HOW TO PACK BOOKS and AVOID DAMAGE DURING SHIPPING
Damaged merchandise is a constant headache for both the shipper and the receiver. We have found the following points will help avoid most damage:
1- INDIVIDUAL BOOKSELLERS, COLLECTORS, AND AUCTIONS
Place each book in a plastic bag to prevent scuffing and water (rain) damage en route. Pack each book with cushioning such as bubble pack or newsprint so that no book will be in direct contact with the inner wall of its box. Use heavy-duty carton boxes of sufficient strength. (No filing or storage boxes, which are weak.) Make sure the packed boxes weigh no more than 35 lbs, as heavier boxes will increase the chances of damage. Always ship Media Mail insured through USPS for most economical rates or UPS insured if within the US. Go to a UPS hub, NOT a UPS Store or Mail Boxes Etc or you WILL pay a huge premium. Look up the closest UPS hub in your area on Google. If outside the US try and use surface mail with your local post office or economy air mail if a small shipment of higher value (=> USD 350).
2- SHIPPING VIA SURFACE MAIL AND MAIL IN POST OFFICE BAGS
This mail gets some of the world's roughest treatment! Pack all books in individual plastic bags (or shrink wrap). Also individually wrap the books in bubble pack or corrugated carton, then place in a VERY sturdy box which is placed inside the post office bag. Make sure the boxes weigh no more than 25 to 30 lbs. Do not over stuff the bags.
3- FREIGHT VIA BOAT OR TRUCK
Use pallets! Put no more than 2200 lbs (1000 kilos) on a pallet. DO NOT pack the books without putting them in boxes. Be sure the boxes do not extend beyond the edge of the pallet. Wrap the strapped pallet in industrial "cling" plastic. Use carton corners along all vertical 90-degree edges. Protect the sides of the boxes with an extra layer of boxes folded or hard carton sheets. Finally, strap with bands twice East to West and twice North to South while making sure a forklift can still put its forks under the pallet unobstructed. (If those straps at 90 degree angle to the direction of the forks are not tight underneath the pallet the forks catch them and they break. If you cannot get the 90 degree straps tight under the pallet then only do one set of straps parallel with direction of the forks.)
Put maps in 100-lb-test cardboard tubes!! Anything less will very likely be crushed. Put a wad of paper in each end of the tube so the map will not slide up and down from one end of the tube to the other. DO NOT strap the map in any way before inserting into the tube, instead let the map "unwind" and push itself against the inner wall of the tube. Be sure to have plastic caps on both ends of the tube. Seal the plastic caps with adhesive tape.