An ideal package is a box that arrives blemish-free, dent-free, sturdy, with the arrow pointing ‘up’ in the correct position, and on time.
Or maybe I am just daydreaming. Because, in reality, parcels often arrive with contents almost spilling out or soaked or smelly, or worse; fragile items no longer resemble what they used to be.
We can blame the carrier for all we want. We can’t do anything, especially without insurance coverage.
Maybe not. Because, in truth, shippers have the power to keep their packages safe. Whether it’s for a demanding customer, your dearest grandma or your hostile ex, here are some tips to ensure they get the package just how you sent it.
Get the right box
Leading carriers UPS and FedEx agree on one thing: Your items deserve new boxes for packaging. While you might think of retrieving some old cardboard boxes, you need to realize that the box where will you put your items should be sturdy enough to withstand multiple transits and careless hands.
Look for a two or three-ply corrugated shipping carton that’s big enough for your item. It should also have enough space for extra packing material. You also need to add up the dimensions of the box to estimate its capacity. As a rule, measurements that sum up to 75 inches or less can only hold about two stones. The box’s content should not go beyond this capacity so that it will not tear or break during transit.
You can opt for wooden crate boxes instead as these are more durable. But, it may be heavy on the pocket, especially if it is shipped overseas.
Items need to be covered entirely with two inches of bubble wrap or foam lining to keep them protected. You can keep products encased in individual boxes then wrap them in bubble sheet or foam just to be sure.
For electronic materials, you’ll need anti-static covering such as crumpled paper or bubble sheets. In the case of frames, you need to put tape across the glass surface following an X pattern to make sure handlers notice the glass. For more fragile items, you can enclose them in three inches of bubble wrap for protection.
Add some bubble and peanuts
Once the item is secure, you can put in additional bubble wrap and packing peanuts which act as a cushion for items. It’s advisable that you put two to three inches of packing material to fill in the spaces in the box.
You can give the box a shake to check if the contents still move. If they do, you need to fill up the box with more peanuts or run some Styrofoam along the inside of the walls. This will ensure the items don’t get damaged from countless handling, and small items don’t get lost when the package is opened.
Seal the package
Seal the box with pressure-sensitive tape and never with scotch or masking tape as these will not bear the weight of the package. Place the tape across flaps and seams all the way to the bottom of the box following an H pattern.
Label the box properly
Proper markings and labels ensure that the package reaches the intended destination. It’s advisable to put a copy of the sender’s name and address as well as the receiver’s contact details inside the box and place the same information on a piece of sticker paper. Put the label horizontally on the box so that it’s easily read. Keep the barcode accessible too.
Ship with a trusted carrier
Entrust your package to a reputable carrier that has the proper logistics to properly handle and deliver your parcel. Do they have sufficient transportation and trained personnel? Can they do sea, air, or land cargo or all of these? For overseas shipping, you can choose between sea or air cargo. The difference between the two is that air cargo is faster than sea cargo. You can also opt for insurance to cover damages if anything untoward happens to the parcel during transit. You can also opt for covering your goods in transit to protect against damages and theft, or if anything, untoward happens to the parcel during shipment.
Use Tracking Numbers
Tracking numbers tell you where your package is and gives you an idea when it will arrive. You can input the tracking number on the carrier’s website or download the app and check for updates at your convenience.
Making sure packages are snug, properly wrapped and labeled reflect the sender’s meticulous attitude when it comes to packaging. It also speaks of your character as a business owner, caring relative, or as a thoughtful ex-lover.