School is back in session and many families are now counting down to the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just a few months away, and many people want to get ahead of the holiday rush. Local packing and shipping companies are already seeing an uptick in packages being sent, and that is only going to increase as the holidays draw near. This may be especially the case if travel is still restricted this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are looking to get ahead of the game by shipping your holiday gifts early, there are some things you can do to avoid the horror of damaged or broken packages, late arrivals, or never arriving at all.
4 Tips for Holiday Shipping to Get You Ahead of the Game
Here are some holiday shipping tips from an Atlanta courier service that will help ensure your packages get where they need to be on time.
Pack Your Items Correctly
When you are shipping gifts that could get broken or damaged, make sure they are packed correctly before attempting to ship them. Check the rules for packing at your local delivery or courier service, and follow their guidelines. Make sure you don’t try to ship something that is restricted.
Next, choose your packaging materials appropriately. Boxes should be just larger than the items so you have room for packing material. Choose boxes that are sturdy and clean, and can be taped up well. Choose packing materials that are appropriate for your items, such as Styrofoam for breakables, or paper wrapping for extra protection.
Keep Track of Rates and Shipping Deadlines
As the holidays get closer, rates are likely to increase. This is especially true of the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Parcel Service (UPS), and Fedex. Make sure you know what rate you are paying, and see how changing the shipping date changes the total cost.
You should also know that shipping times slow down closer to the holidays. That’s because there are more packages being shipped and less delivery drivers with free schedules. If you are trying to get ahead of the game, know when holiday shipping deadlines begin.
Whether you ship through the mail, UPS, or a local courier service, consider purchasing insurance for your items. Unexpected things can always happen, no matter how you ship or how well you pack your items. Insurance can help reimburse you for the cost of any lost or damaged goods.
Be Prepared for Delays
Delays in mailing and shipping are something the U.S. has battled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the holidays draw near, these two factors (holidays and COVID-19) will combine to create even more challenges for customers. Courier services may not be as overwhelmed with scheduling as other services, so that might be a good option for you if you are delivering locally or in a short radius. The best advice we can give is to make sure you send your packages out with plenty of time to spare.
When you prepare to ship gifts for the holidays, it’s hard to say when is the “right time” or “too soon”. As we all know, mailing and shipping is complicated due to the coronavirus, which means many people will be shipping earlier. If you want to get ahead of the holiday shipping chaos, consider shipping earlier or working with a courier service.
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Last modified: September 3, 2021