How to Ship a Christmas Package

Expert tips on how to pack the perfect parcel and avoid yuletide disappointment.

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It happens year after year: in the run-up to Christmas, countless numbers of packages are sent domestically and abroad to family members and friends who we can't be with over Christmas. A recurring problem seems to be choosing the right box for the gift. This problem is easily solved with a few practical tips. It is important to keep this advice in mind if you are sending your parcel on a longer journey, for example overseas.Choose bubble wrap instead of newspaperDecide whether the gift is robust or fragile and, if necessary, wrap it in bubble wrap. It is better not to use newspaper to protect your gift, since it adds a lot of extra, unnecessary weight. The box that you use for shipping should not have any holes, rips or dents. If your package contains something fragile - like glass - it may be better to place it in a small box inside a larger box, and layer void fill of some sort between the two boxes to act as even greater cushioning. You should use packing tape to seal your parcel, not duct tape or masking tape. You should then attach the tape in the shape of the letter "H" to seal the parcel. Do not use wrapping paper or bows on the outside.Address the parcel correctly and send it in good timeAn important point is labeling the package. The address label should be placed on the largest surface. The sender's and the recipient's address should be complete with name, address & zip code.Shipping out of country? Make sure your parcel doesn't run into any problems at customs, the necessary documents should be filled out clearly and precisely. The package should be marked as a gift on the commodity description, consignment note and pro forma invoice.If you want to be sure that your gift makes it under the tree in time, don't wait until the last minute to send it - the sooner you send it, the better.CHECKLIST: The right way to package Christmas parcels

  • Choose a suitable cardboard box. It should be solid, without any dents at the corners or holes.
  • Remove any old address labels to ensure the parcel arrives at the correct destination.
  • Cushion the gift with the lightest material possible, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Don't use newspaper - it makes the parcel heavier.
  • If you're sending a fragile item, it may be wise to place it in a small box and then place this smaller box in a larger one.
  • Seal the box well using packing tape. Don't place any wrapping paper or bows on the outside.
  • Use labels that have both your address and the recipient's address on the largest surface of the package, and place a card with both addresses inside the box, as an added way to identify the box.
  • Shipping out of country... Make sure the shipment is labelled as a gift on the commodity description, consignment note and pro forma invoice.