Will UPS Accept a Package with Duct Tape – Here Are Your Options

If you’ve ever shipped a package with UPS, you know that the company has specific guidelines to ensure your package can withstand the shipping process. For example, the company explicitly advises against using duct tape, as it may not adhere adequately to cardboard, potentially jeopardizing the integrity of the package during transit.

Instead, options such as UPS-approved packaging provided at no extra charge for certain services can be safer, especially when coupled with the appropriate packing tape. Remember to wrap items separately using cushioning material to provide extra protection and prevent movement inside the box.

The Problem with Duct Tape and UPS Packages

When you’re getting ready to send a package, you might reach for duct tape, believing it’s strong enough for the job. However, using duct tape on UPS packages isn’t ideal for several reasons.

First and foremost, UPS does not recommend duct tape because it lacks the necessary adhesion and durability for shipping. In fact, packages sealed with duct tape may be at higher risk of opening or getting damaged during transit.

Here’s what you should consider:

  • Adhesion Issues: Duct tape may not stick well to cardboard over time, leading to the seal breaking. This can be especially problematic in different temperatures and humidity levels.
  • Durability Concerns: Duct tape is not as resistant to the strains of shipping as shipping tape. Packages might be stacked, pushed, and may rub against other items, that can tear duct tape easier than shipping tape.

Let’s take a closer look:

Weaker AdhesionPotential package opening during handling
DurabilityTearing and damage from stresses of shipping

For example, consider a package sent during summer. If you seal it with duct tape, the heat might weaken the adhesive, causing the tape to peel away from the cardboard. Similarly, in cold weather, duct tape can become brittle and lose its stickiness, which could lead to your package opening unintentionally.

So, when you’re prepping your package, consider using pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced tape. Such materials are designed to face the rigors of shipping and keep your package intact from departure to delivery.

Alternatives to Duct Tape

If you find yourself without packaging tape, UPS-certified packing experts at The UPS Store can assist you in choosing alternatives. Options like paper tape with fiberglass reinforcement can provide durability comparable to shipping tapes.

Dealing with Damaged or Improperly Packed Items

In the event your shipment arrives damaged, or if you’re concerned about the packing, reputable shipping companies like UPS offer re-packing services. Proper materials like bubble wrap, sturdy boxes, and appropriate tape can be sourced from carriers such as UPS or FedEx to repack merchandise securely.

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