How to Ship, Pack and Choose Service for Large Shipping Boxes?
Here are the best shipping considerations in a nutshell when it comes to large shipping boxes:
- Use new boxes or simply assume the risk that your goods might be damaged. Go through a quick calculation of the value of goods shipped versus the cost of a shipping box in advance.
- The box design should be in accordance with the items inside the box. Considerations such as shape, strength, closure etc are important. Do not place a 30-lb load in a box manufactured to handle 10 lbs. Using masking tape to seal a box might be against good sense also. Additionally, research box strength and ability to handle abuse. The higher the edge crush test number (ECT), the better chances of safety for your belongings. On average any large shipping box should be able to survive a 3.5-ft free fall. Package accordingly.
- Package smartly and allow for error. Use bubble wrap, Styrofoam, packaging peanuts etc as needed. Whatever the contents is, it should be well protected from all sides and it should not be directly wedged against the inside edges of the large shipping boxes.
- Box signage – if you are shipping fragile materials use proper stickers, this side up etc. Remember the art is in the packaging – couriers may or may not regard your signs. What is more, when your box is at the bottom of a 10-high stack – the fragile sticker might not account for much.
- Insurance and value. Some shipping options give you certain insurance coverage by default such as international priority mail etc. Research the options before you send your large shipping boxes on their way and purchase additional coverage if needed. If shipping items of value, be sure that you have supporting documentation such as receipts, invoices etc. to prove what they are worth. Items of emotional significance will probably not strike a sympathetic chord when filing a claim for damages from your grandma’s wedding crystal champagne flutes.
- Place a duplicate of both source and destination addresses for the large shipping boxes you are sending. It is good to put this in a plastic protector in case of water damages etc.
Some tips on shipping insurance. Claims under $200 are generally settled easier and relatively fast. Claims in excess of $200 may be a harder case to prove so have the needed receipts etc. ready. In addition, couriers are not inclined to paying for damages where the large shipping box appears to have minor or no damages on the outside and the contents was damaged. They would normally blame poor packaging for this and will not honor your claim. Issues when a box disappears if it was not signed for might be easier to prove. To this end, a large number of the damages are actually suffered on the receiving side – people will throw out a box too early and forget the remote control in there or are a bit hasty to pull out the new electronic gadget they bought online. If you are an online reseller provide sufficient notice of what the box contains.
Which is the best courier for you? There is only one answer to this – work with the local people. If the local UPS driver is the more careful and more attentive person – go with UPS even if FedEx is your favorite. On the other hand – if FedEx deliver earlier to your address while UPS do not come in until 4.45pm – act accordingly. Choose whatever makes sense for your business when sending or receiving large shipping boxes. Another thought to consider – on large public holidays, couriers might employ temporary workers with their own transport who deliver on their behalf. Have this in mind when shipping over Christmas etc.