How to pack electronic goods securely for overseas shipping

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Vietnam's electronics exports have witnessed a remarkable upsurge in recent years. According to Semi, Vietnam began its journey to the global market by attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the semiconductor and microelectronics industry a decade ago.  

One of the key players in Vietnam’s rise in the electronics market is Samsung, with its mobile phone manufacturing plant in Bac Ninh, established in 2008, growing into a countrywide investment of US$17.3 billion within a decade. Samsung is also considered Vietnam’s largest FDI contributor, accounting for more than 25% of the country’s exports. They have also made Vietnam the largest smartphone exporter in the world. Then, other electronics companies, like Intel, LG, Panasonic, and Foxconn, have also taken an interest in investing and opening their own branches in Vietnam, putting the country on the global technology map.  

Key export destinations for Vietnam’s electronics goods include the United States, China, Japan, and Korea. Computers and spare parts make up 13.2% of exports, while telephones, mobile phones, and parts contribute 37.2%, as per Vietnam Briefing. Overall, this shows the impact of electronic manufacturing on the nation’s economic growth. 

With the boom in Vietnam’s electronic market, more and more businesses want to take advantage of this rise and expand their business overseas.  

If you're an electronics business owner in Vietnam looking to do so, one of the biggest factors to consider is the packaging when shipping your electronic goods. With our years of experience in logistics and shipping, DHL Express gives you insight into packaging electronic products for global shipping. 

The fragile nature of electronics: Packing matters 

Taking on the electronics market, you are already aware how fragile these items are. Electronics are vulnerable to various types of damage during transit, ranging from dents and scratches to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and improper handling of batteries. Transporting them locally within Vietnam, you take great measures in packing them to ensure their safety when delivered to your customer’s home.  

However, when sending your electronic products overseas, you are introduced to a new set of variables that can impact the condition of your products upon arrival. Longer distances, varying climatic conditions, and different transportation modes all contribute to the complexity of ensuring safe transit. The packaging that suffices for local journeys may fall short when confronted with global shipping demands. 

The importance of secure packaging when mailing electronics overseas 

Practising secure packaging techniques for electronics that will be shipped internationally is crucial to prevent malfunctions and shorter lifespans. If you partner with an overseas business, keeping these devices and equipment safe is critical for their operations and curbs delays and losses. Overall, mitigating the risks during transportation maintains operational demand and enhances your customer’s overall experience with your business.  

Your comprehensive packing guide for electronics 

Learn how to package electronics for shipping with this extensive guide provided by our team at DHL Express. 

1. Ensure humidity control when shipping 

Electronics have a particular sensitivity to moisture and shifts in humidity levels. These changes can result in harmful consequences like physical damage, corrosion, and operational issues. To provide a shield for your electronic goods, it's crucial to use proper packaging practices to maintain humidity control throughout the shipping process. Recommended packaging materials to counteract moisture include electrostatic dissipative bags, which can protect items against moisture, and desiccant packs, which absorb moisture and lower humidity levels within the packaging. You can also use moisture-resistant tape to reinforce your packaging, making sure it’s sealed properly.  

Furthermore, label your package as “humidity-sensitive” to alert handlers to exercise extra care during shipping. This also encourages them to store the package away from areas with high humidity levels. Be attentive to weather conditions along the shipping route. If your items are headed to an area with high humidity, take additional measures such as using extra desiccant packs and ensuring your packaging is particularly secure. 

2. Use anti-static packaging 

You must incorporate advanced anti-static packaging solutions to improve ESD protection for sensitive electronics. Materials like electrostatic dissipative bags, static-dissipative foams, and conductive bins can effectively neutralise static electricity buildup. These specialised packaging elements function as a protective shield, preventing potentially damaging electrical discharges from harming delicate components. By adopting anti-static packaging, you bolster the longevity and reliability of your electronic devices, especially those with microchips, integrated circuits, and other intricate parts susceptible to ESD-induced failures. 

3. Double down on damage protection  

Shielding electronics from the rigours of transit requires a multi-faceted approach to damage protection. Aside from double corrugated cardboard, shock-absorbing materials, like foam inserts or moulded pulp, create a secure cushioning system that effectively buffers against shocks, drops, and vibrations that occur during shipping. This proactive measure also significantly diminishes the chances of physical damage throughout the transportation process. 

4. Adhere to battery compliance 

The safe transportation of lithium-ion batteries is a regulatory requirement and a critical safety concern. Adhering to International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations is paramount to prevent the potential fire hazards associated with these power sources. Proper battery compliance involves encapsulating lithium-ion batteries in specialised packaging that offers thermal insulation and containment of potential electrolyte leaks. Incorporating fire-resistant materials and ensuring proper insulation distances can go a long way in minimising the risk of thermal runaway or short-circuit-induced fires. By prioritising battery compliance, you ensure the safety of your shipments and adhere to legal guidelines that prevent dangerous situations from arising.  

At DHL Express, we adhere to the IATA standards for air shipping of electronic goods with lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, we require senders to have a pre-approval to ship goods with lithium-ion batteries before they can hand it to use for overseas shipping. That way, our team knows that the sender is sufficiently trained, instructed, and will prepare these shipments according to the applicable regulations, as well as DHL Express’s policies and procedures.  

5. Make clear handling instructions 

Labelling packages with explicit instructions for handling sensitive electronics is essential in mitigating risks. Incorporating labels that indicate the fragile nature of the contents, the necessity for gentle handling, and the importance of avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures reinforces the need for careful treatment. Additionally, international symbols and icons can transcend language barriers, ensuring that handlers worldwide understand the importance of cautious handling.  

Use a waterproof, durable label when packing these electronics for shipping. Common special instructions on the label include “fragile” or “this side up.” By emphasising the fragility of the enclosed items, you minimise the potential for mishandling, reducing the chances of damage caused by rough treatment. 

6. Use the box-in-box technique  

The "box-in-box" technique is a double boxing strategy where you place the primary electronic device within a smaller inner box, securely housed within a larger outer box. This approach creates an additional layer of protection against external forces and impacts. We at DHL Express recommend that we use a strong outer box, which is at least 14 cm larger than the inner box in all dimensions. We recommend using a dual-wall carton box if you're shipping heavy electronics. Make sure to place 6cm of filler material on the base of the outer box before surrounding the inner box with filler material. You can also use foam corners if you prefer. Close and seal the box by H-taping using pressure-sensitive tape. 

DHL Express recommendations for overseas shipping of specific electronic commodities 

1. Equipment with lithium-ion batteries 

Senders must adhere to IATA regulations when packaging and sending lithium-ion batteries. When shipping with DHL, items with two lithium-ion batteries or four cells are accepted without the lithium battery mark. However, batteries that known or suspected to be defected, damaged, or recalled present a high safety risk and are not permitted for shipping. If the battery is inside the laptop, cellphone or other devices, it must be removed before we can accept the shipment. 

2. Laptop or desktop PC  

Customers without a DHL corporate account are only allowed to ship a maximum of one laptop with one lithium-ion battery per package. When shipping laptops or desktops internationally, we recommend using specialist laptop or PC transport boxes for packaging.  

3. Data storage devices  

It’s recommended that disk-based storage devices are stored using box-in-box packaging. On the other hand, non-fragile storage devices, like flash drives, do not require extra packing. However, they must be in a package large enough for the shipment label to be visible. 

4. TV or monitors  

Televisions and monitors must be placed inside their original packaging intact with their foam cushioning. As their original boxes are not designed for an express network, it’s recommended that these items are packaged using the box-in-box packing method. 

5. Phones and tablets  

When shipping cell phones, like iPhones or Android, and tablets, like iPads or Galaxy tablets, make sure that the device is surrounded with at least 6 cm of suitable filler material before placing it inside a strong dual-wall corrugated box.  

6. Fragile electronic accessories  

Opt for a double-walled corrugated box that matches the dimensions and weight of the item intended for shipment. Arrange the contents within the box to ensure ample cushioning, maintaining a minimum separation of 6 cm from the outer walls of the box. There must be substantial distance between each item to prevent contact or collision. For an extra layer of security, consider the box-in-box packaging technique. 

7. Non-fragile electronic accessories  

For lighter items, single-wall corrugated packaging suffices. In cases where the packaging is intended for retail presentation, an overpack is necessary to prevent any surface blemishes or markings. 

Trust DHL Express for shipping electronic goods overseas 

As you ship electronics from Vietnam, remember that proper packaging is your first line of defence against potential damage. By following these expert tips and leveraging our global shipping services, you're ensuring that your electronic products arrive in pristine condition, ready to conquer new markets. We can also work with you to make sure your products’ packaging complies with customs clearance requirements for a smooth shipping experience. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about DHL Express Vietnam’s packing and shipping solutions for your electronic business.  

You can also open a business account with us to get started. Learn more about shipping to key export countries by checking out our step-by-step guidelines for shipping to South Korea and guidelines for hassle-free shipping to Japan. 

1. Semi

2. Semi

3. Vietnam Briefing