Goin' Postal Pleasant Hill.


Proper packaging of items for shipment sounds like a pretty easy and straight forward process. Fact is, most people take this process very lightly, utilize the wrong packaging materials and, as a result, find themselves with damaged or lost items on the receiving end.

UPS, FedEx, DHL, and the Postal Service handle millions of packages each day. This tremendous volume necessitates speed and accuracy. As a result, your packages may not be handled with the same care and consideration that you may give them personally. Therefore you must anticipate and plan for the unexpected dropped or mishandled package. Doing so requires the proper selection and use of packaging materials. All carriers offer some kind of insurance against loss and/or damage. However, these policies are contingent upon proper packaging of the items. Failure to follow proper packaging procedures could result in your claim being denied due to “inadequate packaging”. While we make every effort in assisting our customers with their insurance claims, inadequate packaging is very difficult to overcome.

It would be impossible to cover proper packaging techniques for every kind of shipment. Therefore, we have put together these general guidelines to assist our customers in making sure their shipments arrive safely and on time. Please feel free to call us for additional assistance any time. We make our living packaging shipments and are more than happy to assist our customers with their packaging questions.

THE BOX - First and foremost (and the most obvious) is the selection of the container in which to package your items. While this may sound easy there are many things to consider when choosing a box. Choose a box that is strong enough to protect what you are shipping. A new box is always best and certainly goes a long way in helping with an insurance claim. If you choose a used box be sure the cardboard is rigid and in good condition. Check for cracks, weak spots, rips, or corner damage. Be sure all the flaps are intact and remove any old shipping labels. Shipping regulations prohibit the use of any container that has wording or indications of having been a container for alcohol, chemicals, tobacco, or flammable substances. If you are in doubt, don’t use the box. We cannot accept it for shipping and the carriers will refuse to pick it up.

THE PACKAGING MATERIAL - Once you have selected the container you now must choose the proper protective material in which to package your items. Right away let’s eliminate newspaper from consideration. Newspaper, while abundant and free, packs and settles considerably. In doing so it eliminates any protective value it may have had when you first placed it in the box. Use bubble wrap to wrap fragile items individually. Don’t be shy with it. When placing items in the box be sure to leave at least 2” of space on all sides. Fill this space with proper cushioning material such as “peanuts” or lightly crumpled Kraft paper. This will protect your items from damage should the container take a sudden shock, such as being dropped. Pack the container snuggly enough that the items do not move around during transportation. Improper cushioning materials include clothing, old blankets, rags and newspaper.

THE CLOSURE – Once you have properly packaged your items it is now time to close the box and secure it. Again, this sounds like a no-brainer but there are some things to consider. DO NOT use masking tape, duct tape, or electrical tape to close your packages. These types of tape WILL NOT stand up to the rigor of shipping when stuck to a paper product (cardboard). Instead, choose a quality tape specifically manufactured for packaging such as clear or nylon-reinforced tape. Water activated reinforced tape (brown paper tape) is also acceptable, but more expensive. Apply a minimum of three (3) strips to the top and bottom of the box. You may also want to apply a strip along the open flap edges for added security. DO NOT wrap your packages in any kind of paper, or use string as a closure. Modern shipping facilities utilize highly complex and automated sorting equipment, very little is done by hand. A package that is covered in paper, string or other such materials has a high probability of getting snagged during this process. Your address information is obviously on the outside of the container. If this happens to be paper and it is torn away so is your address information. Without a doubt this will, at a minimum, delay timely delivery of your package, if it gets delivered at all.

THE LABELING – The most important factor insuring the fastest and most efficient delivery of your package is proper and legible addressing. If your package is shipped via UPS, FedEx or DHL we will generate a “smart label” from the carrier software which we will attach to each package. These smart labels will include bar codes and routing codes that are read by optical scanners in the respective carrier automated sort facilities. Utilizing the smart labels ensure accurate routing and prompt delivery of your packages. In order for us to generate these labels we must have clear, legible, complete and correct address information. Print clearly the name of the person to whom you are shipping, their complete address, including apartment or suite number. If you have a phone number, please include that as well. We will enter it into the software and if there is a problem with the delivery the carrier will make an attempt to resolve the issue before returning the shipment. Be sure the zip code is correct. Incorrect zip codes will delay delivery. If you are not sure don’t be shy about asking us, we can look it up in seconds. If you are shipping to a post office box be sure you have the correct box number as well as the zip + four postal code. For APO and FPO addresses double check to ensure the name, rank and military unit name and number are correct.

By following these tips you can help us ensure your packages are delivered fast, accurately and in the safest condition possible. Again, please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions regarding packaging. That is our business and we are here to assist you in any way possible.