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How to Avoid Deliveries Being Damaged or Lost in Transit

May 1, 2018 Courier

lost in transit
lost in transit

Have you ever lost an important item during the shipping process? If so, you know how vital it is to ensure your mail doesn’t arrive damaged or–even worse–gets lost in transit. Advanced technology makes it possible for courier services to keep a digital eye on your packages as they travel through transit. Still, things happen. Sometimes packages arrive at their destinations with damage. Or, at worst, they don’t arrive at all. They are ways to minimize these occurrences and make sure your packages arrive undamaged and on time. Here are some tips on how to avoid deliveries being damaged or lost in transit.

Pick the Right Size Packaging

The packing material–boxes, containers, envelopes–should be the right size. Always try to go slightly larger than the item you’re packaging.

Make sure the shipping container is in good shape. Avoid using pre-used packaging. Natural damage happens to package containers in transit that may cause them to falter in support for a second use.

Most courier companies offer discounts on new shipping materials. Don’t chance your package falling apart by using second-hand packaging. This is a sure way to guarantee damage to your delivery.

Wrap Your Delivery

If you’re shipping fragile items like glass, artwork, mirrors, computers, and liquid-filled containers, wrap them appropriately and separately.

Bubble wrap glass pieces individually. Medical equipment, laptops, and PCs are likely to be damaged if protective material isn’t placed in around them. Bubble wrap also provides a protective barrier in front of precious artwork, keeping it from being scratched.

Tissue paper is also a great source of wrapping. Remove the glass from picture frames and wrap them in tissue paper.

Can’t afford bubble wrap or tissue paper? Use newspaper as an economical alternative for protecting deliveries. Wrap all your valuables in newspaper, pack them in a container, and then fill the container with packing peanuts.

Fill the Empty Spaces

Don’t leave space in the box for your delivery to rattle around. Fill those empty spaces. You can use any household item to fill the space around your delivery–paper towels, old sheets and towels, raggedy t-shirts, and cotton from pillows.

If you’re sending a professional package, try to stick to professional fillers like packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or air-cellular material.

Stuff the sides of the box and cover the box with as much matter as possible. Lightly shuffle the shipping container around to make sure your delivery doesn’t shift back and forth before sealing with quality tape.

Label Your Packages

Couriers are great delivery services, but they’re not mind-readers. If your packages are fragile, mark them as such and make the courier aware of it.

Fragile tape and stickers are warning signs on packages. Like “caution”, “wet paint”, and “slippery when wet” signs, fragile taping alerts delivery handlers that your package needs to be handled with care.

Pack Smaller Packages in Bigger Packages

Thousands of packages get lost in transit each year by being improperly scanned or sorted, many simply due to size. Manage this mishap by packing smaller packages inside of bigger packages.

For example, a ring box is hard to keep track of at home, let alone in transit. Pack the ring box in a medium-sized box, fill the space, and seal the box. Then pack the medium-sized box inside a larger box and repeat.

Larger boxes are more visible and simpler to track.

Keep Track

Delivery services provide tracking numbers for customers to keep track of their packages. These tracking numbers provide the digital footprint of a delivery.

Stay ahead of your package by tracking it to ensure it does not get lost in transit. Use the provided tracking link to upload your tracking number to see the digital routing of your delivery.

If your item looks to be getting off route, notify your couriers immediately. Get ahead of a presumed lost package to make sure it arrives where it’s destined to go.

Double-Check the Shipping Address

Improper or incorrect addresses are of the top reasons packages get lost in transit.

Check the spelling

Misspelled street names and cities can deter a delivery, especially if the misspelled street name actually exists in another part of the city where the delivery is headed.

Verify the City, State, and Zipcode

Some states have the same city names. For example, Bowling Green, KY, and Bowling Green, OH.

Make sure the correct zip code is labeled on the package to ensure the delivery doesn’t go to the wrong location.

Properly affix the shipping label

Don’t rely on the adhesive on the label only.

Seal the label with a reliable sealing tape to ensure the label doesn’t fly off, causing the package to get lost in transit.

Nofify the Recipient

Be proactive. Call the recipient of the package and make them aware the package is in transit.

If there’s a tracking number, provide it to the receiver. Email photos of the contents, package, shipping label and receipts so more than one person is keeping track of the package.

Life happens. If you get busy and get off track, at least the recipient has the information to keep track of the package.

Find out the Best Shipping Times

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid shipping important contents during busy mailing and shipping days.

Ask your courier or contact the postal service to get information on busy transit days. Most couriers allow you to schedule a date and time to ship and deliver your package.

Use a National Courier Service

Stimson once said, “Gentleman don’t read each other’s mail.”

Well, they might if it shows up on their doorstep in error.

Get a step ahead of the game with these tips. Pack your deliveries the right way, wrapping the important contents with a reliable wrapping material. Label your package and double check your packing slip.

If your package is fragile, make the courier aware by conspicuously labeling the delivery fragile. Making sure the complete address is correct on the shipping label then taping it down may ensure your package doesn’t get lost in transit.

Need further assistance? Get a quote today to help with your shipping needs.