Neon signs are very fragile and they need to be handled with utmost care when they are being shipped. One careless move and the fragile tubes can break, rendering part or even the entirety of the signage not working as intended.

There are multiple US based great neon sign companies like Neon Signs Depot. You can also go to Amazon, Ebay and other big websites but quality is usually lower.

An improper shipping method can cost thousands of dollars. From replacing the damaged neon sign parts to repackaging it and transporting it again. If you’re not careful enough, the shipping and repair costs alone will put you out of business – add to it your damaged reputation as a neon dealer with slow delivery.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you can choose the perfect packaging for shipping your neon signage to avoid any hassle and unnecessary costs.

There are two popular packaging available when it comes to preparing neon signs for shipping. These are wooden crates and carton boxes. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages and you should carefully think before choosing which one of them you’ll use.

Cartons vs Wooden Crates

We’re going to see the advantages and disadvantages of crates and cartons so you can decide which one to use.

Wooden Crates

Crates are one of the most popular shipping containers for almost all kinds of items, though they are mostly used for shipping large and heavy items over long distances.

Compared to cartons, crates are more expensive. They are also harder to lift as they are heavier and if you are shipping a heavy item, it almost makes it impossible to lift it without the help of machinery.

Traditional wooden crates also take more space, so you’ll need a large shipping vehicle to carry them around, especially if you are to deliver multiple signs at once.

Wooden crates also don’t allow you to have a highly customizable design on its surface. You can’t easily put your brand name or logo on a wooden crate. It’s possible but the results aren’t that great compared to a logo or graphics embedded on a carton box.

Wooden crates are best used for very long shipping distances and for very heavy neon signs, especially extra-large ones.


The raw material used in making cartons are cheaper and lighter than wooden crates, which makes them more cost-efficient.

In addition, you can easily put your logo or brand name on it and the result is of much higher quality than those put on wooden crates.

As they are lighter, as long as your neon sign isn’t that bulky or heavy, they can be easily lifted and carried around without the need for special machinery like forklifts.

Cartons or Crates?

Cartons are perfect for small to medium sized neon signage. Larger and heavier neon signs should either be craned or placed in separate boxes. While the former offers a little bit more ease in terms of handling and transportation because the neon sign is shipped in one piece, the latter option is cheaper and is perhaps the safer and more stable option as you don’t run the risk of breaking the entire signage in case one of the packages gets damaged or falls.

As most neon signages aren’t very large, they are mostly packed and shipped in carton boxes. In addition to that, a carefully packaged carton box can match the durability and stability offered by a wooden crate. Furthermore, high-quality carton box greatly enhances their durability, so if you choose carton boxes from excellent manufacturers, you shouldn’t have any problems at all.

And with that in mind, let’s see how to carefully pack a neon sign in a carton box.

Tips for Packing a Neon Sign

Careful packaging of a neon sign is crucial. Improper handling and weak packaging are the number one cause of neon tube damage and breakage. To help you with that, here are some tips for packing a neon sign in a carton box:

* Don’t allow the glass tubes to touch the packaging or the carton. Use Styrofoam boxes that are at least 2-inches higher than the glass tubes placed at strategic locations to hold the neon sign inside the box, preventing the tubes from touching the sides of the box.

* Label your boxes “Glass” and not “Fragile”. More often than not, the personnel handling a package puts much greater emphasis for careful handling of items labeled with “Glass” as they are easily broken and the mess they leave when they break is a huge hassle for them.

* Pack them tight so that they don’t move around in the container.

* Use double box. Fill the empty space between the inner and outer box with foam pads or foam peanuts, Styrofoam, and other cushioning. UPS has some great tips on how to double box.


Carton boxes are the cheapest and most efficient way to ship neon signs. However, if you are to ship them to a faraway place, crates could be the better choice. Either way, the most important thing about shipping and packaging neon signage is the attention to detail and careful and proper packaging.