Shipping Guidelines: How to Send Small Gifts in the Mail

Gifts are important gestures of appreciation and well wishes and at times when you cannot be physically present to bring the gift or if you have attended an event and opted to ship the gift at a later date, there are many shipping or courier companies that can deliver the gift for you. These companies can ship locally, regionally or internationally depending on their capacity and service permits.

When sending gifts, most people like to ship smaller items primarily because shipping rates go higher as the volume, weight and size of the package increase. For small gift items, you can send special and unique items that can be found only in your local area. There are many items that you can ship in the mail, such as photo frames or small kitchen items. Things that come pre-boxed are usually easiest to ship as you usually only need to wrap the item in paper before sending it out as long as the box is sturdy.

Almost any small gift item can be shipped through mail. However, the difference lies in how you package the item because shipping companies have many guidelines depending not only on the size but on the type of gift you will be shipping.

Shipping companies have different guidelines when it comes to packaging but most major packaging guidelines are the same. When a courier company says that you should pack properly, what they mean is you should start with the choosing the proper materials.

Some companies have their own shipping labels that you should use. You should use sturdy boxes and seal them with packing tape. Packing tape is durable and is recommended over other types of tapes because regular household or office tapes can become loose when exposed to too much moisture or heat.

Small breakable materials such as vases can be shipped as well as long as they are double boxed. If there is an empty air space, you must fill this space tightly with packing kernels or crushed styrofoam. For items that have a tendency to spill or leak, including all liquids, gels or even items that have a small quantity of liquid in them, you should have them sealed in a leak proof container.

Remember that all these guidelines are there to protect your gift and the items being shipped by other customers. By following all these guidelines properly, you can be sure that your gift will arrive safely.

The same guidelines apply for large items that you want to ship. For other guidelines and reminders, you should check with the shipping or courier company. The last thing you will want is to find out that your package didn’t arrive or was damaged in delivery. To ease the burden on everyone and especially the person who should be receiving your gift, follow the guidelines whether shipping big or small items. No matter what the size, your shipping carrier can deliver these items for you as long as you follow their shipping guidelines and take the time and effort needed to package your item safely.

The Courier, the Freight Broker and Funny Frolics

The transport industry isn’t just about the haulage of stuff from ‘A’ to ‘B’. It’s also a powerful source of humorous stories that a freight broker will often share, given half the chance.

Here is a selection – judge for yourself whether you think they’re true or just the product of the over-active imagination of a freight broker one wet and grey day!

Handy with a fuel tank

The driver of rig once had to be rescued by the local Fire Department when he got his hand stuck in his tank. Ok, maybe not worthy of worldwide headline news but two things come to mind: how on earth did he get his hand in there, and why was he trying?

Now you see him, now you don’t

One courier was working with a partner on their way to make a delivery when the partner suddenly noticed that he was alone in the vehicle. Much as he admired his partner’s vanishing trick from behind the wheel, he quickly became pre-occupied with bringing the now driverless vehicle to a safe stop. The driver came running up frantically behind, fortunately relatively unhurt, having apparently ‘fallen out’ of the vehicle while turning a sharp corner. How do you fall out of a vehicle while driving it? It perhaps shall remain a mystery…

Round and round we go

One freight broker tells an amusing tale of a courier who was asked to take an urgent package to a fairly distant destination. Setting off early, he’d got more than half way there when he received a cell call saying that the shipper had made a terrible mistake and actually addressed the parcel to another office in their company rather than to the correct delivery address. He was then given the correct address – not only back in his hometown but actually his own personal home address. Yep, the package was, in fact, for his wife. Just how unlucky can you get?

Vous parlez français?

One freight-forwarding assistant had a great grasp of the French language, painstakingly studied over many years. Unfortunately his knowledge of geography wasn’t quite on the same level. This came to light when he bitterly complained that he couldn’t get an answer to his beautifully constructed emails in French to an overseas office. Unfortunately, he was trying to communicate with Hamburg – a city he thought was in France when, of course, it’s in Germany and a place where, perhaps unsurprisingly, they speak German. Did nobody, in the entire freight broker office, have a wall map of the world?

Super service

One driver arrived home one evening shortly before Halloween, to be told his freight broker boss had called and left a message that he should go into the office the following morning in costume for a team publicity photo. Putting on his skeleton costume, used with his young kids trick-or-treating, he duly reported in. The boss was less than amused. He’d actually left a message about the “uniform” (rarely used by the drivers on a day-to-day basis) not “costume”, as he intended the photo as part of a major advertising campaign.

A Quick Guide On Road Haulage

Road haulage can be a tough business although things can get a lot easier with appropriate planning. If you choose the right freight service then you shouldn’t encounter major problems. There are usually two different types of haulage service offered by most freight transport companies: part-load and full-load. In the first type, your freight comes with other cargo load. Many people find this service more convenient considering it is less expensive. You share delivery cost with other customers, so the price that goes along with the freight service is reduced. The disadvantage is that it may take considerably a long time before the package arrives. The full-load haulage is quite better than the former because you have the entire truck to deliver sole shipment. Hence, it is faster but is also more expensive.

There are a number of companies that offer haulage services. Consider the range of services, price, payment terms, insurance, and reputation of the haulage company.

The cost of haulage can vary from one company to another, so it would benefit you if you can compare quotes among different haulers. To excel in the competition, some haulage companies offer service at lower price while others offer quality service, so be careful before going for the cheapest hauler. Perhaps you can ask your friends for a trusted courier company or you can check online for the haulers with more positive reviews. Most people are concerned about the speed of delivery because waiting for ages can be exasperating. Also, the means of transportation utilized is important. You want to make sure that the load you requested to be delivered is handled with utmost care whilst in the delivery truck.

It is crucial that you make sure the hauler offers insurance and find out what kind of insurance they provide. This is for your own security. You should be able to keep track of your goods. Reputable haulers do have online tracking system so you’d know where your goods are at any given time. Aside from that, trusted courier companies ensure the safety of the goods because they can be charged for broken and damaged items due to poor delivery.

Usually, it is not difficult to determine reputable haulage companies because people speak their names. You may even get instant recommendations from friends or colleagues, but it pays off to check out what other customers say about a particular courier service. While you seek others’ opinion regarding a courier service, you may be able to help other consumers by posting your reviews and opinion about the road haulage service afterwards. People want to know whether you are satisfied or not. For instance, you must tell others whether the arrangements you had with the courier company was religiously followed. You must inform the courier company if you are unsatisfied with their services. They may also want to hear from you in order to improve their service.

On the other hand, some work will be left for you to do. If you are the sender, consider packing your goods prudently to mitigate likelihood of damage during transportation. Wrap the stuff in a sturdy box. If you are sending multiple items, number them. Also, it is wise to take photographs of the goods prior to sending them for delivery because photos serve as concrete evidence that your goods are in good condition before having them delivered.

If you are the receiving end, then check the quantity and condition of the goods. The quantity and condition of goods should be as specified by the sender. Sign of damages which is not indicated by the sender prompts inquiry. Check with your freight service provider regarding such unexpected mishap.

To ensure you only receive good freight service, be careful when choosing a haulage service. This has to be reiterated.

The Psychology of Selling Courier Services

These days it’s not easy going when trying to sell courier services. Okay, if you work in sales and marketing then you probably know that it isn’t easy to sell anything at the moment. Times are tough and customers are keeping their money in their pockets.

It also doesn’t help, though, that courier services don’t exactly have a super sexy or photogenic image to help them. If you’re trying to sell sports cars, holidays, luxury brand goods, jewellery, or watches then it is pretty easy to take some very attractive photos to contribute towards advertisements and sales campaigns etc. However, is a lot more difficult when the only material you have to work with is a rusting and ‘seen better days’ forklift truck that wouldn’t look out of place as an exhibit in a science museum. The shot of that van that looks as if it could have been used in an episode of “Dad’s Army” isn’t going to be of much help either – however high-tech looking the logo is that you sprayed on the side of it.

The psychology used to try and address the problem is sometimes also counter-productive. Take one of the classic approaches. This involves starting with a 12m box trailer and tractor unit, getting them virtually steam cleaned from top to bottom, polishing them to a shine level that is dangerous for the retina, then parking them outside of your main depot. That depot which sits in the background may also have been subject to a major cleaning and overhaul just for the photo shoot. Then, hire some extremely attractive models of both sexes, and dress them in something that pretends to be your uniform. At that stage, you are ready for the pose. This is usually very sexist and shows the male driver looking down from the cab benignly, with the female (in an improbably short skirt for someone working in the courier industry) looking up at them adoringly whilst holding a clipboard. As an aside, when did you last see anyone in an office using a clipboard?

The intention is presumably to create an image of courier services that looks slick and sexy. It’s usually accompanied by an inspired slogan along the lines of “we can transport you to new heights”. Job done. Marketing and sales sit back contentedly and wait for the orders to start pouring in.

However, one wonders if they really question what sort of response this sort of advertising imagery may generate in the minds of potential customers? It just may be:

• “I have never seen such a spotless vehicle – they obviously don’t get to use it much”

• “if those two are that clean and shiny then they obviously don’t like mucking in and getting the job done”

• “there is no way I’m going to pay for a vehicle of that size to ship my tiny parcel”

• “how much extra am I having to pay so that they can create these beautiful advertising photos?”

• “that guy couldn’t lift his own paperwork out of the cab let alone handle our crates”

• “is that clipboard the best technology they have available?”

So, the courier industry perhaps needs to think of an image that manages to communicate what it is about and be sexy at the same time – but without drifting into the surrealism that is sometimes seen in the present-day advertising materials!

Any suggestions?