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Package Principles: Preparing Packages for Safe Arrival

Feb 29, 2008
Shipping and receiving a package from point A to point B is not necessarily a simple process. Whether packing a day-to-day shipment or preparing a package containing specialty items, preparing a package correctly prior to its shipment helps to ensure its safe arrival.

It's important to use a new corrugated moving box whenever possible. The more times a box is used, the more it loses its original protective qualities. Choose a box strength suitable for the contents being shipped. Usually the maximum gross weight is printed on the Box Maker's Certificate on the bottom flap. For further information on box strength guidelines, UPS has created a chart to assist people in determining the proper size and maximum gross weight limit of a box.

Cushioning inside the package is important for the safe arrival of contents. Be sure to wrap each item separately with suitable separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box. Use proper cushioning material to protect the shipment fully. Improper cushioning includes clothing, blankets and pillows. Instead, the UPS can provide proper shipping supplies and cushioning to assist you in properly preparing your shipment. Bubble pack, air bags, and peanuts are popular choices. Corrugated liners and inserts may also be added to increase the strength and improve package performance.

To ensure safe delivery of a special item, FedEx suggests placing small packages inside a larger outer container. This box-in-box method restricts product movement inside the box during shipment. With this method, it is recommended the inner box be wrapped with an air-cellular cushioning material or at least three inches of loose-fill peanuts to fill the spaces between the inner box and outer container.

When it comes to shipping supplies, customers have a wide range of options from which to choose. What is the best way to mail those blue prints or that hard-to-find poster? Or how about shipping electronic media containing sensitive material such as health or financial information? From boxes to tubes, envelopes to specialized pallets, package service companies provide specific containers and mailing supplies to fit customers' needs.

Once the interior of the box is prepared, pay close attention to closing the package securely. Masking tape, duct tape, string, or paper over-wrap are not good choices to close a box securely. Instead, use a strong tape that measures two inches or more in width, such as pressure-sensitive plastic or nylon-reinforced tape or water-activated reinforced tape.

Proper labeling is also key in safe delivery of your package. Always include the recipient's postal code with the complete street address. For international shipments, include a contact name, telephone number, and postal code. Place the shipping label on top of the package and to avoid confusion, place only one address label on the package. Also make sure to place a duplicate address label inside the box. When using a packing slip, place it on the same surface of the package as the address label. Avoid placing labels over a seam or closure on top of the sealing tape. Make sure to remove or cross out any old labels or markings on a used box.

Now more than ever it's easy to send packages without having to wait in long lines or taking the time to drive to the nearest post office. Services such as Fed Ex and UPS provide customers with options to meet their shipping needs. Retail locations, shipping locations, and pickup services make shipping your package simple and convenient. Shipping companies also provide a range of value-added services such as Saturday Pickup and C.O.D. to make shipping easier. Check for value-added services available in your area.

Once enroute, customers may also track the status of their shipment orders. Whether customers use shipment tracking information to improve their businesses - bottom line or simply for peace of mind, there area range of shipment tracking methods to check your shipment's status.

With the growth of e-commerce, companies are dedicating more of their business plans to successful returns management systems. Various shipment companies provide businesses with a suite of services to accommodate their business needs. For instance, automated Web returns process the returns without changing the way a company runs its business. The service allows the consumer to complete the return online using a Web browser. Other returns options can generate a return label which can be included in the original shipment or in a separate correspondence to the customer. These are just a few of the many options available to businesses today.
About the Author
Safecutters Inc., provides an online store of utility knife box cutters for opening shipping boxes and shipping packages, as well as safety knives to open moving boxes and packages. For more information about Klever Kutter and other Safecutters products contact us!
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