Whether you are moving abroad or just shipping something to a family member, sending packages abroad can be a confusing process. From knowing how to pack a box to figuring out how to label it, shipping a package takes more work than just shipping it across town. Consider these tips first and you will have a smoother shipping experience.
Figure out the Date
Before you ship out anything, figure out when you need it to arrive. When shipping abroad, packages have to go through a series of customs checks before it arrives at the location. Check how long the shipping process will take so your package arrives on time.
Cushioning the Package
Marking fragile on a box is not enough. If you want it to arrive in one piece, you will need to cushion every item. Use shredded paper, newspapers or bubble wrap to make sure that your package arrives in one piece. For more fragile items, fill the box with extra padding. Put shredded paper or foam peanuts between the gift box and the shipping box.Tape it up
Since the shipping package will have to travel around the world, you need to tape it up so that the package arrives safely. Use shipping tape that is at least two to three inches wide. Make sure every edge and flap is completely taped down so that it will not get trapped in any equipment. You should also make sure to use shipping tape because masking tape can come undone if it is around heat or moisture.
Use pens that are waterproof to label the package. You should also look into the address label requirements in other countries. If you are shipping to China, the Chinese language address label is actually written backwards. Make sure to figure out all address label requirements before you send out your shipment. You can also label the gift box inside of the package. If the outer box is damaged, the interior package will still have the correct label.
Weigh the Package
Shipping abroad is expensive. You will want to know how much the package weighs so you can know how much it will cost you. Some courier services will require a specific weight or dimension requirement. Check your package beforehand to ensure that it fits the various shipping requirements.
For expensive shipments, you may want to enroll your package in an insurance program. Many courier services will actually give free insurance for packages that cost less than $100. For more expensive items, you may want to purchase your own insurance for the package.
Each country has a list of shippable goods. Certain items like drugs, furs or live plants are either prohibited or have their own customs requirements. You may still be able to ship the items, but they may have to meet additional requirements. For example, live plants may need to be sprayed or checked by government agencies before they are shipped.
Before shipping anything, check with the courier service to see if the items are subject to duty fees. Generally, any non-paper item will have to pay some type of duty fee before it can enter another country. To send an item, you will just have to fill out some paperwork and pay a tax on the item before you ship it. Most courier offices will have the paperwork and duty information on hand.
Track the Package
Not every courier service lets you track a package. For courier services that do, enroll in the program. You will be able to log in on-line and see where your package is at any given time. The majority of shipping companies have software that allows customers to instantly track their package. You will be able to tell your friends or family member where there gift is and when they can expect to receive it.
If you are shipping a number of packages abroad, you will want to compare prices before you send the package. You can go on-line to each company’s website and see the fees involved in shipping. Enter the weight or dimensions of the package to see the amount that you will personally have to pay.
Shipping abroad is essentially the same as shipping within your home country. You will just want to ensure your package is carefully packed and that you leave plenty of time for the item to be sent across the world.
This article was written by Nisha Sharma, on behalf of www.premier-international-movers.co.uk.