Safe Parcel Delivery

8 Tips to Ensure Your Parcel is Delivered Safely

22nd April 2020, 12:12pm in Shipping Advice by Eva Malpass

For big business shipments, regular small business orders, and occasional senders alike, Interparcel's main aim is to get your parcels delivered safe and sound. Our services can benefit all shipping requirements be it a care package to a loved one the next town over or a bike shipped to another continent! Large or small, near or far, we can take the stress out of organising deliveries. Our couriers are the most reliable and trusted globally and always ensure they deliver your packages safely and on time, but our customers can provide a little extra help to make sure the whole process goes smoothly!

1. Don't send prohibited items!

To reiterate – DON'T SEND PROHIBITED ITEMS! This may be obvious, but some people may just assume it's A-Okay to send a package full of knives with a courier. It's very important to check our prohibited and restricted items list to see if what you want to send can be. Prohibited and restricted items are goods that aren't recommended to send via courier due to fragility or other restricted qualities and can't be covered by our transit cover.

With our services, you can filter your search via country or courier to find out what goods you can send to and with them. Some items are prohibited by country and some couriers won't take certain goods so it's worth checking. Plus, if your package is held at customs you may face surcharges and could also receive a bill if the parcel is returned to you.

2. Have the correct address and add a return address

This may be obvious but incorrect addresses are a more common issue than first thought. They can be easily prevented however, as all you need to do is clearly and correctly print the address on a visible area of the package – make sure to cover any previous address marks so the courier service won't get confused. Its often a better idea to write the address clearly by hand on the package and do the same with the return address - make sure it's clear and noticeable so there's no room for confusion.

The format of addresses is often different for countries abroad so make sure to double-check with your recipient or sender to make sure the address is correct and ready to be written. If you can't ask the recipient you can always use a search engine like Google to double-check the address is valid and still available to receive packages.

You could also include a local telephone number for the receiver of the parcel. As drivers are often unwilling to call a number outside of the delivery country, adding the recipients' number can solve any issues they may experience in transit.

One more thing - don't ship to PO Box addresses, as couriers won't deliver to them!

3. Secure packaging

shipping mistakes

Packaging your items correctly is a very important step. Even if your parcel won't be traveling on a cargo plane to be shipped internationally, it will still be processed by at least two depots and placed on several conveyor belts. It should be able to withstand a short drop onto automated conveyor belts or placed into vehicles.

Although damage to your parcel on any route of delivery is very unlikely, it's very much worth packaging your items on the side of precaution. Making sure your packaging is the correct fit to protect your product is key - make sure it's not too small or the item will protrude or too big that will allow the item to move excessively. Packaging items in bubble-wrap within sturdy cardboard boxes securely shut with packing tape is always our best advice for any package, even the niche ones!

4. Make sure you have all the documents and labels you need

The useful thing about shipping with Interparcel is we provide you with all the documents and labels you need free of charge! To send parcels for less we compare all the best courier prices to get your package where it needs to go plus with these pre-prepared labels and documents given to you on booking you save time AND money!

For sending packages to destinations outside the EU, we'll provide you with customs invoices that require you to state what the individual items are, what they are for, the country of their origin, and their value. During the booking process we walk you through this so there no need to stress! All you'll have to do after filling them out is print three copies of the invoice, attach them to the outside of the parcel in a weather-protected plastic wallet (sandwich bags work!), or in an envelope marked 'CUSTOMS'.

Lots of our services include barcoded tracking labels that allow couriers to scan and update you on the status of your delivery. You will need to print and secure these labels to the outside of your parcel too if you want to benefit from this service! But if you don't have access to a printer we have services with DX, Tuffnell's, Parcelforce and CitySprint that don't require them at all to suit your needs.

5. Accurately measure and weigh your parcel

shipping cover

It's very important to calculate the weight and size of your packages correctly. Getting these wrong can land you with a more expensive shipping bill when you could have used a more efficient courier service. Many of our couriers are experts in certains areas, so by entering accurate measurements for your parcel you'll be able to access the most appropriate service for your package - you wouldn't want to send a pallet on a motorcycle! For example, if you need to send a large and heavy item Tuffnell's are specialists at these!

Keep in mind dimension calculations need to be in centimeters and their weight in kilos!

6. Get transit cover

When using Interparcel to send cheap parcels within the UK and abroad, we offer transit cover to protect your parcels in the unlikely event of loss or damage. This service allows you to claim back the value of your goods in this event. Lots of our services offer a level of transit cover included with their cost of sending which is displayed under each courier when getting a quote through us.

You can increase the amount of cover you need up to £2000 depending on the service you want to use, so the value of your items are fully covered and protected. Our transit cover ensures that from door-to-door your packages are covered to give you peace of mind and reassurance that in the rare event of damage or loss that you won't lose out.

Consider also spending more time on your parcel's packaging to further protect your items in transit!

7. Track your parcel

In this day and age, tracking your parcel is a vital resource when sending or receiving a parcel. This may be because you want to know when to be in to answer the door or you're just so excited for its arrival it's like waiting for Santa to arrive with your presents.

When you send a parcel with Interparcel we offer you full tracking services with all of our couriers. This means you'll be able to monitor your shipments as it reaches all of its checkpoints and be notified when it's out for delivery on the other end as well as any delays or issues it may have along the way. Plus if you're often sending big shipments to lots of recipients, you can provide them with this tracking number so they can keep an eye on their orders themselves!

If you're having any issues figuring out where your parcel is, you can contact our dedicated support team via live chat, email, or telephone.

8. Ensure the recipient will be there to accept their delivery

neighbour delivery

Although a rather obvious point to make, making sure the recipient will be available to accept their order is important to avoid failed deliveries.

When booking with us, you can enter both the collection and delivery postcodes to access an estimated time of arrival for the recipient. You can then make them aware of this estimate to allow them to plan around this window.

We also have particular services that are designed to make home delivery as flexible as possible. Evri (formerly Hermes) is great if you are sending to a home address as they deliver 6 days a week up to 9 pm in the evening, but this isn't a suitable service if you are sending to a company that is open business hours. Likewise many of our services only deliver Monday – Friday between 9-6 pm so if you are sending to a home address for someone who works during the business week you might want to consider one of our Saturday services.

We know all there is to know about parcel delivery - so if you have any more questions or inquiries surrounding changes to delivery methods due to COVID-19 our customer service team is available from 8 am - 8 pm Monday to Friday.

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