Large Shipping Boxes International

A recent international shipment done by the author of this blog really sends a valid message on proper packaging and packing tape usage. Shipping boxes internationally is not scientifically complex, yet it has some snags and caveats which are covered below.

Package contents at source – two CDs plus a small box of St. Valentine chocolates for a colleague in the Moscow office. Contents of the package at the destination point – two CDs. Did a border or customers officer eat the candy? Unlikely. Was it held up for some customs clearance violation – also unlikely? Was it properly packaged? The author of this blog considers himself a near expert on the subject of best shipping practices and yet this evident blunder. How is this possible?

Part of the reason is in the shipment details. The small shipping box which was handed to the purchasing and receiving folks only contained the merchandise which was to be delivered plus a piece of paper with the address label. The box was not sealed and packaging peanuts and foam, air bubbles etc. were not placed inside to isolate the content from damage, environment and courier wrath. The author was counting on the intelligence of the office people to handle it in a coherent manner yet he did not point them to his blog on large shipping boxes packing and handling in advance to get educated. Lessons learned from this experience to help others in similar situation:

  • Always do the packaging yourself. Do not count on other people to do parcel preparation or else female coworkers get deprived of candy at package destination and frustration is inevitable.
  • Follow the guidelines posted here and here and avoid a number of shipping errors. The guidelines contain proper details in accordance with specifics of the package shipped including extra heavy and awkward loads/packages.
  • Do not save on packing tape and purchasing the fit for purpose box with proper edge crush test and weight specifications as well as other factors. You do not want part of the shipment at the destination – you would like to see the whole shipment intact.
  • Placing “fragile” stickers and handwritten signs on shipments going international to countries whose language is different than English is only so helpful – try to get it labeled in the local language too.
  • Writing the address of the recipient in the local language and keeping the country and city in English actually speeds up the process. Use this with discretion for languages where characters outside the Latin alphabet are used. Postmen intelligence is not to be assumed or relied on.