It may not seem like it yet, but with Christmas less than 80 days away, now is the time to start thinking about presents, particularly if you have family and friends who live abroad that you need to post parcels to. For anyone new to international parcel services, there are a few pieces of information that you might find useful when organising your parcel’s travel.
Accurate delivery costs depend on the size and weight of your parcel. Depending on the size, some countries place restrictions on incoming parcels, so if you’re thinking of sending anything extra large be sure to double check. Remember to properly protect the contents, any damages caused by insufficient packaging are your fault and not the courier’s, you won’t be able to claim for a replacement on your insurance.
Many international parcel delivery services require the collection driver to visually verify the contents, so once your parcel is all packaged up don’t seal it closed. It may sound simple, but to help speed the process, make sure your parcel doesn’t contain anything on the prohibited or restricted items list for the destination country. Most countries maintain a website with full information on restricted items, if you have access to the internet then check before attempting to send to avoid disappointment. Depending on the location, you may not be able to send food, money, perishables or items of high value, if in doubt your delivery service should be able to advise you.
The Air Waybill is the equivalent of your parcel’s passport, and all details need to be correct in order for it to smoothly clear customs. Double and then triple check the address you’re sending to, any small mistake could mean your parcel isn’t delivered or, worse, is returned to you at your expense. Make sure to include your return address, just in case.
Transit times depend on the location of the recipient and the type of service you’ve chosen. You might be surprised to know that next day delivery is available throughout most of west Europe and east Northern America, but it will obviously cost you more than a standard delivery time. Depending on your budget, and any urgency of getting it delivered, your parcel could take anything from a day to a month, particularly if you’re sending to Australia.
Be clear on what is and isn’t available to you on the service you’ve chosen, insurance and/or track and trace may not be available on budget services for worldwide delivery. You can always purchase additional insurance if needed.