You shouldn’t rush into sending a parcel before taking care of the packaging and finding the most efficient delivery method. There are a few aspects in this respect, three of which are listed below:
Prepare the Parcel Right
Perhaps the most important aspect of parcel delivery is how well you have prepared it at your end. Firstly ensure the packaging is as efficient and compact as possible to protect the goods inside; you never know how much they will be damaged during transit, especially if they are being sent a long distance. Ideally, use bubble wrap and an additional inside-box as the first line of defence, stuffing newspaper, moulded foam or polystyrene peanuts to prevent any movement from side to side on top.
Also, make sure the outer package is strong, using a corrugated fibreboard box and checking if the sides are sealed properly. Use reinforced tape over the edges for this if applicable. When it comes to labelling, write the sending address carefully in capital letters with full postcode, using a permanent marker if possible. Write a return address also in case any problems occur during the delivery.
Remember that an inadequately packaged item and inaccurate labelling can cause delivery problems and is also likely to void any claims you have with insurance companies. If you’re returning a package to a company, they will sometimes provide labels for you to print and attach to the parcel.
Use Courier Services
Sending a package has never been so easy in the modern age. You can simply organise the whole process from your computer and a professional courier will collect the package from your own home, sometimes on the same day. There are different companies, such as ParcelForce, FedEx and Rapid Parcel, which offer this service at competitive prices. For heavier or multiple items, it is much easier to use this method as most of the stress is taking away from you. The cost of these couriers will vary. Of course, same-day pickup or express delivery will cost a higher amount than the standard service.
When using the online services of some couriers you must input the correct weight and size dimensions as getting these wrong can lead the parcel being returned to you. They will provide print-out delivery forms and labels which need to be filled out correctly. For much heavier goods of over 31.5kg a specialist parcel delivery service will be required.
Some parcels you send will have expensive goods inside or will be of high sentimental value; in this case, paying extra for insurance will provide peace of mind when it is out of your hands. Many courier services will offer a cover up to a certain amount as part of their overall service, although extra compensation protection for more expensive items can be purchased additionally.
Make sure you check with each company about which items they will cover; a few will not accept liability for certain goods, such as glassware or china. Review the value of your parcel and see if it is wholly covered by the courier, especially if it is worth over £50. As noted above, you must package and label your parcel as carefully as possible to avoid any problems with insurance companies.
Adam Hughes is a finance graduate and writer, working with many online and offline media outlets helping people get the most of their money, as well as advising on financial qualifications.