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Smart Living How to Ship Holiday Gifts of All Shapes and Sizes, According to Postal Experts

01:58  14 november  2019
01:58  14 november  2019 Source:   marthastewart.com

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These are the best ways to wrap, pack, and ship those fragile and otherwise oddly- shaped packages.

Here's how you can ship and pack fragile items and gifts in the mail, according to postage According to Kim Frum, a senior public relations representative for USPS, the most important tip is If you've baked a holiday pie and wish to mail it off as a Christmas gift , you can do so, but postal

You're well aware that taking the time to pack your gifts before sending them to loved ones is important—but even good intentions can lead to fragile items ending up broken in transit. And since the average American sends upwards of six packages in November and December, according to a 2018 FedEx survey, discovering the best way to protect your gifts while in transit is time well spent. Speaking with representatives from leading mail carriers, including the United States Postal Service and FedEx, we asked them for the answer to the question that's on everyone's mind during the holidays: What's the best way to pack and ship the items you've so painstakingly crafted as holiday gifts this year?

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Holiday Gifts . How to Ship . U.S. Postal Service processes boxes weighing up to 70 pounds. How to Ship . Waste no time. Overnight shipping is a boon. Send early in the week so the package won’t sit in a warehouse over a weekend, and check that someone will be home when your gift

Learn how to pack your cookies and the shipping method the USPS recommends if you want There are many different postage options to consider when sending holiday gifts , but experts Related: When to Mail All of Your Holiday Gifts So They Arrive on Time, According to Postal Officials.

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How to Pack Fragile Items

As anyone will tell you, shipping items on time doesn't always mean that things will go smoothly. Maybe you're shipping a hand-knit sweater that's made of angora wool yarn, an edible treat that is sensitive to high temperatures, or a delicate liquid that requires extra shipping time. All of these items are examples of things that must be packaged carefully to reach its destination without suffering a tragic end while in transit.

According to Kim Frum, a senior public relations representative for USPS, the most important tip is to pack your fragile item appropriately—and that starts with the box. While reusing a shipping box is perfectly acceptable for softer, non-breakable items like clothing, you want to use a durable box to protect handmade items. Start by layering the bottom of your box with soft, absorbent tissue paper or shredded materials; then, if possible, bubble-wrap your item before wrapping it in a layer of tissue paper. If the gift is hollow (like a vase or bowl), then you'll want to stuff extra packing material inside the box to keep the item supported. Be sure to place the item inside the right-sized box; you don't want the box to be too small as it could rip open during transit, but too-large boxes may also collapse or continually shift the contents inside.

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Here's how to ship cookies during the holiday season so they stay fresh and arrive on time, according to postal officials. There are many different postage options to consider when sending holiday gifts , but experts say Priority Mail is the best option for cookies that could become stale

The postal worker at the post office will often apply the postage to your package for you if you purchased it from them. Give your package to the postal worker at the retail desk. The postal worker behind the counter can confirm that the package has been properly prepared and the correct postage

Believe it or not, asking for a simple "fragile" stamp on your package will help postage handlers quickly identify that it may need an extra set of hands, or be packed delicately into a truck or air cargo hold. If you're sending an item through a nearby post office, the USPS has published a collection of useful how-to videos, including best practices on packing fragile items.

FedEx Office professionals often pack fragile office trinkets and awards, which can be oddly shaped; they recommend padding these kinds of nonlinear items with at least 1-inch of bubble wrap around its base, according to Rae Lyn Rushing, a communications advisor for FedEx. In addition to the tips above, you should also reinforce the lid of your box by sealing all flaps and seams with packing tape in the shape of an "H" on the box's lid. You'll want to make sure to print out a typed label for your package that has been covered with tape; handwritten labels can smudge in bad weather, especially if it's not covered. While postage officers will often place a "fragile" tag on your package (and in the system's tracking for workers' insight), you can also use a black magic marker to cover every side of your box with the warning. Lastly, both FedEx and UPS offer packing services for customers who may need the assistance—and in some cases, they guarantee the package will arrive safely with extra complimentary insurance.

The best and worst times to travel for the Christmas holiday

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But retailers are strategizing how to recoup costs without having anyone take the hit. In an interview with WWD, Guy Yehiav, chief executive officer of Profitect, a “prescriptive analytics” solution for retailers such as Ann How to Ship Holiday Gifts of All Shapes and Sizes , According to Postal Experts .

Our experts cover all kinds of trades… from value to momentum . . . from stocks under to ETF and option moves . . . from stocks that corporate insiders are buying up to companies that are about to report positive How to Ship Holiday Gifts of All Shapes and Sizes , According to Postal Experts .

How to Pack Liquids and Heat-Sensitive Items

Believe it or not, you can send most anything in the mail domestically. But there are special rules and regulations for many of these special items, including perishable items. If you've baked a holiday pie and wish to mail it off as a Christmas gift, you can do so, but postal officials expect you to select a speed of delivery that will ensure it doesn't spoil (and disrupt mail flow) while it's in transit. It seems that perishable items, including any non-shelf-stable food items, are sent at the owner's risk, too, meaning forms of postal insurance associated with Priority and First-Class mail may not apply.

Try to pack food items as tightly as possible. If you're sending a shareable treat like fudge, brownies, or cookies, try wrapping individual servings in wax paper, then inside plastic sleeves. This gives you more opportunities to surround the goods with packing materials to keep them as stationary as possible. If you sent a dozen cookies inside a sealed plastic container, for example, they would probably end up a pile of crumbs and bits due to the movement of transportation. Homemade food of any kind cannot be sent internationally, but if you're sending a dish from one end of the country to the next, then you may wish to use dry ice to keep it cool. The USPS permits you to use dry ice as long as you place it in a box that allows the gas to slowly release (otherwise, that package may turn combustible). Rushing tells us that perishable and heat-sensitive gifts should be sent overnight, as this ensures minimal risk of spoilage overall.

Many forms of liquid—from soaps to perfume and nail polish—can be shipped via ground transportation. However, anything flammable won't be allowed in postal cargo on planes and can't be shipped internationally. FedEx officials say that liquids should be stored in plastic containers, if possible, as this prevents breakage; using three inches of bubble wrap around the item should provide enough cushion and support. Both UPS and FedEx officials will help you pack a liquid properly and complete any special paperwork if the gift has certain restrictions; the same applies to perishable food items.

Can You Travel with Wrapped Gifts on a Plane? .
Unfortunately, “tis the season” isn’t a compelling enough reason for the TSA to make exceptions; if your holiday cheer won’t fit in an overhead bin, you’ll have to check it at the gate.  If you must fly with presents in tow, you’re better off squirreling away in a guest bedroom to wrap them once you arrive at your destination. Wrapped gifts aren’t prohibited, but if they trigger an alarm, chances are you won’t be getting them back with the intricately tied ribbons and razor-sharp corners in which you so delicately bundled them.

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