By 2025, the global gift-wrapping market is predicted to reach $24.9 billion. This is up from an estimated $15.11 billion in 2018.
For most people, buying holiday gifts means posting them across the country. For the uninitiated, this can be a daunting task and may leave you concerned about the safety of your gift during transport and other similar concerns. In addition, you may not know how to ship a package.
If this is your situation, then we encourage you to keep reading. We’re laying out the whole process step-by-step.
What Is a Shipping Label?
Every parcel needs a shipping label, but if you don’t know how to ship a package, you may not know what this label is. A shipping label contains all the information that a courier service needs to get your parcel from destination A to destination B.
These labels include a barcode that the courier can scan and the parcel’s tracking number. Each parcel requires a unique shipping label and differs from mailing labels, which only contain the name and address of the recipient.
Your courier company should be able to help you with the shipping label; otherwise, there are companies online where you can buy shipping labels.
How to Ship a Package: Step-By-Step
So now that you know what a shipping label is, let’s learn how to ship a package. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Choose Your Box
The first step is choosing the container you’ll send your gift in. You want to pick a box that fits the item well without too much empty, wasted space. So, choose a sturdy box that can withstand transportation, preferably made of heavy-duty cardboard.
If you’re using a box already used, ensure you’ve covered or removed all old shipping labels, addresses, etc. If you stick to standard shipping sizes, you can avoid paying for nonmachinable packages.
Step 2. Packaging Your Parcel
Ensuring your parcel contents are protected throughout the courier process is essential to successfully-delivered gifts. Once you’ve chosen a box that fits your gift, you want to add cushioning to your parcel to keep your item in place. If your gift is fragile, you want to take extra care with this step.
Secure the box by taping the opening shit with packaging tape. Make sure you secure your parcel adequately with 2-inch wide packaging tape. Do not use duct tape.
- Pro Tip: Some courier companies that offer Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express will have free boxes you can collect
Step 3: Address Your Parcel
This step is where you’ll use the shipping label you created. Each parcel gets its own label with its unique shipping information. So if you’re sending your parcel through regular mail, you can just label your package with the recipient’s address but remember to include a return address in case of postage issues.
Make sure you label your parcel clearly, whichever method you use. Finally, to ensure there are no issues, use a pen with ink that won’t smear.
Step 4: Choosing the Mailing Service
The next step is choosing the correct mailing service for the parcel you’re sending and the company you’re using. Most courier companies will have several mail services options available depending on things like:
- Required delivery speed
- Package size
- Package weight
You may want to include shipping insurance if you send a high-value item. You can typically insure your parcel for up to $5,000, but this depends on your chosen courier company.
Step 5: Calculate Postage
One of the last few steps when learning how to ship a package is calculating postage and shipping costs. This typically depends on multiple factors. An online postage calculator can help if the courier company you’re using has one.
You want to ensure you’re paying the correct amount of postage. If you fail to pay the right value, the courier service could return your parcel to you unsent. Alternatively, the shipping company could send it and require the recipient to pay the difference.
If the parcel you’re sending is a gift, you want to ensure you’ve paid the right amount, so you don’t embarrass the recipient. Also, if your package gets sent back to you, it will be delayed in reaching its destination in time for the holidays.
Step 6: Sending Your Parcel
Finally, it’s time to send your parcel. Depending on your courier service, you may have to go to one of many drop-off locations. Otherwise, the courier will come to your location and collect the parcel directly.
As a bonus, some courier options include being able to schedule a collection time, so keep an eye out for that feature. Some couriers charge for collection, while others do it for free.
Tips for Using a Courier Service
While using a courier service is relatively straightforward, there are a few tips that can help make this process smoother and less expensive. Here are our top eight tips:
- Check shipping restrictions, customs, etc., before shipping overseas
- Choose the correct size box to get the most accurate shipping cost
- Use strong box materials to protect your item during transportation
- Don’t forget to label items as such if they’re fragile
- Leave room in the box for packing cushions like packaging peanuts
- Seal with a 2-inch wide packaging tape, and never use duct tape
- Ensure you’re choosing the appropriate service for our package specifications
- Take time to accurately measure your package before shipping
Send Your Parcel Hassle-Free Today
Now that you know the steps involved when you want to send a parcel and aren’t wondering how to ship a package anymore. Remember to buy a sturdy box for your gift item and to cushion it well inside the container. Air pillows, packaging paper, or packaging peanuts are great options. Finally, you want to ensure your shipping label is correct so you can attach it to your package before sending it.
Contact us today about our services if you want to send a parcel across the national capital region. We are Ottawa’s most reliable courier company.