Can You Use Duct Tape On FedEx Packages? (All You Need To Know)

We’ve all been there—you’ve got a package that needs to go out, and you’re completely out of packing tape. You don’t have time to run to the store, and there’s no way it’ll arrive in time if you order it online.

So, you start looking for alternatives to secure your package. In that process, you may come across masking tape, cellophane tape, or even duct tape as options. I’ll let you know if these alternatives work in this article, so read on!

Can You Use Duct Tape On FedEx Packages In 2024?

FedEx’s official policy regarding duct tape is that customers should not use it to seal packages as of 2024. Duct tape does not adhere well to cardboard, and boxes may open and get damaged if you use duct tape. In addition, duct tape can get caught in FedEx’s conveyor belts and leave a gum-like residue on machinery.

If you want to learn more about FedEx’s duct tape policy, then be sure to read all of this article!

Can You Close FedEx Packages With Duct Tape?

FedEx’s official packing guide discourages customers from using duct tape to seal packages.

Also, this guide warns against using masking tape, cellophane tape, string, or rope to seal boxes.

Instead, FedEx recommends using pressure-sensitive plastic tape, water-activated paper tape (minimum 60 pound-grade), or water-activated reinforced tape at least two inches wide.

Why Can’t I Use Duct Tape On FedEx Packages?

Why Can’t I Use Duct Tape On FedEx Packages?

While duct tape may seem like a good alternative when you’ve run out of packing tape, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t use it.

First and foremost, while duct tape is very adhesive on plastic, wood, and fabric, it doesn’t stick to cardboard very well.

That said, cardboard is a naturally “dusty” surface, meaning when you put tape on it, the tape reacts as if there was a thin layer of dust on the surface.

Therefore, some tapes, including duct tape, peel right off. When that happens, your package is at risk of breaking open during shipping.

Indeed, FedEx employees talk about using special tape to close busted-up packages, just to make sure they’ll get to their destination in one piece.

Beyond this “dust” issue, if duct tape gets hot or cold, it loses its adhesiveness and no longer holds things together.

Additionally, duct-taped packages get torn open because the tape gets caught on conveyor belts and rolls upon itself.

Speaking of machinery, duct tape deposits residue from its edges, which can gum up the stainless steel shoots inside FedEx’s warehouses and cause damage.

Believe it or not, there are still two other reasons why duct tape shouldn’t be used on packages.

For one, it’s heavier than packing tape and will increase your shipping costs, and it’s more expensive than packing tape.

So, with all of that in mind, you can see why using duct tape on your FedEx packages is just an all-around bad idea.

Will FedEx Accept A Package With Duct Tape On It?

There is no clear answer to this question, but I’ll present you with a few different solutions.

First, some responses say that FedEx and other shipping companies won’t accept a parcel held together with duct tape.

That said, one person even noted that their local FedEx location had a sign saying that no duct tape was allowed.

On the other hand, FedEx couriers mention seeing duct-taped packages come through the system.

However, they were quick to bring up their doubts as to whether these items would make it to their destinations in one piece.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not FedEx prints labels, does FedEx notarize, and does FedEx update tracking.


Given how well duct tape works on certain surfaces, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s a good option for shipping (especially if you don’t have any other options).

Unfortunately, this assumption is flawed in a number of ways. That said, duct tape is not designed to stick to the cardboard.

If it gets too hot, or cold, or stuck on something, your parcel will get ripped up. So, make the trip to buy packing tape.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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