Keep Your Holiday Packages Safe & Secure
What a whirlwind of a year! The holidays will be here before you know it. If you are planning to send gifts to family and friends who won’t be with you for the holidays, there are some considerations to be aware of so that your parcels arrive in time and intact. With the proper packaging, your gifts can look festive and arrive in one piece.
Nothing says “holiday” like an attractively wrapped package. If you want to use wrapping paper and ribbon on your gift, add it to the actual gift box and not the mailing box. Your outer mailing container needs to be sturdy, but you can always wrap a smaller gift box and put it inside. Use bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts to keep it safe.
A better option for a decorative gift box is one that’s readymade. Many stores sell cardboard boxes with lids that look like wrapped packages. The advantage is that the wrapping won’t tear. If you don’t want to chance torn paper, you could always use stickers, stencils, or personalized drawings on the mailing box. Just make sure that decorations don’t interfere with the address label.
Here are some general packing tips that can ensure your gifts reach their recipients with no (or minimal) damage:
Attach a legible mailing label.
Print the complete and correct mailing address with a pen or permanent marker. Use the ZIP CodeTM +4 if possible. For another level of safety, cover it with clear packing tape to protect it from rain and snow.
Use a sturdy cardboard box
You will want packaging that is big enough to provide cushioning for the gift inside. Tape it securely using 2” packing tap and never cord or twine, which could get caught in package sorting machines.
Remove batteries from gifts
Make your gift safe before mailing. If the package gets bumped around and the gift starts making noise or moving, it could set off red flags.
Insert an extra address label
Put an extra label inside the package in the event the outer box is damaged or the package is lost.
Ship perishables on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday
Keep your package fresh! Ideally, ship your package via next-day air – so that they arrive as fresh as possible. If you’re sending them over a weekend, you might need to add ice packs.
Box fragile items twice
Use an inner box that is well-cushioned within the outer mailer to protect fragile items from breaking during transit. It’s also a good idea to mark the outer box “fragile.”
Insure valuables and ship them next-day air.
Don’t add anything to the labeling that indicates their value. Also, if you’re shipping jewelry or something else small, use a box that is no smaller than 7”x4”x2”.
Consider using SCAN (Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice) forms
Using a SCAN form will let you know whether or not the package has shipped.
If you’re reusing a mailing container
Be diligent about removing all other labeling. You don’t want any confusion about the package’s destination.
Shop around for the best value.
If you allow yourself a good amount of time to mail your packages, you can likely take advantage of less expensive ways to mail them.
In addition to knowing how to package a gift, you should be aware of the deadlines for mailing holiday packages. The United States Postal Service has compiled a list of mailing dates for the contiguous United States, international destinations and military destinations. If you follow their guidelines, your gifts should arrive – hopefully, on time and unscathed.
Do you need shipping supplies? Contact Planned Packaging of Illinois Corp. (PPOIC), a full-service national provider and distributor of industrial packaging products and machinery services. From corrugated packaging containers in all colors, styles and sizes to stretch and shrink film and protective packaging, PPOIC has your needs covered.