When packing a fragile item like china, taking any shortcuts may lead to breakage.
We've all heard the popular description for a destructive person: "like a bull in a china shop." If you don't take the proper efforts to pack china properly, the shipping process can be more destructive than any clumsy person or energetic toddler set loose in a fragile environment.
Pack shipments with a single piece of china in the same way that you would pack a single glass item:
The 'one box' method:
If you’re only going to use one box, make sure that you have some soft, cushioned and non-marking material handy. “Non-marking” materials are anything that does not have ink or paint marks that may rub off during the shipping process. Newspapers are an example of marking material because of the ink's ease of rubbing off onto to glass throughout the shipment's journey. Tissue paper, wrapping paper, toilet paper, and bubble wrap are all great alternatives to using newspaper.
Place your object in the center of the box and then place your packing material of choice around the object in the box. Any hollow spaces - like a teacup, serving bowl or creamer - in your object should be filled with the packing material as well. Your object should be held firmly in the center of the box by the material, but not so firm that it cannot move. It’s important that your piece of china can move around slightly because this will allow some of the energy that comes from shaking the box to be absorbed by the packing material. Be sure to put packing material underneath and all around the item so none of its sides touches the box in any way.
The 'two boxes' method:
This method is very similar to the one box method, but instead of sending the object after shielding it within one package, you can then shield the package inside of a larger box. This would be a good place to use newspaper or any cushioning material with ink or printing as it won't touch the item, itself.
Shipping multiple items together:
For shipments with multiple pieces of china, you will need to make sure that each piece is individually wrapped. You can still pack the items close together within the box, but wrapping them individually will help preserve their structural integrity.
Closing up the box:
If you are using tape to enclose the packing material around the box, try not to attach tape directly to the china to avoid further damage.
For more packing tips, check out the Most Common Packing Mistakes.