If you’re going to be sending packages from one place to another, then you’ll be running the risk that things might somehow go awry. Fortunately, there are ways in which such an eventually can be guarded against. No courier is flawless, and so we can’t expect every single package we send to arrive at its destination intact. But we can take steps to ensure that the damage caused by a mishap is as small as possible. Let’s consider some of the things everyone who sends items via post should do.
Wrap things up
Perhaps the most obvious way to protect your items while they’re in transit is to wrap them up securely. This is especially concerning in the case of high-value items like consumer electronics and crockery. Bubble wrap is your friend, here – as are polystyrene boxes and multiple layers of cardboard. It’s also worth guarding against excess moisture – particularly if your item is sensitive to moisture. Wrap your item in a waterproof jacket, and toss in a packet or two of silica gel. These will help to absorb any excess moisture in the air, and thereby protect your package even when the conditions are especially humid.
Check the address
The overwhelming majority of postage errors occur because the address was misread, invalid, or illegible. Even the postman can’t read the address, after all, the chances of the package being successfully delivered are close to zero. That’s why it’s important to use a postcode lookup service. This will help to ensure that the address is a valid one before you attach it to your package.
It’s also important that labels be printed, rather than written by hand. If you’re sending out an especially large volume of packages, proper printing hardware makes for an especially worthwhile investment.
Calculate customs charges
If you’re going to be shipping across borders, then you’ll need to contend with the added complication of customs. This is another place where a package might be held up. Sometimes, this holdup can be so long that you’ll need to send a replacement package before the original one gets there. In most cases, your overseas customers will be able to appreciate the difficulty you’re going through – particularly if yours is a small, specialist business. Having said that, it’s still hugely important to discuss with your carrier the possibility of a delay before you start shipping.
Select the right carrier
Your choice of carrier will also influence the chance of your package arriving intact. Work with someone with the resources necessary to move your package quickly, and who can provide you with constant updates of the progress of your package. Naturally, some organisations are better than others – so don’t be afraid to make a switch if you find you’re not receiving the sort of service you’re looking for.
What’s possibly more important than your choice of courier is the service you’re paying for. Recorded delivery is obligatory if you’re shipping large or high-value goods, as you’ll want to be able to independently prove that the package arrived at its destination intact. On the other hand, if you’re sending out lots of small, inexpensive parcels, it makes more sense to forgo recorded delivery, and simply take the hit on any packages that don’t quite make it.
If you’re running an online shop, then it’s almost always best to offer your customers the choice of a range of delivery services. Sometimes, they’ll be willing to pay a little bit extra to have their package arrive at its destination in the best possible working order. Be sure that you’re upfront with your customers about the price of shipping, however; there’s nothing more likely to dissuade would-be customers from buying your wares than a sudden price hike when they arrive at the checkout. It’s better to have fewer customers who ultimately convert arrive at your checkout than it is to have a lot of ones who never actually buy anything, so be sure to be upfront with your customers about what it is that they’re buying!
In the modern age, customers expect a great deal from their courier service. Packages can be delivered extremely efficiently within a matter of hours – and if your shipping policy isn’t up to the standard they demand, they’re entirely likely to take their business elsewhere. By following the tips we’ve examined here, however, you’ll be able to ensure that your deliveries are up to the required standard, and thereby keep pace with the rest of the online retail pack. A postcode finder and label printer don’t cost much – and they’re sure to pay for themselves quickly, minimising the likelihood of postage problems and making your life a great deal simpler.