Packing for the Post

Parcels and postal packets sent by post are carried in mailbags and are delivered via different means of transport. Unavoidable shocks and pressures during the journey may cause damages to the mail items. To keep your mail items intact, proper and sufficient packing is essential. At the same time, how to avoid over-packaging and reduce waste? The following tips may give you some hints:

What is environmentally friendly packaging?

Careful selection of packing materials

Pay attention to the raw materials for the packing. Try to choose recyclable containers or cartons made of recycled paper. Avoid using the packing that is not naturally degradable, such as plastic bags.

Make the best use of packing materials

If you need to fill up the space left in the package and enhance the shock protection for your mail items, you can make cushioning materials yourself, for example by crumpling up old newspapers to make paper lumps or using reusable polyfoam (commonly known as Styrofoam). If the packing materials can be reused, please retain them for later use.

Waste reduction at source

Choose suitable containers that are of moderate size, reduce packing size, and use fewer packing materials such as cardboard and adhesive tape.

General Principle for Posting

Correct Addressing

Please print or write the address clearly and accurately. Address should be written legibly in Roman letters and Arabic numerals. You may write the address in the language of the country of destination, provided that the city and country names are in ENGLISH. Include the correct postcode, if any.

Apart from local delivery, mail addressed solely in Chinese characters is acceptable for items sent to Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.

Please put the sender's name and address at the top left-hand corner on the front of the envelope or on the back of the envelope to facilitate return of undeliverable mail.

Honest Customs Declaration

Every country imposes certain restrictions on mail items received from abroad. In order to comply with customs regulations of all countries of destination, it is important that you fill in every item on the declaration form clearly and accurately, and in the language entirely understood by postal administrations both locally and in the country of destination.

You can complete the declaration forms in Chinese for items addressed to Mainland China, Macau, Singapore or Taiwan.

Awareness of Prohibited Articles

Some articles are prohibited and will be refused for posting; they will be detained if detected in transit. You should ensure that your item does not contain any dangerous articles prohibited by legislation or by postal or customs regulations. You will not receive compensation or postage refund for items containing prohibited articles.

For details on prohibited articles, please refer to Section 6.3 of the Post office Guide.

General Principles of Packing

Containers

Anything except soft or unbreakable articles that can withstand pressure should be packed in a strong container before wrapping. The weight, size, shape and nature of the article should determine the material of the container. Common containers include boxes or cartons of cardboard, fibreboard, kraft board, metal or wood, as well as metal cans and tubes, padded post bags and fibre mailing tubes with metal ends.

Containers should be fit for holding the contents firmly while providing adequate space for cushioning.

If you are sending liquids or powders, we recommend to use double containers which are leak-proof and have sufficient cushioning in between to avoid any movement of the mail content. Items having an odour should be packed in air tight container.

For a wooden or metal box, corners and edges must be padded. The box should then be wrapped in textile such as hessian or sacking. You may use paper for wrapping if the box is fully covered with corrugated cardboard.

Tying and Sealing

Whatever the size and shape of the parcel, you should fasten it with adhesive tape and then string. The string should go round the parcel in at least two directions and be knotted each way. Adhesive tape by itself is not enough.

Wrapping

Light-grade wrapping paper is suitable for small articles only. Heavy-grade material offering a better tear-resistant wrapping should be used for larger parcels. If the parcel is made up of several or stacks of items, it is best to tie them together firmly before final wrapping.

What should be paid attention to while packing mail items?

Do's and Don'ts When Using PostPack Cartons

Do

Don't

Tips for Packing Articles

China, Pottery, Glass or Other Fragile Articles

These items must be contained in boxes made of metal, wood, strong plastic materials, strong and rigid cardboard or stout fibreboard. Each article should be separately wrapped and must be surrounded in the box by paper, wood shavings, wood wool or other protective materials to a thickness of at least 50 mm between the articles and the top, bottom and all four sides of the box, in order to prevent any friction or shock among the articles themselves and between the articles and the sides of the box. There should be no movements of the contents when shaken.

Food

Pack food with an internal waterproof wrapping such as polythene, add absorbent material around it before putting it in sacking or with an internal waterproof wrapping of, e.g. polythene, and absorbent packing.

When sent to tropical or sub-tropical countries or through the tropics, such articles must be packed in receptacles which are rat-proof and do not allow the smell of their contents to escape.

Liquids, Semi-liquids, and Substances Which Liquefy Easily

To mail items containing any liquid, semi-liquids or substances that liquefy easily, you should use two containers. The inner container must be securely sealed and the outer container must be a box of metal, tough wood, wood pulp or strong corrugated cardboard. We strongly advise that you place an absorbent material, such as cotton wool, between the inner container and the outer container to absorb any liquid that may leak out. State in details the specific name and quantity/volume of the content e.g. skin toner 100 ml, shampoo 100 ml, etc. You may also be required by the Aviation Security Company Limited to personally go to the Air Mail Centre for an on-the-spot checking of the mail piece.

Maps, Plans, Drawings and So On

Enclose these in strong cardboard tubes with rigid support in the form of a wooden rod inside the roll, or stout strips of wood on the outside as recommended for umbrellas and so on.

Metal Casting, Tiles, and Similar Articles

You should securely tie such items in a wrapping of some textile such as hessian or sacking before packing them in a stout wooden or fibreboard container with enough packing material to prevent all movement and provide a 25 mm margin of packing on all sides.

Nuts, Bolts and Small Machine Parts

You should wrap these articles in hessian, sacking or similar stout material with sufficient soft packing to prevent movement. Also tie them securely with strong string.

Paper Goods – Leaflets, Brochures, Books

Small quantities should be securely tied together with good quality brown paper or sheet polythene with an inner protective layer of corrugated cardboard, or enclosed in padded/heavy duty envelopes. For larger quantities, secure these articles by tying or banding the contents together before enclosing in strong cardboard cartons. If the contents do not completely fill the carton, you must add cushioning to fill out the box. Separate stacks of books or leaflets by using dividers or forms of corrugated board. Cartons and packages must be completely strapped or taped across all flaps. A single sheet of brown paper secured by adhesive tape is not enough.

Photographic Prints

  1. UNMOUNTED. If not sent in cardboard tubes (see Maps, plans, drawings and so on), you should pack these in sturdy envelopes with at least one stiffener of fibreboard or good quality cardboard; if you are sending several prints, enclose them in a rigid box of fibreboard or good quality cardboard with sufficient soft packing to fill the box. Write DO NOT BEND on the cover.
  2. MOUNTED. These should be wrapped in tissue and firmly fixed between two stiffeners of rigid material such as fibreboard or strong plywood, at least 25 mm larger all round than the mounts. If you are sending more than three mounted photographs, you should wrapped thse items in tissue and corrugated paper and packed in a rigid box of solid fibreboard, preferably with a wooden frame round the inside of the box. Wrtite DO NOT BEND on the cover.

Pictures in Frames

Pictures in frames should be protected at the front and back by stout wooden boards each larger than the frame. Place soft packing firmly between the corners of the frame and the boards, but make sure that the packaging does not press on the glass.

Radio and Electrical Equipment

You should pack radio and electrical equipment in rigid boxes of wood, fibreboard or very strong corrugated cardboard. Use ample soft packing to prevent movement and add more support for heavy component parts. Valves, electric bulbs and other such components should be sent separately and packed in sufficent soft packing such as cotton-wool and enclosed in a rigid box of wood, fibreboard or very strong corrugated cardboard.

Suit, Attaché, Dressing, and Similar Cases

These should be protected by wooden boards covering the sides.

Packing for Insured Articles

Pack and seal insured articles in the way that make immediately apparent any attempts at tampering with the contents. You should use packing materials that is appropriate for the contents of the itme you are sending.

Insured Letters

They may be enclosed either in a box or in a one-piece envelope with a strong cover or packing. We do not recommend using transparent packing materials. Use boxes made of strong metal, wood or plastic. The walls of a wooden box should be at least 8 mm thick. If you do not use outer wrapping, you must cover the top and bottom surfaces of the box with white paper where the addressee's name and address and the insured value are written, and stamps are impressed.

Insured Parcels

For the packing of insured parcels, please refer to Tips for Packing Articles.

Sealing

All insured items must be sealed but wax sealing is not obligatory. As a minimum requirement an insured letter or parcel is acceptable for transmission if all joins and flaps are sealed with effective means such as fine adhesive tape with a special uniform design or mark of the sender. These sealing strips must normally be transparent or white but brown paper strip is acceptable for sealing brown wrapping paper. They must be affixed in such a way that unauthorized removal would be apparent. In case of insured items sealed with transparent adhesive tape, the distinctive mark or stamp of the sender must be applied directly on the closing flap of the envelope before the transparent adhesive type is affixed. It should be impossible to remove any part of the contents without either breaking or tearing the case, wrapper or cover, or forcing two adhesive surfaces apart. Never use non-tamper-proof self-adhesive envelopes.

If the joints and flaps are sealed by wax or lead, each seal must bear a distinct impression of the same private device or mark of the sender. A coin may not be used for this purpose, nor may the device consist merely of straight, crossed or curved lines which could readily be imitated. Finger-prints or thumb-prints are also unacceptable.

Provided that a letter or parcel has been properly sealed as described above, it need not be fastened with string, although you are free to add string without it having to be sealed. However, if you use string to ensure the inviolability of a box, the ends of the string must be joined under a wax seal bearing the sender's private mark.

Hongkong Post PostPack Products

We offer a full range of PostPack products to make your packing easier.

PostPack Mailing Tubes

Strong material with inner waterproof lining and strong cover cap, the tubes are the safe way to post your posters, maps, drawings, etc. Adhesive address label is provided to make posting simple and easy.

Size Available

Product CodeDimensions (mm)
T1 445 X 50
T2 740 X 50
T3 740 X 80

PostPack Cartons

Made of heavy duty corrugated cardboard, the carton gives superior protection to your items sent by post. Sealing labels are included to make posting simple and convenient.

Size Available

Product CodeDimensions (mm)
P1 310 X 225 X 170
P2 225 X 170 X 150
P3 180 X 155 X 100

PostPack Padded Envelopes

Made of heavy duty kraft paper laminated to bubble lining that provides protection right to the point of delivery.

Size Available

Product CodeDimensions (mm)
00 225 X 125
CD 184 X 200
2 280 X 215
5 380 X 265
7 480 X 360

Multi-Packs

The carton is made of heavy durable corrugated cardboard to provide substantial protection. It is available in 4 designs and is priced at zonal flat rates to make posting costs more competitive.

Size Available

Product CodeCapacityDimensions (mm)
M1 5kg 370 X 250 X 210
M2 10kg 430 X 350 X 260
M3 20kg 455 X 425 X 335
M4 30kg 730 X 550 X 460

Enquiries

For more information about proper packing and how to pack insured mail items, please visit Hongkong Post website: www.hongkongpost.hk