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Tips on Preparing Parcels for Shipping

Preparing Parcels for ShippingThe key to successfully shipping parcels and packages are proper packing and labeling. Here are some helpful tips on preparing parcels for shipping.

Ship only items that are acceptable for mailing locally and internationally. Inquire at your local postal office and shipping company about items that can or cannot be shipped.

Use the right box for your parcel. Use a rated corrugated box for heavy items.  Also, know the allowed weight limits for packages.

Get the right box size for the item that you are shipping. This will help cut shipping costs as shipping companies usually charge by the size of the packing box and by weight and will usually take the higher of the two. Extra length and width will contribute to the weight and thus increase the shipping charges.

Pack your items with plenty of packaging materials. Use a lot of bubble wrap and add a layer of packing material at the bottom of the box to provide a cushion for the item.  Place the item in the middle of the box and surround it with enough packing material to keep the item in place and prevent it from moving inside the box. Put enough packing material to cover the item. Put more than the box can hold. There will be some settling that will occur later and this will ensure the box will still be tightly filled with packing material. You can also use popped unsalted popcorn and crumpled newspaper as packing materials. You can also consider using a smaller box for the item as extra shield.

For fragile items, wrap them securely several times with bubble wrap before placing it inside the box between layers of packing materials. Don't forget to put a Fragile sticker on your parcel and indicate which side of the box should be up.

Take out insurance for extremely valuable items. The shipping company has limited insurance against loss and breakage.

Place the recipient’s name, address and contact information inside the box before sealing it. Print out the two copies of the same information in large letters and attach these to the front and back of the box. Cover the label with neatly layered clear plastic tape to prevent the printer ink from smudging should it come in contact with moisture.

Print out a return address label and attach this to the top of the box. Protect this too from moisture with clear plastic tape. Complete the shipping documentation accurately as customs officials will check this.

Seal the box with nylon reinforced clear tape. You can also use pressure-sensitive tape to seal the box flaps and the corners and edges.

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