When you need to ship something, often it goes in a box and is sent through a shipper to the recipient on the other end. However, large paper items like blueprints or a giant photo print need a better solution to ensure they are not folded or creased. Using custom mailing tubes made to fit your items is often the best solution, but there are some things you should consider when picking your mailing tubes.

Cardboard Tubes

Many shipping services offer mailing tubes in varying sizes that you can use to ship your paper documents. The tubes are typically made from heavy cardboard and have plastic ends that push into the tubes once you have placed the documents inside.

The cardboard mailing tubes are durable enough to pass through sorting equipment and other machines along the route and should be sufficient for most documents or prints you need to send across town or the country. While these tubes are strong, they are not designed to get wet, and they can be crushed if they are mistreated or if too much weight is placed on top of them. 

The end caps can also come off if they are not appropriately secured. Adding a staple to the end to hold it in place is one way to keep the caps on, and wrapping it with shipping tape will further secure the caps so the tube can't open in transit.

Custom Mailing Tubes

Many vendors that make and sell shipping boxes and materials offer custom mailing tubes in different diameters and lengths to accommodate your items. The walls of the tubes can also be heavier to withstand more weight and pressure; however, the tube must be approved by the shipper, so it is vital to check. 

If the mailing tubes are too long or the diameter is too large, they may not go through the sorting machines that the shipper uses, and they could reject the package. Each shipper has its own dimensions for packages that they will accept, so check with whichever one you use, and if they do not accept the tubes, you may want to consider an alternative shipping company to handle the mailing tubes for you. 

If you ship many things in mailing tubes, you may want to have the packaging manufacturer make custom tubes that fit the shipper's parameters and still meet your needs. If the documents or prints fit in the tube without damage and the shipping service will handle them for you, the production cost of custom mailing tubes could be something you can live with, especially if you ship a lot of the same kinds of things in tubes regularly.