How to correctly pack a parcel for On-board (Hand carry) courier service

The on-board courier is a person transporting your consignment as own baggage on the first available commercial flight. For this service we use of commercial flights of airlines whereby the consignment is transported either as cabin baggage or checked baggage.

The consignment is always transported as cabin baggage under the constant supervision of our courier unless the consignment parameters or content disqualify for such mode of transport. Correct consignment packing is therefore relevant particularly for consignments transported as checked baggage in the cargo spaces of aircrafts.

When packing due consideration must be given to the fact that the transportation process may include harsh manipulation of the consignment by airport ground staff mainly during cargo loading and unloading. Our personal experience shows that proper packing helps to ensure that your consignment contents are secure.

Match the box used for packing to the weight and contents of your consignment. For parcels weighing up to 10 kg a 3-layer cardboard box is recommended and for parcels up to 25 kg a 5-layer cardboard box, robust enough to sustain stacking of at least  5-times its own weight and a fall from one metre height, is recommended. The parcel contents must be duly protected inside the box against shifting in any direction, e.g. by filling the box with light cushioning material also able to protect the contents from any depression on the external packaging.

Packing the parcel into stretch foil is also recommended as it protects against possible moisture during air cargo loading and unloading in wet weather, provides a good surface for affixing bar codes at check-in and not losing them during the whole transportation process. In the case of reused packaging a stretch foil ensures that any old barcodes, which otherwise would have to be stripped off the box to prevent mistakes in consignment handling at airports, are covered.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) the maximum weight of checked baggage is 32 kg per piece. Baggage (1 pc) over 32 kg cannot be accepted for carriage as checked baggage, instead it has to be carried as air cargo accompanied with an air waybill.  As airport ground staff loads and unloads hundreds pieces of baggage daily most airlines have introduced lower weight limits for checked baggage for reasons of security and occupational health protection.

 Due to the different size and weight limits for checked baggage imposed by individual airlines we recommend our clients to pack their parcels according to the following parameters: the weight of packed consignment not exceeding 23 kg per parcel, yet at the same time its total linear dimensions (width+height+depth) not exceeding 158 cm. Should your consignment not meet these parameters, we recommend to divide it into smaller pieces. Baggage meeting the above requirements is accepted by over 95% of partner airlines.

Delivering each and every consignment intact is what we strive for and our practical experience shows that correct packing is one of the key factors ensuring damage-free consignment transportation. Labelling consignments with "Fragile" or "Handle with care" stickers can never substitute correct packing of the consignment and in the vast majority of cases remains unnoticed by the airport ground staff. Furthermore, the correct packing of your consignment is one of the prerequisites of successful settlement of claims under consignment insurance. An insurance claim pertaining to a damaged consignment will not be honoured by the insurance company unless the packing was correct and adequate.

We would be happy to provide guidance and assist in the preparation and packing of consignment for transportation and always do our utmost to minimise risks associated with it.

Recommendations for preparing parcels for on-board courier (OBC) carriage

  1. Choose a box suitable for the parcel weight and contents.
  2. Prevent the contents from moving or shifting by using light cushioning material.
  3. Observe weight limit - 32 kg per parcel.
  4. Note recommended parcel dimensions: total linear dimensions (width+height+depth) not exceeding 158 cm.
  5. Wrap into stretch foil.

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