Musical instruments such as guitars should be prepared for transit within the manufacturer’s guidelines. In the first instance this may include steps such as de-tensioning strings and providing additional support for areas such as a guitar’s neck within the case. You should also ensure the instrument fits snuggly within the case and take care to pad and protect any vulnerable areas.
Once your instrument is secured within its hard case (soft gig bags are not appropriate), the case should then be placed inside a sturdy box with suitable packaging materials suspending the instrument case within the box. The packaging material is crucial as this will absorb the shock as your box slides down sorting chutes.
Your musical instrument will travel on automated belts and slide down sorting chutes, the automated network cannot read labels such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Fragile’ and as such you must ensure your instrument is thoroughly packaged for this method of transport.
Musical instrument cases are typically simply polystyrene covered with canvass or plastic, these cases are designed to carry your instrument, not to ship it.
If you choose to send a musical instrument without placing it in a box, please be aware when a case slides down a sorting chute the case will provide little shock absorption and the case or instrument may be damaged and no claim for damage can be considered.
If your instrument is sent packaged in any other way please ensure your specialist musical instrument or travel insurance has you fully covered.