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How to Prepare Your Parcel for Shipping with GLS: Avoiding Common Mistakes


GLS is a renowned shipping provider known for its reliable and efficient delivery services across Europe and beyond. Whether you’re sending a gift to a loved one, fulfilling an online order, or managing your business’s logistics, choosing GLS for your shipments is a wise choice. However, to ensure your packages arrive safely and on time, proper preparation is crucial.

A well-packed parcel minimizes the risk of damage, delays, and other inconveniences. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to prepare your parcel for shipping with GLS, avoiding common mistakes that can lead to unexpected problems.

Table of Contents

Choosing the Right Packaging

The first step in preparing your parcel is selecting the right packaging. This crucial decision influences the protection of your goods during transit and, ultimately, their safe arrival.

  • Types of Packaging: GLS offers a wide range of packaging options, each suitable for different types of goods. Common choices include:
    • Boxes: Sturdy cardboard boxes are ideal for most items, providing ample protection and easy stacking.
    • Envelopes: Lightweight envelopes are suitable for documents, books, or other flat items.
    • Polybags: These plastic bags are convenient for smaller, lightweight items and are often used for clothing or accessories.
  • Size & Dimensions: Selecting the correct size box is vital to prevent movement and potential damage. A snug fit with minimal empty space will keep the contents secure. Ensure the package meets GLS’s dimensional weight guidelines to avoid additional costs.
  • Material & Strength: Opt for durable materials that can withstand the rigors of shipping. Cardboard boxes with a high GSM (grams per square meter) provide excellent strength. Reinforce corners with extra tape to prevent tears and damage.
  • Special Considerations: Different goods require specific packaging approaches:
    • Fragile Items: Use extra padding and cushioning materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or air pillows to protect delicate goods. Mark the package clearly with “Fragile” labels.
    • Liquids: Securely seal liquids in leak-proof containers, and wrap them individually to prevent spillage. Use absorbent materials like packing peanuts or rice to absorb any potential leaks.
    • Valuable Items: For high-value goods, consider using specialized packaging like padded mailer bags, hard-shell cases, or shipping crates. Additionally, explore GLS’s insurance options for added protection.

Packing Your Parcel Properly

Once you’ve chosen the right packaging, it’s time to pack your parcel correctly to ensure the contents arrive in pristine condition.

  • Padding & Protection: Adequate padding is crucial to prevent damage during transit. Use cushioning materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air pillows, or shredded paper to absorb shock and vibration. Ensure the contents are fully surrounded and protected.
  • Packing Materials: Choose the appropriate padding materials depending on the nature of your goods:
    • Bubble Wrap: Ideal for fragile items, providing excellent cushioning and protection against bumps and scratches.
    • Packing Peanuts: Fill empty spaces in boxes, providing support and preventing movement.
    • Air Pillows: These inflatable pillows are lightweight and offer good cushioning for fragile items.
    • Shredded Paper: An eco-friendly alternative for packing fragile items, offering decent cushioning.
  • Secure Closure: Securely seal your package with strong, durable tape. Use a heavy-duty tape like packing tape, applying it across the seams and around the edges of the box to reinforce the closure.
  • Labeling: Clearly label the package with the following information:
    • Sender’s Address: Include your full name, address, and contact information.
    • Recipient’s Address: Ensure the recipient’s address is complete and accurate, including their name, street address, city, postal code, and country.
    • Special Instructions: If your package requires specific handling, clearly indicate it with labels like “Fragile,” “Handle with care,” or “This side up.”

Completing Shipping Information

Once your package is securely packed, you need to provide GLS with the necessary shipping information to ensure its safe and timely delivery.

  • Address Accuracy: The foundation of a successful shipment is accurate address information. Double-check the sender’s and recipient’s addresses for any errors or omissions.
  • Contact Information: Include contact numbers and email addresses for both the sender and recipient. This allows GLS to communicate with you if necessary.
  • Special Instructions: Include any specific instructions for handling your package, such as “fragile” or “handle with care.” You can also add delivery preferences like “leave at door” or “signature required.”
  • Choosing the Right Service: GLS offers various services to meet different shipping needs:
    • Standard Service: This economical option is suitable for non-urgent shipments.
    • Express Service: Choose this for faster delivery times, ideal for time-sensitive shipments.
    • Other Options: GLS may offer additional services like guaranteed delivery, insurance, or customs clearance depending on the destination.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While packing your parcel, avoid these common mistakes that can lead to complications and delays:

  • Overpacking: Overpacking leads to unnecessary weight and increases shipping costs. Use minimal packaging materials to ensure the contents are protected without adding unnecessary bulk.
  • Underpacking: Inadequate protection for fragile items can result in damage during transit. Use ample padding and cushioning to prevent shock and vibration.
  • Incorrectly Labeling: Incorrect or incomplete address information can lead to delivery delays or even misdelivery. Double-check the address for any errors or omissions.
  • Neglecting Special Instructions: Failing to provide GLS with specific instructions for handling your package can result in damage to fragile items. Clearly label the package with “Fragile” or “Handle with care” labels as needed.

Additional Tips

Here are some extra tips to streamline your shipping process with GLS:

  • Weighing Your Parcel: Weigh your package accurately before booking your shipment. GLS calculates shipping costs based on weight, and incorrect weight estimates can lead to overcharging.
  • Preparing for Customs: For international shipments, research the necessary documentation and procedures for customs clearance. Ensure all required paperwork is completed correctly and included in the package.
  • Booking Your Shipment: Book your shipment through the GLS website or app, providing all the necessary information. You can also track your shipment’s progress through the GLS tracking system.
  • Tracking Your Parcel: GLS provides a convenient tracking system that allows you to monitor your parcel’s journey. Use the tracking number provided to track the package’s location and expected delivery date.


Here are answers to frequently asked questions about shipping with GLS:

Q: What if my package is damaged during transit?
A: If your package is damaged during transit, it’s crucial to report it to GLS immediately. They have a claims process for handling damaged shipments. You’ll typically need to provide photos or videos of the damaged package and its contents, as well as a description of the damage. GLS will then investigate the claim and determine if compensation is warranted.

Q: How do I handle returns or exchanges?
A: GLS offers various options for returns and exchanges, depending on the specific circumstances and the agreement between you and the recipient. You can either initiate the return/exchange yourself through GLS’s online portal or contact their customer service for assistance. Make sure to follow GLS’s guidelines for repackaging the item and providing the correct address for the return.

Q: What are the dimensions and weight limitations for GLS shipments?
A: GLS has specific size and weight limitations for different types of shipments. You can find the detailed information on their website, where they provide dimensions and weight limits for parcels, pallets, and other types of shipments. Exceeding these limitations may result in additional fees or even rejection of the shipment.

Q: Can I ship prohibited items through GLS?
A: GLS prohibits the shipment of certain items, such as hazardous materials, weapons, and illegal substances. You can find a list of prohibited items on GLS’s website. Shipping prohibited items can result in serious consequences, including fines and legal action.

Q: What if I need to update my shipping address after booking?
A: If you need to update the shipping address after booking your shipment, contact GLS customer service as soon as possible. They may be able to update the address before the package is shipped. However, if the package has already been dispatched, updating the address may not be possible.

Q: What are the insurance options available for my package?
A: GLS offers various insurance options to protect your shipments against damage, loss, or theft. The level of insurance you choose determines the amount of compensation you receive in case of an incident. You can select the appropriate insurance level based on the value of your package and your risk tolerance.


By following the steps outlined in this guide and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure your GLS shipments arrive safely and on time. Proper preparation is key to a smooth and stress-free shipping experience.

Visit the GLS website or contact their customer service for more detailed information and support regarding their services and policies.