Over packaging

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Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2011
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Just got this yesterday. 3/32 dia x 36" lg drillrod in an 8' long tube. I am sure that the shipping was more than the rod. Shipped FedEx.


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Just got this yesterday. 3/32 dia x 36" lg drillrod in an 8' long tube. I am sure that the shipping was more than the rod. Shipped FedEx.
And I thought my package was over the top, a small filter indicator for a water jug.


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I love when I get a package with so much clear packing tape around it, I need a jack hammer to get it open. Then there is so much stretch plastic wrap around the object, you have to be careful with the razor knife to get it off.
The best way to get those tubes open is to cut the end off with the band saw. I have tried to get the end cap out but it is just not worth the 15 minutes required.
Online Metals usually packs my orders tight and close but once in while they ship a lot of air along with my order. Amazon is the worst, in my experience, for poor package-to-product ratios, Mike1’s photo being typical.
On the other hand, I have received empty packages with one end torn out. Sometimes the thickness and strength of cardboard used is not suitable for the metal or tools enclosed. When asked to answer the survey or review questions, I try to compliment the shippers who take the time to use appropriate packaging.

I ship 42 lb boxes of aluminum ingots from melted engines in the USPS medium boxes. I ship about 4 tons per year. I tape all corners both directions with FIBER REINFORCED tape. They look like Fort Knox but even then once in a while I have one that doesn't survive shipping . They will survive hitting the road at 10 miles per hour though. I use the medium box because the large box doesn't survive with 68 lbs in it no matter how I tape it. I think that they wouldn't survive without metal strapping.
I do agree that Amazon only uses that largest box possible for most things.

Art B
Last edited:
Keys to packages that survive:
  • Use new boxes.
  • Don't use envelopes/padded envelopes for heavy/dense objects; if you use an envelope for something, place the item inside a second envelope to protect it from "Delivery Truck Floor Rash."
  • Fill the box: if the contents can't shift it's more likely to stay inside.
  • For delicate objects, use the USPS & UPS recommendations of 3" of cushioning on all sides.
  • Use good quality packing tape, not Christmas wrapping tape and seal all seams & edges (make it dust tight).
  • On boxes with really heavy items, use an inner box (Bolt Depot has sets of boxes that perfectly nest, virtually no gap between the boxes) or try-wall corrugated boxes; and use fiber-reinforced tape.
I have yet to received a damaged item (or lost something through a hole/rip) if the above guidelines are followed.
I do recall seeing an article about a company that developed a carboard packaging system. It scanned the items on a conveyor belt (or whatever) & as they arrived at the packaging point it had a correctly sized cardboard box manufactured, in a few seconds, to suit that item. The idea to make a saving in waste & reduce mailing costs. Plus make a better package for the item in question.
Not sure about cost; but for a company like Amazon, shifting different sized items, one would have thought that it would save in packaging storage & operator selection of packaging alone