The clarinet is a type of woodwind instrument featuring a straight cylindrical tube and a flaring bell. There are many types of clarinets of differing sizes and pitches but the most common one is the soprano clarinet. This musical instrument is usually made from a variety of materials including wood, plastic, hard rubber, metal, resin, and ivory. Its numerous components can be disassembled for easy safekeeping in its hard case which keeps the fragile parts safe and secure.
Being a delicate instrument, the clarinet must be handled with utmost care. When being shipped, the clarinet must be properly packed to protect it from the rough and rigorous environment during transit. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship a clarinet to ensure that it arrives safely and survives the rigors of shipping.
The safest way to transport a clarinet, or any musical instrument, is in a hard case designed specifically for that instrument. But before packing the instrument in its case, make sure to clean it up first (especially when shipping a used one!) to get rid of any dirt, finger prints, and saliva that might have gotten inside the instrument from when it was used. Take the instrument apart and wipe each piece with a clean, soft cloth.
Then, place each clean component in its designated spot inside the hard case. The molded interior with soft plush lining will ensure that each piece stays in its place and will not bump onto each other during transit. Hard cases are usually well-cushioned to protect the clarinet during bumps and impacts. Close the hard case and shake a bit to know if there is any movement inside. If the contents move when the case is shaken, use bubble wrap to fill any void space inside the case to prevent shifting. Close the hard case and secure latches or locks.
Get a sturdy shipping box that is large enough to accommodate the hard case and allow a couple of inches of extra space on all sides, top and bottom. Fill the bottom of the box with a layer of packing peanuts and lay the clarinet case on top. Fill the empty spaces on the sides and top with more packing peanuts so that there is no way for the case to move around. Close the lid and give the box a gentle shake; you shouldn’t be able to feel or hear anything moving inside. If you do, add more peanuts until it is secure. Secure the flaps and seams with packing tape. Place the label on the top of the box, and write labels such as “This side up” and “Fragile” on and all four sides of the box.
Take the package to your local post office or commercial carrier. Consider buying insurance apart from the one that comes with the shipping option you chose to protect you in case the package gets lost or damaged during transit.