Pack and Ship
The fun and frenzy
of holiday shopping doesn't end at the mall – you still
have to get the packages to friends, family and business
associates in time for the holidays, and in one piece.
"Taking an extra moment to carefully package items correctly
saves everyone money in the long run and lessens some
of the holiday stress," says Barbara Foster, a packing
trainer for Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) who works with hundreds
of MBE staff in over 275 of its centres across the country.
MBE is Canada's largest retail chain of business and
courier service centres and is expected to ship more
than 100,000 holiday packages this season with the assistance
of several of its courier suppliers, including UPS.
Approximately 80% of UPS's deliveries are business to
business, and business to consumer. However, during
UPS's busiest season – the holidays, residential deliveries
consisting of various fragile goods skyrocket.
"By using enough cushioning material to protect items,
and by using sturdy boxes, you avoid the worries of
disappointing family and friends with broken presents
and the costs of having to replace damaged goods or
lost items," says Foster.
Following are some packing and shipping tips from both
MBE and UPS:
• Use a new box specifically designed for shipping –
such boxes are engineered to withstand shipping stress.
If using second-hand boxes, select those that are strong
and in good condition with the flaps intact.
• Don't forget to cushion the bottom of the package
– use a minimum of two inches of cushioning material
such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts; the bottom
of a box receives the most pressure during shipping.
• If shipping more than one item in a box, wrap each
article separately in protective cushioning material
and place them inside the box so they do not touch one
• Electronic equipment should be shipped in its original
packaging, surrounded by additional cushioning materials,
and placed inside a larger box.
• Secure each seam of your container with packing tape
on both the top and bottom sides. Avoid using materials
that don't firmly adhere such as masking or cellophane
• String can get caught on sorting machinery or conveyor
belts, so do not use it to wrap around boxes.
• Send your packages early to ensure items are received
in time for the holidays and to minimize the added costs
of 'rush' delivery.
• Fragile items should be sent via air service to minimize
transit time and reduce the possibility of damage.
• If you receive a package with lots of foam packing
"peanuts," bring them in to your local MBE centre for
Customers concerned about time constraints and securely
packaging their holiday gifts can bring them into any
MBE location to have them packed by experienced professionals.
- News Canada