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January 8, 2018

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Packing and Shipping

Everyone knows the holiday season isn’t always about hot chocolate and Jack Frost nipping at your nose. For many it’s a time of stress coupled with the added pressure of getting your gifts to your loved ones on time.

Make your holidays full of cheer this season by following our six tips for packing and shipping. Ultimately, a properly packed and shipped package will help save you money and ensure it arrives on time.

1.It’s more than weight
As you pack your items, keep in mind that the final shipping price will not be dictated just by weight alone; you must also account for the package’s size and the distance it will travel. Every major shipping company uses a formula to determine how much postage will cost you.

For example, if you’re shipping a large yet light item, like a comforter, and are shocked by the total price of shipping it is likely because the size of the box was a factor in the postage price. Try to buy gifts that are smaller and more dense over those that are bigger and lighter–your wallet will thank you.

2. Ship Earlier
Put simply, ground shipping costs less than air services. So if you’re looking to save on your postage this holiday season, aim to ship your items earlier so you can pay for ground rather than air.

3. Pick the Right Size Box
Our shipping experts often see customers who use boxes that are larger than their needs. If you plan to pack your items on your own, find a box that is the correct size for your gift. PostNet carries a variety of shipping containers to help you find the perfect one for your budget.

4. Use the correct packing material
Be sure to use professional packing material when you pack a box on your own. Don’t use crumpled newspaper, try and use peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam or air pockets. When packing, ensure the material is two to four inches between the object and the box itself. If you’ve correctly packed the box, it can be dropped from waist height while in transport and your items will arrive intact.

5. Don’t ship fragile items
Our experts would advise you to not ship antiques or completed model boats and planes as they are hard to pack properly and will likely break in the shipping process.

6. Don’t ship liquids
Have you ever opened your toiletry bag after a flight and your lotion is everywhere? The same situation can apply when shipping liquids, so we suggest not shipping them if you can. If you must ship liquids pack them in a locking bag so they won’t spill on the rest of the contents in your box.


2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Follow these deadlines so your family and friends can open your thoughtful gifts on December 25.

USPS Mail By Dates

  • First Class Mail: December 19
  • Priority Mail: December 20
  • Priority Mail Express: December 22

FedEx Mail By Dates

  • FedEx SmartPost®: December 11
  • FedEx Ground: December 15
  • FedEx Home Delivery: December 18
  • FedEx Express Saver: December 19
  • FedEx 2 Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.: December 20
  • FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight: December 21

DHL Mail By Date

  • December 19

UPS Mail By Dates

  • UPS 3 Day Select: December 18
  • UPS 2nd Day Air (without Saturday delivery): December 20
  • UPS 2nd Day Air (if Saturday delivery is available): December 21
  • UPS Next Day Air (with Saturday delivery): December 22
  • UPS Express Critical: December 24 or 25

Note: All dates are for domestic shipping, check with your local PostNet for International shipping deadlines.

Make your holidays easier with the packing and shipping experts at PostNet. Find a PostNet near you.


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