of the package.
  • Place a clearly completed label with full delivery and contact details on the outside of the package, as well as an extra copy of the label inside.
  • Position the label on the box’s largest surface, and ensure the barcode on the label is not placed over a seam.
  • Do not place the label on a corner or tape over the label.
  • Apply the label evenly to ensure all 4 corners are secured.
  • For more details, see the “Guide to Proper Labelling and Label Placement” below.


*These packaging guidelines (the “Guidelines”) are not intended to be a comprehensive guide for packaging items that Purolator Inc. (“Purolator”) accepts for shipment. Purolator makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the information contained in these Guidelines. Proper packaging is the sole responsibility of the shipper. In no event will Purolator’s liability exceed the limitation on liability set out in Purolator’s published terms and conditions (“Purolator’s Terms and Conditions”) as found at www.purolator.com. For more information contact Customer Service at 1 866 SHIP 123 and refer to Purolator’s Terms and Conditions.

Packaging Courier, Freight and Specialty Shipments

Single Box Shipments for Non-fragile Items*

  • Pack soft and other non-fragile items in a robust corrugated cardboard box.
  • Wrap items separately and position them away from each other in the centre of the box, ensuring at least 2” (5 cm) of cushioning on all sides.
  • Fill any empty spaces in a package with appropriate cushioning material to ensure contents don’t move around during shipping.
  • Gather any small parts or spillable loose items and place them in a securely sealed inner container.
  • Put any items that may be damaged by moisture or dirt inside a plastic bag.
  • Seal the package with strong packing tape using the H taping method to secure all seams and prevent accidental opening during shipping.


Double Box Shipments for Fragile Items*

Interior Packaging

  • Wrap and ship fragile items separately in at least 3” (8 cm) of air cellular cushioning (bubble wrap) on all sides.
  • Place the wrapped items within a sturdy corrugated box.
  • Fill any empty spaces with cushioning material to ensure that there is no item movement within the box.
  • Close and seal the box using the H taping method.

Exterior Packaging

  • Use a larger outer box for exterior packaging that allows for at least 3” (8 cm) of space for cushioning material around all sides of the inner box.
  • Place a layer of protective packaging along the bottom of the outer box.
  • Place the smaller box centrally within the outer box.
  • Fill all empty space surrounding the smaller box with cushioning material.
  • Place a layer of protective packaging on top of the smaller box.
  • Seal the outer box with strong packing tape using the H taping method to secure all seams and prevent accidental opening during shipping.


Bundled Boxes*

  • Only bundle together boxes that are the same size.
  • Ensure that each of the boxes in the bundle is strong enough to individually hold the bundle’s combined weight.
  • Strap boxes together by crossing over at least four bands, two in each direction.
  • Note that special handling will be required if boxes are bundled together with metal strapping and applicable charges may be applied.
  • For more information on possible surcharges, see Purolator Specialized Services – Special Handling.


Guide to Use of Fibreboard Tubes*

  • Tube ends should be equal to the tube sidewall in strength.
  • Tape should completely encircle the seams on friction slide closures of mailing tubes.
  • Tube sidewall thickness is dependent on the length of the product contained within the shipping tube. Guidelines for tube thickness include:
    • 1/8 inch thick for tubes under 18 inches long
    • 5/32 inch thick for tubes 18 to 32 inches long
    • 3/16 inch thick for tubes over 32 to 60 inches long
    • 1/4 inch thick for tubes over 60 inches long

Guide to Correct Packaging for Freight Shipments*

All pieces in a freight shipment must be tendered to Purolator secured to one or more pallets with stretch wrap/shrink wrap. Pallets must be free of damage or defect. Articles secured to a pallet should not hang over the edge of the pallet and there should be no space between articles on a pallet. Freight shipments containing pieces which, due to their bulk, length, width or height, cannot be safely stowed within a trailer, container or on a pallet, will not be accepted by Purolator for carriage. (See Guide to Palletizing and Wrapping for further guidance).

Guide to Correct Packaging for Specialty Items*

Sometimes you are shipping something that requires special packaging considerations or extra protection. We have created specific guidelines for many of the more common of these items. Link to dedicated pages for the following:

Automotive Components

Electronics

Fabric and Wallpaper

Framed Artwork

Irregularly Shaped Items

Medical Equipment

Retail Products

 *These packaging guidelines (the “Guidelines”) are not intended to be a comprehensive guide for packaging items that Purolator Inc. (“Purolator”) accepts for shipment. Purolator makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the information contained in these Guidelines. Proper packaging is the sole responsibility of the shipper. In no event will Purolator’s liability exceed the limitation on liability set out in Purolator’s published terms and conditions (“Purolator’s Terms and Conditions”) as found at www.purolator.com. For more information contact Customer Service at 1 866 SHIP 123 and refer to Purolator’s Terms and Conditions.

Size Limitations

For Courier Shipments

Shipments within and to Canada

The following size limitations apply to all courier shipments travelling within and to Canada:

• Purolator Express® Shipments travelling via Purolator’s air network (whether in whole or in part):

• Maximum length: 96” (approx. 244 cm)

• Maximum size*: 144” (approx. 366 cm)

• Purolator Ground® Shipments and Purolator Express® Shipments not travelling via Purolator’s air network:

• Maximum length: 120” (approx. 305 cm)

• Maximum size*: 216” (approx. 549 cm)

Shipments from Canada

• The following size limitations apply to all courier shipments travelling from Canada:

• Maximum length: 108” (approx. 274 cm)

• Maximum size*: 165” (approx. 419 cm)

• Maximum weight per piece: 150 lb (approx. 68 kg)

• Maximum weight per shipment: Unlimited

For all origins and destinations, Special Handling charges may apply. See Purolator Specialized Services – Special Handling for details. For courier shipments, where agents or subcontractors are used, more restrictive size and weight limitations than those set out above may apply. Please contact Purolator for details.

For Freight Shipments

The maximum height applicable per piece in a shipment is 8 ft (approx. 2 m). If a freight shipment cannot be stacked (or has a height of 6 ft or more) or cannot be placed alongside another freight shipment in the trailer, it will be ascribed a height or width of 8 ft (approx. 2 m). Please contact Purolator for details regarding maximum lengths and widths per piece in a shipment.

Any freight shipment that occupies a length of 10 ft (approx. 3 m) or more of trailer space will be ascribed a weight of 1,000 lb per linear foot. Subject to availability and Purolator pre-approval, shipments exceeding Purolator Freight’s size and weight limitations may travel through Purolator’s freight distribution system for an additional charge. Please contact Purolator for details.

*Maximum size is calculated as follows: length + (2 x height) + (2 x width).

Unpackaged Articles

Unpackaged articles (i.e., articles that are not protected by a rigid shipping container such as a corrugated box, plastic tote or wooden crate) are subject to Special Handling charges and are only accepted for carriage once Purolator is satisfied that such articles do not pose any hazard to Purolator staff, equipment and other shipments.

Guide to Proper Labelling and Label Placement

For Courier Shipments

Each piece in a courier shipment must display a Purolator or Purolator-approved bar-code parcel identification number and a properly secured and completed bill of lading, as follows:

• The bill of lading must display the shipper’s and receiver’s full addresses including postal/zip code and phone number with area code (post office box addresses are not permitted). In addition, the bill of lading must contain the following:

  • Customer account number (if applicable)
  • Service option selected
  • Service Identifier (if applicable)
  • Billing instructions (if applicable)
  • Number of pieces in the shipment
  • Weight of each piece in the shipment
  • Declared value (for Purolator liability purposes) – optional
  • Date
  • Signature (if applicable)

• The bill of lading must be securely fastened to the top of each piece in the shipment. String or wire tags are not acceptable. Improper labelling may result in the shipment or piece being delayed or lost. If the package becomes unmarked our track and trace technology is hampered. It is strongly recommended that a duplicate label be attached to an inner flap of each piece in the shipment.

• The bill of lading must be flat with all Purolator bar codes visible, and should not be wrinkled, creased, folded or placed on piece(s) in the shipment in a manner that may make it difficult to scan and/or read (e.g., on box corners or uneven surfaces or seams). Apply label evenly to ensure all four corners are secure.

• Any previous bills of lading, delivery address labels and markings must be covered or removed.

• A shipment consisting of more than one piece must have each piece individually numbered. For example, if a shipment consists of three pieces, the pieces should be marked “1 of 3”, “2 of 3” and “3 of 3”. This numbering of pieces is in addition to the requirement that each piece in the shipment displays a PIN and full delivery address.

• Orientation “up” arrows must be located on either both sides or ends of shipments containing liquids. In addition, shipments containing liquids must be labelled “LIQUID”.

• Pieces weighing in excess of 70 lb (approx. 32 kg) must be labeled as “Heavy Weight”.

• Some non-standard items may be difficult to label. Here is a guideline to proper labelling of some of these:

• There is a maximum of four pieces per shipment when using a manual bill of lading.

For Freight Shipments

Each piece in a freight shipment must display a Purolator or Purolator-approved bar code, and the first piece in the shipment must display a properly secured and completed bill of lading, as follows:

• The bill of lading must display the shipper’s and receiver’s full addresses including postal/zip code and phone number with area code. In addition, the bill of lading must contain the following:

  • Customer account number (if applicable)
  • Service option selected (if applicable)
  • Billing instructions (if applicable)
  • Number of pieces in the shipment
  • Total shipment weight, including weight of each piece
  • Description of contents of each piece
  • Declared value (for Purolator liability purposes) – optional
  • Date
  • Signature (if applicable)

• Two copies of the bill of lading must be securely fastened to the first piece in the shipment and be visible. String or wire tags are not acceptable. Improper labelling may result in the loss or delay of the shipment (or a piece in the shipment). It is strongly recommended that a duplicate bill of lading be inserted in the stretch wrap portion of each piece in the shipment.

• All bar codes applied by the shipper must be flat and visible on each piece. Bar codes should not be wrinkled, creased, folded or placed on the piece(s) in the shipment in a manner that may make it difficult to scan and/or read (e.g., on corners or uneven surfaces).

• Where a customer is reusing a pallet or packaging, any previous bills of lading, address labels and delivery markings must be covered or removed.

• A Shipment consisting of more than one piece must display a master pro-bill bar code on the first piece in the shipment. Each subsequent piece in the shipment must display a parcel identification number bar code that is linked to the pro-bill bar code.

• Shipments containing liquids must be labelled “LIQUID”.

• Where, at the customer’s request, a piece in a shipment cannot be stacked, such request must be clearly marked on the bill of lading and on the piece itself.

For Purolator Same Day™ Shipments

The shipper’s and receiver’s full addresses, including postal/zip code and phone number with area code (post office box addresses are not permitted) must either be displayed on the shipment or else provided to the driver at time of pickup. It is recommended that customers affix a copy of their Purolator Same Day confirmation e-mail to the shipment. Orientation “up” arrows must be located on either both sides or ends of shipments containing liquids. In addition, shipments containing liquids must be labelled “LIQUID”.

Guide to Proper Palletizing, Wrapping and Trailer Load Building

Guide to Proper Palletizing and Wrapping

Proper palletizing and shrink wrapping/stretch wrapping will aid in the safe delivery of your freight shipment.

Pallets

• Pallets must be in good condition with no signs of breakage or contamination.
• Do not use pallets that have broken and misaligned boards, protruding nails or any other contamination.

Pallet Loading

• Use strong, sturdy, damage-free cartons for a base.
• Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom layers to avoid compression damage to lighter weight boxes.
• Complete one tier on the pallet at a time. Ensure that each row is even with the previous row.

• Brickload boxes; avoid building columns.

• Avoid overhang of packages off the edge of the pallet – overhang causes up to a 30% loss of compression strength and exposes packages to damage from contact with equipment and other skid loads.

• Evenly distribute the weight, and avoid spaces between boxes.
• Ensure pallet height will allow for movement through loading and trailer doors.

Wrapping

• Always use good quality stretch wrap/shrink wrap, not too flimsy or easily punctured.
• For stabilized transport, secure wrapping to the pallet.
• Wrap stretch wrap around the pallet and the bottom tier of boxes three times.
• Continue wrapping the load towards the top, overlapping the wrap by half on each pass.
• Wrap the top tier three times; ensure all packages on the top tier are completely covered with wrap and secure.

Guide to Proper Trailer Load Building

Bridge Load

• Place skid loads at the nose of the trailer.
• Place three bars directly above the skids load. Place a board on the bars.
• Place skid loads on the bars.
• Secure the top skid loads by placing two bars across.

Stagger Load

• Place the first skid load in the right hand corner at the nose of the trailer.
• Place the second skid right up against the first.
• Place the third skid against the left hand wall of the trailer.
• Place the fourth skid right up against the third.
• Place the fifth skid against the right hand wall of the trailer.
• Place the sixth skid right up against the fifth, and so forth.