If you’re going to be sending a parcel overseas for the first time, there are some things you need to know about how to package your items. It’s not quite the same as sending something domestically, and there are extra precautions you should take to make sure your parcel gets there in one piece and damage-free.
So, if you’re preparing to send something overseas, what are the key things to remember?
Firstly, rules differ from country to country about what is allowed to enter through international post. This could differ vastly between locations. For example, sending a parcel to China may carry very different rules and allowances than sending things to France or the US, so make sure you check the most up to date rules before you send anything. This will avoid your parcel being opened by the postal service of the recipient country, as the contraband items will be removed so you will waste money and it will never reach the recipient.
Secondly, remember that the parcel will spend a long time in transit wherever it is off to. Sending parcels domestically means they are only going a relatively short distance, but if you’re sending a parcel to Australia it will take a lot longer to arrive. Regardless of whether or not your items are fragile, don’t feel tempted to use parcel paper alone. A sturdy box should be used regardless of the contents to keep it protected when it’s on the move.
A lot of people forget about using packaging material. Even if you’re sending an item like a book, you should still use some form of packing material, such as wrapping the book in bubblewrap. This is because if there is too much space in the box, the item will be able to move around and could become damaged, and a book with blunted corners and a bent cover after being thrown around on its journey will never look good. This is especially important for fragile items.
Instructions in Country’s Language
Most people only add the intended address in English, but it can really help the postal service in another country to include the address in their own language. Alternatively, if you need to add any extra instructions, such as ‘this way up’ or ‘fragile’, you could also include these in the recipient country’s language to make it clear for the postal service what they are expected to do with the parcel to give it the best chance of arriving in the best possible state.
Brian Camden is a logistics consultant who helps businesses to get value for money from their postal activity.