While most people know that glass is fragile and needs special handling when shipped, they may not realize that ceramics can be even more fragile. Ceramics appear more heavy duty, especially when made from stoneware; however they are easy to ding, knick and break if they move too much in packaging. It is problematic that ceramics can chip from just small bumps if they are hit just the right way. Therefore, it is imperative that ceramics are packaged properly for shipping even to nearby locations.
Because ceramics are porous, it is necessary to prevent shock. Shock increases the effect of an impact and travels through a ceramic piece. That is why you might get cracks on the inside from a hit on the outside. For hollow pieces, it helps if you place soft packaging such as newspaper or bubble wrap inside the hollow space. Then snugly wrap the exterior of each piece. If there is a lid, the lid needs to be wrapped separately. Lids with handles or handles on a mug are especially prone to breakage. However, don’t wrap packaging too tight because that in itself will put extra pressure on the ceramic piece. Even if your pieces are placed into a box with a grid separating them from each other, they still need wrapping to keep them from moving around too much inside the grid. They can break from hitting each other or even just from being shaken too hard in the box. Additional protection can be added by placing the box inside another box with some padding in between the two boxes.
Even well-packaged shipments with ceramics can break. It is important to treat each box as fragile and keep them upright if you can. Additionally, making sure the boxes travel without sudden stops or bumps will help. If you know your route is bumpy, put the boxes on a pallet or add extra padding to your vehicle floor.