We are now lucky that sophisticated transport innovations and complex digital systems enable us to send packages of all sizes and natures all over the world in a very short space of time. However sending a package to another continent involves a different process to domestic postal services. Before you send a package to another country, there are a few things you need to bear in mind to ensure it makes it to the other side safely – so if you’re considering sending long-haul, take a look at our handy guide below to ensure your package survives the journey.
Have you got the right address?
This may sound like a no-brainer, yet address formats do vary from country to country. Whilst you are used to a UK address format, if you were to adopt this format for a letter to be sent overseas, you may find there is a little confusion on the other end. Addresses across the world are standardised to a point, but you’ll need to take into account the road name (if it is in another language, ensure it is spelt correctly!), the area or region the parcel is headed to (especially in larger countries such as the US, Australia and China) and of course the appropriate postal code – as these differ from country to country.
Have you looked into customs regulations at your destination?
There are certain things you cannot send abroad – or items which need special measures applying to them in order for them to travel. This also depends on how they will arrive at your chosen destination – for example, parcels sent by air have stricter regulations placed upon them than those destined for container ships. Regulations on what is accepted do also vary depending on where packages are headed – for example, Australia have strict controls on natural and biological substances such as foods, animal products and materials such as wood and shell. It’s worth checking whether your shipment contains any of these things, as it will be confiscated and destroyed should it be found to be contravening any of these strict border regulations on the other side.
Is your item packaged properly?
Your package is going to make a rather large journey, passing through the hands of many different people as it makes its way to its final destination. It will also pass through a considerable amount of machinery, including scanners, sorters and conveyor belts – perhaps packaged in large palettes or in bags with other parcels. It’s important to bear this in mind when packaging up your item, as the wear and tear it will endure whilst making its way across the world can be significant. You don’t want to find your wrapping wasn’t up to scratch when your recipient doesn’t get their parcel, or worse, if they receive damaged goods – especially if they are of an important or expensive nature. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when you are packaging up your item – so if it is breakable, make sure this is made clear on the outer packaging, and pad the item out inside with innovative air bags, bubble-wrap, polystyrene foam or scrunched paper and card. It can also be advisable to use several boxes, all packed in between with paper or polystyrene, to protect your item. Don’t use flimsy bags which could easily tear, worn old jiffy bags with holes in them, or battered boxes made of thin cardboard – as these just won’t stand the journey and if your packaging doesn’t reach your destination in one piece, it’s unlikely the item inside will, either!
For more information and advice on sending further items afield, please feel free to contact us – we’re always more than happy to answer any questions you may have.