What do I need to know when shipping products of high value?
11 Nov 2013
Many of us grumble at times when we post an item and it doesn’t immediately arrive the next day. But if we stop to consider the process a letter or other item of mail has to go through, our postal service really is something of a miracle. Post has to be collected, sorted, shipped and delivered to reach destinations right across the country. And this process is even more complex when it comes to posting items abroad. If you need to send parcels or packages to another country, there are a few things to consider to ensure your goods arrive safely and quickly.
First of all, get your packaging right. Sending valuable goods wrapped in tissue paper is obviously not a good idea, but even just using cardboard boxes can be risky. Your items are likely to be shunted around a few times, on and off a plane or train, and you need to make sure they are packaged carefully in order to avoid damage. The mail service and parcel handlers will be well trained to manage and handle goods with caution, but you can do your bit towards keeping them safe. Using plastic pallets can often be a good idea, as these robust packaging solutions are hardwearing and will withstand all types of conditions. Pallets come in all shapes and sizes, so do check if they could be the answer.
Then you need to make sure you get the postage right – so check with the Post Office or your courier firm first. Parcels cost different amounts depending on weight and size, as well as the destination, and if you are shipping very valuable goods then you will need to pay more. Getting the postage right can prevent delays or extra costs for the recipient.
Sending valuable items abroad can sometimes be a little nerve-wracking – choose a reputable company which will promise to deliver your parcel safely. Do your research and compare shipping companies. But not everything is in their hands and occasionally things go wrong. This is where insurance comes in handy – get your goods insured before shipping them and you will have much more peace of mind if they do go astray or become damaged in transit.
There are some items which you aren’t allowed to send abroad. Aerosols which aren’t for personal use are among them. So deodorants, for example, are all right (though they will need to be packaged properly), but you can’t be sent things such as spray paints in the regular mail – these are restricted goods and need to be packaged and delivered by a specialist company. Other restricted goods include alcoholic beverages above 70% ABV, ammunition, asbestos, batteries, dry ice, counterfeit currency, environmental waste, explosives, flammable liquids and certain electrical items. Gases, weapons, poisonous or toxic items and pesticides are also on the restricted list. If you think your item might fall into this category then you need to seek advice before shipping.
Sticking to the fairly simple rules and making sure you take responsibility for the packaging, insurance and correct payment on your package will give you peace of mind that your goods will be delivered in a good condition and in a timely manner.