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10 Important Factors to Consider When Packing for International Shipping

international shippingAre you planning to ship an item abroad?  Before sending out the package to your shipping company or local post office, make sure that you have made the necessary packing precautions to ensure that the item remains fresh, intact and in good condition when it arrives in its destination. Below are 10 factors to consider when packing for international shipping:

1. Use a sturdy shipping box. The item will encounter all sorts of rough handling during the entire course of shipping. The box is not only a container, it should also be strong and durable enough to provide optimum protection to its contents.

2. Seal and secure the package with heavy duty packaging tape.  Only use tape that has strong and long-lasting adhesive properties to prevent the box from bursting open during transit.

3. Use the right packing and cushioning materials. Crumpled newspaper may provide enough cushion for light items but it may not be as effective when shipping heavier or more fragile objects. In such cases, you may want to use packing materials that provide superior padding and cushioning such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air bags, foam pads, etc.

4. Make sure that all the important markings such as address and labels are on the right places in the box for proper handling and tracking.  If re-using a shipping box, remove all previous markings to avoid confusing the shipping personnel.

5. Provide all the pertinent documentation or permits that are required when shipping items to another country. Customs rules and regulations differ from country to country so you may want to research first whether the nation you are shipping to will allow your items to enter their territory or not.

6. To avoid costly mistakes, talk to your shipping company and indicate whether or not it is acceptable to leave the package outside the recipient's door in case nobody is around during delivery.

7. It is a good idea to notify the recipient about the date of the incoming shipment so that someone can receive the item upon delivery.

8. Consider buying insurance especially if shipping valuable items.  This will be you protection in case the package gets lost or is damaged in transit.

9.  If packing is too much for you to handle on your own, you can have the item professionally packed by your shipping company.

10. When in doubt, consult your shipping company. They can give you professional advise on how to ship internationally.

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