Everyone wants to please their family and friends over the Christmas period and for those people who are living abroad the festive season can be difficult. If you are unable to travel home then sending gifts to your loved ones is one way to show you care and are thinking about them.
When you are using the postal service or an international courier to send parcels abroad, your good intention can easily go wrong if the parcel is not delivered when you expect.
Here are 4 tips that will help you to avoid some of the potential issues you might encounter.
1, How to prevent damaged deliveries
When a parcel is moved by courier, it will be placed on any side, have other items placed on top of it. It may have small drops as it is pushed by automated sortation equipment, or moved between vehicles. As a result not all types of goods are strong enough to go through a courier or postal network. If your item is very fragile then it is better to not send the item, as you do not want the contents to arrive in pieces. Items such as glass, china and ceramics are therefore specifically not recommended to be sent.
For items that you decide to send, ensure that you use new packaging material, as it is stronger than used and will help to make your delivery arrive in good condition. We recommend that each item inside a parcel is individually wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap and packed into a double walled cardboard box. Additional international padding should be added to ensure that the contents are not touching the box walls and cannot move around within the box. Items that are packed in this way should be able to withstand a courier journey.
2, Check your contents can be sent through your carrier.
All international couriers have a list of prohibited items that they cannot accept for carriage and restricted items that they can carry but are not covered for loss or damage. Be sure you are sending items not on the prohibited list otherwise the shipment may be held or returned. For example most any UK international couriers will not carry any pressurised spays such as deodorant.
3, Check if your item incurs duty and taxes.
You do not want your parcel to arrive at customs and your family and friends get a call requesting that payment of the duty and taxes that customs have decided needs to be charged for bringing your gifts into the Country. This is especially important for shipments going to destinations outside of the European Union, for example if you are sending a parcel to Indonesia or any Far East destination as duty is often charged even on low value gifts.
4, Check transit times carefully.
Transit times are usually given in working days, which mean that they do not include weekends or national holidays. If your parcel is going outside of the European Union then you also need to allow for customs clearance times, which for some destinations can be several days. As the last thing you want to happen is for your gifts to arrive late.
I hope that considering these issues prior to sending your gifts helps you to prevent some of the potential problems that can occur.