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How to address and prep a package in 8 easy steps

Over the years, sending packages has become easier with more options available. In the past, prepping and shipping a package took money and additional hassles. With prepping and shipping companies in many urban areas, sending an item can be as easy as dropping it off at the UPS Store. They offer a pack-and-ship guarantee to package and ship the product. If damage does occur, as long as the proper value is stated on the package, the customer will be reimbursed. FedEx also has drop-off locations for packaging and shipping. Those can all cost higher fees than dropping off an already prepped box. Several areas in the United States do not have these options available. Follow these steps to address and prep a package for FedEx, UPS, or USPS.

Fedex Express

Step One –Determine how the item will be shipped. Some expedited and other options will have their own container for shipping, which will play a role in step two.

shipping container

Step Two—Choose the correct shipping container. Depending on the item being shipped, a box, envelope, bag, or tub can be considered. Ideally, the container will be close in size to the item being shipped.

Bubble wrapped item

Step Three -Decide if the item will need additional cushioning or padding for the transit. Fragile items are best shipped in a rigid corrugated box with extra cushioning. For anything breakable, we recommend wrapping the item in bubble wrap or Kraft paper before placing it in the package. This direct protection will help reduce the impact if the package is dropped.

Step Four –Filling the container with cushioning (void fill) should fill all of the gaps around the item being shipped. For budget-conscious shippers, newspaper can be used, but it should be stuffed in the package tightly to avoid movement during transit. Additional cushioning may not be needed if the container fits around the item snuggly.

Taping a Box

Step Five –Closing the shipping package is next. Many expedited containers have a self-adhesive edge for quick closure. Most boxes will require packing tape. Unlike standard scotch tape, packaging tape is made to adhere to corrugated surfaces. Heavier items will require thicker packaging tape to remain closed during transport.

Box Measurement

Step Six –Measure the dimensions and weight of the box. If you are using a shipping company, they will do this, but having your own measurements can be useful to ensure that the measurements used are accurate.

USPS logo

Step Seven –Enter the company name of who the item will ship to. Next would be who the package should be made attention to, the street address, the suite or apartment number, city, state, and then the zip code.

Step Eight –If printing the address label, place the label in an easily scannable area or the designated address area. The printed label should also have the return address. If not printing a label, write the return address in the correct spot on the package.

When shipping packages for business purposes, it is customary to include a packing slip with the shipment. This packing slip will let the receiver know what is supposed to be in the package. Be sure to choose the correct shipping option.

Required delivery times can play an essential factor in the shipping method. Be sure to check the estimated delivery times for each option. It is also necessary to state the correct estimated value of the shipment. Without specifying value, UPS has a maximum payout of $100. The last recommendation we suggest is determining if the package will require a signature for delivery. Signature deliveries cost more but are worth it if porch piracy is possible.

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