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How to Tape a Box for Shipping

By December 1, 2022December 30th, 2022Shipping & Packaging, Workplace & Office
man taping box with tape dispenser

How to tape a box for shipping or packing?

There are different ways to tape boxes for shipping and packaging, and there are things to avoid doing as well. Shipping or packing a box of any kind needs attention and care to ensure that nothing falls out and that everything is sealed properly, depending on where its final destination is. Packing and shipping are two totally different tasks, which means that there are different taping methods to follow and different types of tape to use for each.

How to tape a box for shipping:

When you are shipping orders, you want to make sure that your items are carefully packed with the proper materials to ensure that no damage occurs. Before placing your items in the box, designate the bottom of the box and tape the seam on the inside of the box first. This will provide extra support during its shipping journey.

After placing the items inside and using bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect the items, tape all other seams securely. This means possibly using more than one piece of heavy-duty packing tape per seam. Think about the final destination of your box and how many stops it could take before it gets there and how many times it could be handled. Tape it enough times depending on how fragile the items are as well to make sure it’s properly protected.

How to tape a box for packing:

Taping a box for moving or for storage reasons is different than taping a box to be shipped. In this situation, the box won’t do much moving and won’t be handled as much as a box that is being shipped across the county would. While you might not need as much packing materials and layers of tape, it’s still important to note that your packing tape should be able to stand up to both the heat and frigid temperatures.

What to Look for When Shopping for Tape

When you are packing a box, the tape to search for has to have strong adhesion to make sure it’ll stay in place during a move or while in storage. Heavy-duty packing tape like Scotch®  is the best way to go due to its intense strength and ability to seal onto all box types for longer periods of time. Brown Kraft tape is also popular for packing boxes to move or to put into storage due to its strength, ability to withstand differences in temperature and accessibility to take off.

On the other hand, when you are shipping a box, the tape to look for needs to be thinner and lighter compared to packing tape, and it needs to be able to withstand lots of handling. For optimal usage, look into W.B. Mason’s selection of strapping tape, also known as filament tape. Strapping tape is pressure sensitive which is important to have when shipping boxes because boxes can undergo different types of pressure while in transit.

It’s easy to just have one tape option for all tasks but having the correct tape for different types of shipping and packaging needs is important. Making sure that your boxes stay intact while they are either being moved to a new house or office, being put into storage, or shipped across the county have a lot to do with the tape you use. When shipping a package, you need tape that will sustain different handling conditions that could impact the way the tape is holding up on the box. Packing tape is used to stay in place for a lot longer and needs to be able to hold up against weather conditions both hot and cold extreme temperatures.

Both tasks would greatly benefit from a tape dispenser, because of how quickly and easily they can help tape boxes. If you want to maximize your taping efficiency or have a lot of boxes to get through, getting a tape dispenser is critical in making the time go by faster.

What tape can I use for shipping?

When shipping out a package or orders from your business, you want to make sure that the tape you use will remain on the box for the entire journey. A critical component to shipping a box or a package in general is the tape you use and whether it’s suitable for shipping. Here are some of the best tapes to use when shipping packages:

  • Duck® Brand Heavy Duty Packaging Tape
  • Scotch® Heavy Duty Shipping Tape
  • Scotch® Clear Filament Tape

While there are certain tapes to use for shipping, there are some that might not be the best choice. If you were wondering if you can use duct tape for shipping, the answer is no. The reason for this is because the adhesion levels are not being strong enough to withstand the handling a box or package goes through during transit. Duct tape is a great tool for other tasks such as storage and packing. However, sticking to the types of tape listed above would be better suited for shipping purposes.

How to Properly Tape a Shipping Label

It’s important to know how to tape over a shipping label in order for the package to get to its destination in a timely manner. Whether you are shipping a few orders per day, or hundreds, taping over the shipping label properly is a critical step and can save a lot of time if done right. Here are some tips on how to accurately tape over a shipping label:

  • After the box is sealed with shipping tape, get your label ready and find a good spot on the outside of the box so that it’s easily visible.
  • Make sure that the label is flat and fits properly onto the box, and that no parts of it are folded and all information is showing.
  • Using transparent shipping tape, carefully rip pieces off of the tape dispenser or cut the roll so that the tape will cover the whole label vertically or horizontally, whichever way you want to tape. Make sure to not cut or rip the tape too short because you don’t want any part of the label to be uncovered due to weather conditions, mishandling issues, or the possibility of the uncovered part of the label ripping off or becoming stained.
  • Do this as many times as it takes to cover the entire label completely. Make sure the tape goes on straight and doesn’t leave any folds when you put it over the label.
  • Barcodes can still be scanned even if there is transparent tape over it, but it is up to you to tape over the barcode or not.

Can you tape over a shipping label?

Existing shipping labels from a previous shipment will remain on the box until you take it off, but you should not tape a new shipping label over the old one in order to reuse the box. Reusing boxes to ship something else is a great way to be environmentally friendly and to reduce your carbon footprint. It can also save you money on buying new boxes. However, in order to reuse a box that was previously used to ship something else, you need to remove the old label completely which can be time consuming.

If the box you are using still has a shipping label attached, you need to remove it before putting a new shipping label on. This is very important as the old shipping label can cause the box to be shipped back to you and can cause some confusion at parcel delivery service locations. Removing the label is simple. Use a source of heat to help peel back the label such as a hair dryer, or just take the time to take the old one off with your fingers. After the old label is completely off or when there is no information or a barcode showing, you can put the new shipping label directly over where the old one was. If parts of the shipping label are still on the box, use a black sharpie to completely cover the information that is still showing.

Can you put clear tape over a shipping label?

You can put clear tape over a shipping label in order to secure it to the box. Taping the label helps it from becoming damaged during transit and for when the box is being handled by different people along the way. As for the barcode that gets scanned frequently, it is permissible to tape over it. You must be very careful when applying a strip of tape over the barcode though, because if the tape gets wrinkled, it can be more difficult to scan. If the barcode is difficult to scan, it may not reach its destination and could get sent back to you.

If you are going to tape the barcode, make sure to only do it with one layer of tape. If a mistake happens and a wrinkle appears, try not to remove it once it’s been stuck to the barcode because you are going to have to print another shipping label. In this instance, parts of the barcode can get reflected onto the tape, making the barcode unscannable.

Can you ship two boxes taped together?

Taping boxes together and shipping them like that will most likely not work or won’t be allowed by shipping carriers. This is due to postage cost which is based on weight. If multiple boxes need to be shipped together and you do not want them separated, a suggestion would be to place them together in a larger box. This way, the person receiving the package will have both items or both boxes at the time of delivery. Using filler for protection in this case is highly recommended. Packing paper, packing peanuts or bubble wrap are all examples of packing materials to use in instances like this.

Taping Truths

It’s important to know the answers to these tape-related questions because they might not be easy to find. Making sure you are taping your boxes correctly based on if you are shipping or packing can help you to go about your taping tasks efficiently in the future.


Bob Vila. The Best Packing Tapes of 2022. ( November 22, 2022.

Bus Transportation. Where to Put Shipping Label on Box Usps? ( November 17, 2022.

SKUVAULT. How to Tape a Box for Shipping. ( November 17, 2022.

Small Business Trends. Best Shipping Tape Choices. ( November 18, 2022.