Christmas is a busy time of year for us all, and it’s no secret that the shipping industry suffers more than most. Without good planning and execution, things can become delayed and the high volume of parcels and freight being shipped all over the world could mean more unintentional bumps and knocks along the way. So what do you do when you have to ship freight at Christmas? Whether you’re sending gifts across the oceans to far away relatives, or you’re planning on moving during the holiday season and need your items shipped quickly, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive list of what you can do when packing to ensure your items arrive safely.
Repackage Any Electronics
First of all, it’s important to know that there are new rules in regards to shipping lithium batteries, so make sure you familiarise yourself with these before shipping. But for now, back to packaging! Repackaging your electronics to ensure their safety applies when you’re shipping gifts just as much as it does when you’re moving. While your courier or freight forwarder will likely do everything they can to take care and keep your items safe, bumps and knocks can happen, and given the flimsy nature of most retail boxes, it’s worth investing in another, stronger box for extra protection and peace of mind. If you’re shipping an electronic as a gift and don’t want to open the retail box before sending, you could consider putting it into another, sturdier box before shipping.
Leaving space around the items you’re shipping inside the box is a great way to add a buffer – but you have to fill the gaps! Ideally, you should leave 2 inches on every side of the box, including the top and bottom, and by using lightweight materials like bubble wrap, air pillows or packing peanuts, you’ll create a layer that can absorb any shock your parcel might suffer during transportation. Fragile items should be wrapped and double boxed, still using packing materials, and always ensure that you add corner blocks between the two layers for extra support and shock absorption.
Use the right container
Using the right container for what you’re shipping might sound like a given, but it’s so important. We don’t just mean container shipments, but the boxes, tubes, jiffy bags and pallets you use for your goods. Ensuring that your box is big enough for your goods with enough space surrounding items with packing materials can be the difference between just a damaged box, and a damaged box that has damaged items inside of it too. If you can, use a fresh, corrugated cardboard box as this will be far stronger than one that has been shipped before.
Take Care With Perishables
Particular care needs to be taken with perishables, and not just in the way of damage. Your shipments could be sent up into the air, taken across oceans, sent by rail or just by road, all depending on the service you choose when you book, and perishables could suffer as a result. The change in pressure, temperature and even the risk of water damage are risks that you won’t want to take – so ask yourself if you need to ship perishables. As lovely as edible gifts are, it could be worth changing your gift idea, especially when shipping overseas, as there can be rules and regulations in place that make passing through customs difficult. Do your research, and if you do need to send perishable items, consider using a special express freight delivery service where possible.
Take Care With Fragile Items
Once again, this is a bit of a given, but packaging your fragile items correctly could be the difference between them arriving in one piece, or hundreds. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme. Couriers and freight forwarders will take note if you have a box with ‘FRAGILE’ printed on it, and every care will be taken to ensure that said fragile box arrives in one piece. However, for your own peace of mind, it could be worth ensuring that fragile items are well packaged. If your items are hollow, fill them with packaging peanuts as well as surrounding them in the same, so it has a shock buffer inside as well as out. Sturdy boxes are especially important here, so it could be well worth the investment!
Whatever you’re shipping and for whatever reason, there’s no need to be afraid of doing so at Christmas. Whether it’s just a few gifts, or you’re moving an entire container of goods, taking extra care and ensuring your items are packaged well can make a world of difference. If you have anything to ship this festive season, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Barrington Freight.