Christmas is coming! As one of the busiest times of the year for post offices and couriers alike, don’t leave it to the last minute. You can expect this busy time to lead to delays so if you want to make sure your Christmas presents arrive on time, send them off as early as possible! Here’s what you need to consider to help ensure your Christmas parcels, gifts or sold items arrive at their destination on time:
Clearly label your parcel
When writing the collection and delivery address onto your parcel, make sure you use a marker pen and make it as clear as possible. If you think the courier could get confused by your handwriting, write in block capitals or print off your own label. If you are concerned that the label will come loose, print two or slide another copy into the parcel just in case the main one falls off. Before you send it, make sure you remove all other labels visible including old addresses to make sure your parcel arrives at the desired location.
Familiarise yourself with restricted and prohibited items
It might be Christmas, but the rules regarding what you can send in the UK remain the same. Make sure you understand what you can and can’t send via post before sending it. There are a number of reasons why some items are restricted or prohibited, including national and international regulations. For example, you can send perfumes and aftershaves to UK only addresses but can send alcohol beverages including champagne and beer at 24% ABV or less to both UK and international destinations. However, alcoholic beverages at more than 70% ABV cannot be shipped internationally.
Avoid using decorative parcel wrap
When wrapping your parcel, you need to ensure you use a brand new, double walled cardboard box instead of reusing one you have received. Re-used boxes often provide less protection to your item(s). Remember to use stop parcel tape on all edges of the box to make sure your parcel remains secure. When sending packages, you must not attach multiple parcels together since each parcel requires a separate booking reference to be tracked if lost. Covering your box in Christmas wrap will only draw attention to it. Christmas is the perfect opportunity for thieves to make a living out of stealing packages from outside houses after they have been delivered. If a shiny box is sitting on your doorstep, it has the potential to attract passers-by. Decorative gift wrap with ribbons and bows can also get caught in sorting machinery and so could rip open or damage the items inside. If you reallywant to wrap it, use brown parcel paper and wrap the gift prettily inside instead.
Always use internal packaging
Before you seal your parcel, pad it out with internal packaging to prevent movement inside the box and protect your items. Bubble wrap is the perfect cushioning material to protect lightweight products during transit as well as loose fill polystyrene peanuts. If you’re sending a delicate item, we suggest sending it wrapped in multiple layers of polyethylene because it’s soft. Consider also wrapping the item in an extra layer of bubble wrap to provide maximum protection, and then secure the outer paper with hardy parcel tape. Space fillers don’t have to be expensive. Crumpled paper is generally an obvious symbol for small and fragile items.
Wrap each item individually
Although it takes a little longer, you should wrap each item individually to protect it during transit, especially small or fragile items. Wrapping each item individually leaves no room for movement of the contents, meaning they are less likely to be damaged.
Seal your parcel securely
As well as padding out your parcel, you need to seal it correctly. Sealing your box in the correct way is just as important as sending it in a brand new box to prevent it being damaged during transit. When taping up your package, you should use h2 parcel tape and avoid using sellotape, duct tape or masking tape. Parcel tape is critical to maintain the box shape and any tape other than parcel tape could result in the box breaking or closing, which could damage its contents.
Consider compensation cover
Although many courier services offer a fee compensation cover, it will only cover contents valued between £20-£30 if it is lost or damaged. If you Christmas present is more valuable, we suggest taking out additional compensation cover of up to £1,000 for loss and damage. You can use our services to compare a number of couriers that will suit your requirements, and help to provide you with compensation cover that matches the items you are shipping, nationally and internationally.