Shipping Glass: How to Prevent Breakage

shipping glass - fragile

How do you know where to start when you need to ship large panes of glass? Shipping is not a delicate process. Unfortunately, shipping glass requires a gentle hand. With some care in how the glass is packaged, stacked and crated, your glass panels will arrive at their destination safely.

Vertical not Horizontal

The first thing to remember is that glass needs to be shipped vertically not horizontally. Remember that structurally, glass is pretty weak. If you think of holding a piece of paper, when you attempt to hold it horizontally it will droop. Glass is similar.

It might not droop as drastically as paper does, but it is not really meant to support its own weight. This means you will need to have a rack created that will allow you to stack your glass vertically during shipping.

Glass does not Bend

If a bending force is put on glass, it will not bend; it will break. You will want to limit the amount of bending force that will be put on the glass during shipping.

The best way to prevent glass breakage from bending forces is to brace it with some stiff material. When stacking your glass in your vertical rack, you want to place long strips of a rather firm material between each pane. Styrofoam or plywood can work well. Sandwich all of your glasses between sheets of packing material that are about one or two inches thick. This should ensure the right amount of rigidity to protect your glass.

Vibration and Glass do not Mix

Your next enemy during shipping is vibration. There can be many sources of vibration, such as uneven roads, bad truck tires or other shipping items shifting around during moving. In addition to your bending protection, you want to provide some vibration protection.

Foam packing or even shipping blankets between your sheets of plywood are a good way to prevent vibration. If you have the time, you might want to use some spray foam or insulation between your support sheets.

Cracks and Breaks are not the Only Thing to Worry About

If you are shipping your glass overseas then another thing to worry about is moisture damage. Glass that is not kept dry during shipping can be stained by the damp sea air. This could also occur if shipping happens overland during humid or wet months.

There are multitudes of ways to prevent moisture damage, including using a desiccant material in your shipping packages, or by using a climate controlled shipping container.

Have a Custom Crate Made

Once your glass is packaged and secured, you will want to crate it for shipment. Custom crating companies like Cratex can design custom bracing for your crate to ensure that your glass will not move around and be damaged during shipping.

Shipping fragile items like glass are our specialty. Contact us today about your glass shipping needs!