Sending packages can be nerve wracking. You hope it doesn’t get lost and that it will arrive in one piece. Even if you aren’t sending a fragile item, something could always happen to it. What if your packing tape unseals? Whether or not you’ve ever had a bad experience with shipping, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why it’s so important to pick the best packaging supplies.
Is your product breakable? Does it include multiple pieces? How is it shaped? These are questions to consider as you’re picking out shipping materials. If it’s breakable, you’ll need packaging supplies designed for protection. If it’s an unusual shape, you may need extra supplies to fill in the empty space in your box.
Depending on who you’re shipping to, you can decide what kind of packaging supplies to use. If you’re shipping something to a client or a potential customer, you want to make a good impression. Choose packaging material that will keep your item safe while still looking neat. If you are sending personal mail, you decide how crazy or funny you want your packaging supplies to be.
Is this package going across the country or just to a neighboring state? The longer your package spends on a truck, the higher potential there is for damage. Regardless of the distance, be careful to make sure your box is carefully packaged. If you’re sending it across country, take extra measures to ensure your mail will arrive safe.
Do some research into the requirements and benefits of different services. Consider the size, speed, and cost that the mailing service provides and allows. These three things differ depending on the service you choose. Here is a little information on what the US Postal Service and FedEx offers.
The US Postal Service has a maximum package size and weight for ground retail shipping of 130 inches and 70 lbs. If you need to send a larger package, look into the specific offers of each service. Here are the USPS mailing services you can choose from most expensive to least expensive.
If you’re interested in seeing the price of shipping your package based on what we have listed, check out the USPS Price List.
FedEx mailing prices depend on where you’re shipping to, but they offer a rate calculator to find out the exact cost. To use it, you’ll need to know the weight and size of your package. Once you’ve filled out these details, the calculator will generate options for you to choose from along with prices.
UPS offers services based on speed, destination, and shipment size. You can filter the options depending on your shipping needs. Pricing is based on the weight, shape, and destination of the package; however, there are additional prices for the service. Here are the services UPS offers within the US for packages under 150 lbs.
After you’ve answered these questions, let’s talk about the materials you’ll need to send a package.
Once you know what you’re shipping, determine whether you should use an envelope or a box. There is no right or wrong packaging material to use. If your item fits into an envelope, go for it. Boxes generally provide better protection; however, you can also buy padded envelopes that come with bubbles layering the inside of the envelope. This will keep your items protected and safe, and you don’t need to worry about finding packing materials to fill your box.
Every packaging material has its own benefits and advantages, so it’s up to you to decide which material is best for your needs. Here are some popular shipping supply options.
Bubble wrap – Bubble wrap is a great option if your item needs extra protection. Try it if you’re shipping an item that is a bit bulky or is unusually shaped. You can also purchase different sized bubble wrap from 1/16” – ½”. Larger bubbles will have better protection for bigger items, while smaller sizes will help to protect smaller items.
Packaging paper – Packing paper fills in the empty space between the walls of your box and your product. It’s thin, so it isn’t designed for padding. You can wrap items in it before you ship them, to keep them from getting scratched or scraped. When you crumple it up, packing paper can take up a lot of space for an affordable price. If you don’t want your item to roll around in an empty cardboard box, look into buying some packing paper.
Foam wrap – Like packing paper, foam wrap is very thin. If you couple this with bubble wrap or air pillows, you’re set. If you’re shipping something fragile, tape foam wrap in layers around it before surrounding your item with other packaging materials.
Corrugated Wrap – This is a grooved thick packing supplies, which you can use to wrap around your item. Corrugated wrap does a really good job of keeping your items protected.
Packing peanuts – Packing peanuts are a good additional option once you’ve wrapped your product in bubble wrap or foam wrap. They add extra padding inside the box to keep your item from shifting and getting damaged.
Crinkle cut paper or paper shreds – Both options are made from paper, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for something affordable. Since this paper is shredded, it lays loosely together and surrounds your items to keep them safe.
Air pillows – Air pillows do a good job of keeping your products in place. You don’t need to worry about things shifting around in your box. In addition to being a great packing material, air pillows are also known as one of the more affordable packing options.
Gaemi Wrap – This paper has small slits throughout it to make it flexible and easy to wrap. This way you have some extra protection around anything you might be shipping.
With all the plastic and paper you use for shipping, you might want to try some eco-friendly options.
Keeping your package carefully taped is important to ensure your product arrives safely. Here are our recommendations for the best packing tape.
Although these might be considered the best tape for shipping boxes, there are lots of types of tape that can get the job done.
Although you can find tape at most retail stores, the best place to buy packing tapeis online. Buying online ends up being more affordableand more convenient. Since there are no additional costs of running a physical store, online sellers can usually charger a cheaper price; it also saves you the trouble of having to go anywhere to make a fulfill your needs.
If you’re going to be mailing packages of any kind, you need to know how to apply correct postage. Your package should include the recipient’s address and the return address. The number of stamps your package needs is dependent on the weight of your package, and most mailing services require the same postage requirements based on weight. You can purchase stamps on your own, but you can also take your package into the post office to receive postage. This is a convenient option because you can make one trip both for postage and sending your package; this way you can be sure you have the right postage.
You can also do all of this on your own. If you purchase a scale,you can weigh your package and use the USPS Click-N-Shipto determine the price of your package. You can print your own shipping label for postage and tape it to the box yourself. You can also buy a label makerto print your own postage stickers. All you have to do is take your package to the post office and it’s ready to ship.
Unless you’re used to shipping internationally, sending mail worldwide can seem daunting. Don’t stress – it’s not as tricky as it seems. It starts with choosing your mailing service and researching their requirements. Most standard mailing services offer worldwide shipping services, like the ones we listed before. Choose which delivery service works best for you and your needs.
Like the domestic services USPS offer, their international services have similar options. The USPS international services all ship to over 190 countries with different delivery times.
These differing services cater to worldwide shipping.
Next Flight offers shipping to most countries within a 24-hour delivery time, while Priority and Economy Freight offer shipping to fewer countries with a longer delivery time. Freight Priority and Freight Economy only offer shipping to Canada and Mexico. FedEx also offers additional services for packages exceeding 150 lbs.
These international shipping servicesare similar to the domestic options UPS offers. They also offer a helpful guidebefore you start the shipping process of goods internationally. Here are the services they provide for packages under 150 lbs.
A major detail to remember when you’re shipping internationally are the customs forms. Customs forms record all the information necessary to send a package out of the country. It records the recipient’s address, the package weight, value, content, and the contents’ weight as well as the shipping service. There may be other requirements depending on the service, but this is the basic information you’ll need. These forms are required no matter what service you go with, so be sure find the forms with the service you are using before taking your package to the post office.
There are several good options for shipping services, so which service should you choose? Here are a few things to consider as you decide.
Price – Pricing for most mailing services depends on size, weight, and distance, but you can still find an affordable service even if you’re sending something huge.
Reliability – Do their packages make it to their destinations, undamaged, consistently? You want to use a company that you can count on to deliver your package in excellent condition.
Distance – Not all services deliver everywhere. Services have limits to their shipping destinations. Consider your shipping destination and make sure the service you pick delivers there before deciding on a shipping service.
Have any questions about packing supplies? Reach out to us! We love talking all things mailing – you can imagine we’re a real hit at parties. To see what else we’re up to, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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