It is possible to ship just about anything anywhere in the world, provided the correct documentation and packaging is used. The most cost effective way to ship a large package is normally through the United States Postal Service, which delivers packages weighing up to 31.8 Kilogram. Package companies are an alternative, though these quicker delivery times are often offset by a premium price. Particularly with large parcels, care must be taken to package the parcel contents properly so no damage will occur during shipping.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Large box
- Padding materials such as newspaper or bubble wrap
- Black permanent marker
- Clear packing tape
Select a box for your shipment. Choose one that is large enough for your items with a bit of extra space for padding, but do not choose one that is very oversized as parcels are priced according to size as well as weight. If your item is heavy, make sure the box is very sturdy.
Place your items in the box and surround them with padding. Shredded paper, foam peanuts, bubble wrap or newspaper are all good options.
Place an address label inside of the box, indicating both the sender's address and the recipient's address. This can be helpful in case the outside address label is lost or becomes illegible.
Close the box and shake it. If you feel the contents moving, you have not cushioned your items well enough. Open the box and add more padding.
Use a black permanent marker to write the full address of the destination for the package prominently in the centre of the box. Include your return address in the upper left hand corner of the box.
Seal the box closed with clear packing tape. Reinforce all corners and edges of the box with tape if your package is heavy. Place a piece of clear tape over the addresses to prevent smearing.
Bring your package to the retail counter at your local post office to have it weighed, measured and to pay for postage. Some parcels may be eligible for pickup by your postal carrier provided you arrange for this service on the USPS website. Alternatively, if you choose to use a package service company, call its customer service line to arrange for pickup or to find a location to drop it off. Be prepared to show photo identification and to fill out additional forms.
Tips and warnings
- If the contents of your package are fragile, mark "fragile" on the outside of the box. Similarly, label the box "perishable" if you are mailing perishables.
- Extra documentation will be needed for international delivery.
- Do not use string or twine on your package; avoid masking or cellophane tape, which are not strong enough to hold a package closed.
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